Commitment to sustainability
For the second consecutive year, Finmeccanica has published a Certified Sustainability Report for our stakeholders. There are several reasons for which this event is even more important than in the past. The first of these is the “globally” exceptional nature of the last year. Any way we look at it, 2011 was a year that will certainly be remembered as one of the most challenging both politically and economically in Italy, throughout Europe and around the world. For this reason, the year was also an extremely difficult one for the industry in which the Finmeccanica Group operates.
On the one hand, economies virtually everywhere stagnated or experienced severe recessions, such as in many countries of the western hemisphere. On the other, in the wake of a difficult 2010, the international political situation saw many countries – particularly in the Mediterranean and the Middle East – continue to struggle in the quest for lasting democratic solutions that would enable them to overcome often endemic crises and violent civil wars.
A second reason is more closely related to our Group. It has certainly been a difficult year for Finmeccanica. The strategy that we pursued during the year, having decided to deal immediately with the structural and financial problems engendered by a number of choices made in the recent past, prompted us to design a reorganisation plan for the Group aimed at laying the groundwork for increasing our competitiveness in the marketplace in order to rapidly boost profitability. This is a duty, not only towards our shareholders, but also towards all of the Group’s stakeholders, such that our actions can make a return to lasting growth even more credible in their eyes. Moreover, in 2011 we have had to deal with and responsibly manage the adverse impact of circumstances that had little or nothing to do with the commitment, dedication and daily efforts of the over 70,000 people who work here at Finmeccanica. The difficult circumstances in which we have found ourselves, and under which we continue to operate, could lead one to think that these challenges have consumed all of our energies and that, as a result, less attention has been paid to the promotion and dissemination of the sustainable, socially responsible conduct that is already a part of Finmeccanica’s industrial and cultural heritage. But as this report shows, that has not been the case.
Here at Finmeccanica, we are as convinced as ever that, in such difficult times, we will – and must – play a significant role, pursuing a strategy that goes well beyond just meeting the expectations of our shareholders and other stakeholders. The Group must not, therefore, be a passive player, a burden on the system, but rather must take an active part in and be a driving force for change and social and economic development, thanks to our ability to do business in an ethical, sustainable manner.
And how does Finmeccanica intend to translate this vision into strategies and daily action? First and foremost, by recognising that the principles of sustainable development are increasingly a key part of the competitive landscape and are driving new needs and opportunities in our most important markets, both old and new. Thus, it is both necessary and advisable to view the world of the future from a new perspective.
It will be a change in direction and in culture of great importance, indeed a change of almost radical proportions. Finmeccanica must become a true world leader in high technology, able to find new room for growth in the civilian segment, thanks to the development of advanced technologies, technologies that originated as defence systems and are able to meet dual needs in new areas of growth in the civilian sector, providing solutions to needs that are constantly evolving in today’s society in which technology has become an integral part.
Therefore, we want to redefine Finmeccanica as a high-tech leader, one with a clear focus on sustainability.
In order to succeed, we will need to innovate and constantly reinvent ourselves. Indeed,the future challenges of the market will be faced, above all, through our ability to take advantage of both existing opportunities and those that will present themselves in
order to implement “dual-purpose” technologies and solutions, i.e. solutions that were designed for defence and security and which can be adapted to provide real solutions to problems related to population growth, hyper-urbanisation and climate change.
These are just a few of the social and environmental challenges that Finmeccanica can help to manage and overcome by continuing to invest in technological research and development and in the talent of our people, especially our younger resources.
Sustainability comes, secondarily, from our ability to manage the many risks inherent in the strategies and operations of an international industrial group such as ours, which operates in sensitive markets and industries, so as to preserve not only our economic value, but also, and above all, our corporate image and reputation, which are our most important intangible assets.
Finmeccanica’s recently approved Charter of Values seeks to take us precisely in this direction by promoting both best practices in corporate governance and the best organisational procedures and other measures aimed at guiding our operations, with a
particular emphasis on business ethics, human rights, and responsibility towards the environment, health and safety.
Finally, Finmeccanica must reassert and further promote our “corporate citizenship” through a virtuous relationship with the public at large. This means being able, at all times and in all situations, to play a positive role in a union between business
competitiveness and community development, acting, above all, through our ability to transmit the Group’s corporate culture to the communities in which we operate –a culture of “know-how”, a culture of the “workshop” that has always characterised the Group, with a view towards sharing and transmitting our wealth of skills and experience, forging a presence in countries such as Italy, Great Britain and the United States, which are at the cutting edge of sustainable growth for society.
This year’s Certified Sustainability Report sustains this vision and drives us to reflect on the progress made thus far, despite the difficulties of the overall environment, as well as on the projects and other efforts for improvement that have led to that progress.
More important still, it gives us an opportunity to communicate with our stakeholders so that they can see the Group in the right light in terms of our ethical, sustainable and responsible conduct, which is the result of the multitude of good practices throughout
all of our companies.
This is the challenge before us. We must be able to overcome it through the responsible development of our business, respecting all that is around us, in order to provide future generations with a better world than we have today.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer