As regards materials, Terna does not use raw materials but electrical equipment, wires and other elements that are combined to be used in the transmission service. The table below provides an overview of the principal materials in supplies used by Terna. The weight is calculated starting from the quantity used, from the average or typical weight of the single elements and from the proportion of materials contained. In some cases the elements are made of a single material (for example, insulators are made of 100% glass or ceramics, terminal boards of aluminium); in other cases an estimate was made of the main material (for example, copper accounts for 60% of the weight of an ATR transformer). At the moment, no information is available on the use of recycled material on the part of suppliers of the materials and equipment used (as regards the environmental criteria in the procurement process see the specific box in the section on Economic Responsibility.


2012 2011 2010
Porcelain 229 967 663
Polymeric 131 322 350
Copper 3,861 2,569 3,853
Aluminium 4,069 9,588 4,927
Steel 6,163 23,875 17,114
Glass 863 2,078 1,573
Dielectric oil 61 974 1,413
SF6 50 54 23

The quantities shown in the table reveal an overall reduction in materials purchased with the exception of copper. In particular the quantities of dielectric oil, which have fallen constantly, are in line with the trend of preferring the installation of SF6 equipment. The generalized drop in the consumption of materials is associated with less construction of new lines in 2012. A large proportion of the supplies purchased related to cable connections (in particular the Italy - Montenegro connection). The analysis of the main materials in cables is at the implementation stage and was therefore not yet available for the purposes of creating this table. In office work, the main consumable is paper.


2012 2011 2010
FSC paper 52 70 83

Paper consumption refers to the quantity purchased. A trend is therefore not clearly identifiable and the changes in the three years relate mainly to stock management in certain territorial areas in 2011.


All the paper purchased since the end of 2009 has been made with TCF pulp – that is, Totally Chlorine Free – and certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council – which guarantees that the forests providing the cellulose are managed in accordance with sustainability criteria from the point of view of both the environment and human rights.


Water is not used in the electricity transmission and dispatching production cycle. Normally water used – for hygienic uses, to clean offices and for cooling systems – comes from connections to the water main for civil uses. Consumption grew in the three years considered, in line with the increase in the number of stations managed (+9%)

In particular, the figure for 2012, which was higher than those recorded in previous years, was affected by:

  • much higher leakage (approximately 12% of total consumption shown in the table) at the Line Operating Group ( LOG) offices;
  • an improvement in data collection which made it possible to record exact consumption at a greater number of stations compared with previous years. This was possible thanks to constant monitoring of the MBI information system used in managing lines and stations. In fact, every month the system records the meter readings of the more than 460 Terna stations scattered around the whole country. 


2012 2011 2010
Water withdrawal  219,311 176,525 184,979

Water consumption: comparative data

The comparison of Terna with other companies as regards the use of water was conducted by taking both total consumption and consumption in cubic metres per employee as reference figures.

The figures of the transmission companies (TSO panel), as well as of the bigger listed Italian companies (FTSE-MIB) and of the international sustainability leaders (SM-Supersector Leaders) were taken into consideration.

In all the panels the figures show substantial non-comparability, in that consumption reflects the varying importance of water in production processes, as well as the different sizes of the companies, not necessarily reflected by the number of employees. The companies involved in electricity generation which use water in the production process - generally for cooling the plants - are at the top of the ranking for pro capita consumption; those companies providing intangible services (such as banks) occupy the lowest positions. The highest pro capita consumption figure is for ESKOM, the South African TSO which includes among its activities the production and distribution of electricity, while the lowest is for an Australian and New Zealand Banking Group.

Despite the intrinsic limitations of the comparison and in the absence of more effective normalisation factors than the number of employees, it was deemed in any case of interest to present the main figures on water consumption. Such figures, while unsuitable for being interpreted as a reflection of the various companies' performance in the efficient use of the resource, do at least provide an indication of the importance of the use of water - and therefore of its practical importance in terms of sustainability- in the various sectors and various companies. In the comparisons made, the overall use of water was considered without distinction between fresh water and sea water.

For 2012, total water consumption for Terna was 219,311 (63.9 cubic metres pro capita), an increase compared to 2011, the year for which comparative figures are available, (176,525.0 total cubic metres, equivalent to 50.5 cubic metres pro capita).

TSO Panel: 11 figures available;

  • total water consumption – thousands of cubic metres: average 31,626,504.3; minimum value: 64.8 (REE-Spain); maximum value: 327,252,000.0 (ESKOM - South Africa). The South African TSO is involved in the entire energy process, from production to distribution to the end customer. Last year the relative water consumption figures for Eskom were not included in the comparative data and this explains the sharp increase in the average figure, from 1,808,338.8 to 31,626,504.3 for total consumption and from 106,362.7 to 796,743.9 for pro capita consumption);
  • pro capita water consumption – cubic metres: average 796,743.9; minimum value: 39.8 (REE-Spain); maximum value: 7,527,706.9 (ESKOM - South Africa).

Terna is well below average for both total consumption and pro capita consumption. The average was strongly affected by the figures for operators not acting exclusively in the transmission of electricity but who also possess businesses involving electricity generation or the transport of natural gas.

FTSE-MIB Panel: 23 figures available;

  • total water consumption – thousands of cubic metres: average 125,863.1; minimum value: 37.5 (Banca Mediolanum); maximum value 2,583,870.0 (Eni);
  • pro capita water consumption – cubic metres: average 1,704.5; minimum value: 18.8 (Assicurazioni Generali); maximum value 32,837.7 (Eni).

In this case too, Terna's consumption (total and pro capita) is well below average. Specifically, Terna's pro capita consumption is only slightly above the average of the 8 companies on the panel providing banking and insurance services.

RobecoSAM Panel - Supersector Leaders: 17 figures available;

  • total water consumption – thousands of cubic metres: average 300,902.4; minimum value: 133.7 (Australian and New Zealand Banking Group); maximum value: 4,087,000.0 (Iberdola - Utilities);
  • pro capita water consumption – cubic metres: average 9,396.3; minimum value: 9.8 (Australian and New Zealand Banking Group); maximum value: 124,569.5 (Iberdola- Utilities).

In terms of worldwide sustainability best practices, Terna is well below average consumption.

The extreme variability of the company figures makes a graphic representation of little significance; the table shows the minimum, average and maximum values and the standard deviation in the three panels considered.

Water consumption: 2011
TSO FTSE-MIB RobecoSAM – Supersector Leaders
thousands of cubic metres cubic metres/
thousands of cubic metres cubic metres/
thousands of cubic metres cubic metres/
Average 31,626,504.3 796,743.9 125,863.1 1,707.7 300,902.4 9,396.3
Max 327,252,000.0 7,527,706.9 2,583,870.0 32,837.7 4,087,000.0 124,569.5
Min 64.8 39.8 37.5 18.8 133.7 9.8
Standard deviation 98,150,430.7 2,245,743.8 537,256.3 6,807.9 985,382.5 30,148.3
Terna 176.5 50.5 176.5 50.5 176.5 50.5
Wherever not directly available the pro capita consumption figure was obtained by dividing total water consumption by the number of employees.