Society: Our approach

Terna is an infrastructure company that is strategic for the Italian economy and provides a public utility service. Society – understood in both a general sense as the recipient of Terna’s service, and a local sense as the communities more directly affected by projects for developing the transmission grid – is an essential stakeholder.

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Terna’s approach to the local communities that host the construction of new infrastructure is discussed in-depth in the chapter “Environmental responsibility”, because the visual and landscape impacts are the most significant of such activities. In this chapter, other possible impacts on individuals and society are discussed.

The construction of new power lines does not involve the physical displacement of people or entire communities, but only the use of from about 30 to about 250 square meters of land – usually agricultural land – for each pylon. Terna’s use of innovative solutions, for example, single-pole pylons, tends to diminish the physical encumbrance, as well as the visual impact, of new lines.

Even though Terna is authorized by the law (Italian Law No. 1775 of 1933 and Presidential Decree 327/2001 Consolidated Act on Expropriations) to use an expropriation procedure to obtain land, the Company prefers solutions based on mutual consent, paying one-off compensation for the right of way of the line through private property (mounting pylons, installing overhead conductors, laying underground cables). In these cases, owners are no longer be able to use the land physically occupied by the pylons, it being understood that if the lines are dismantled, the land will again be at their complete disposal.

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The pursuit of a consensual solution only fails in a minority of cases, in which  coercive measures become necessary. In the three-year period 2010-2012 Terna constructed power lines which entailed obtaining easements from about 18,141 land owners (7,463 in 2012; 7,092 in 2011; 3,586 in 2010); in 8% of cases it was necessary to use a coercive easement procedure.

When Terna constructs a station, which occupies much more land, the Company normally purchases the necessary land.

Considering its role as the provider of a service to society and the regulatory context in which it operates, Terna complies scrupulously with the laws and regulations that concern it.

In keeping with this fair and respectful approach, Terna considers the identification and implementation of social, humanitarian, and cultural initiatives to be an integral part of its mission, as a concrete sign of participation in the civil development of the communities in which it operates.

As set out in its Code of Ethics, in Terna's relations with institutions and associations, it represents its interests in a transparent, meticulous, and consistent manner, while avoiding collusive behaviour.