Sustain to Lead: Prysmian to go beyond its sustainability goals

Sustain to Lead

Sustain to Lead: Prysmian to go beyond its sustainability goals

As the leader in the industry, Prysmian has always felt the responsibility to be proactive to drive improvement and promote initiatives across and beyond its whole value chain.

Starting from this vision, on the occasion of the Capital Markets Day - organized by Prysmian and held in Naples on October 5th, 2023 – Maria Cristina Bifulco, Chief Sustainability Officer at Prysmian Group, explained to the shareholders why sustainability is crucial for Prysmian Group and why the company sees it as a driver for value creation, presenting the Company’s strategy to tackle sustainability challenges, Sustain to Lead.

Prysmian’s sustainability journey

Sustainability has been an integral part of the company’s strategy since the beginning. Over the last almost 20 years, the Group has adopted a 360 degree approach to sustainability, mixing the business perspective with the organization, the culture, the processes and compliance.

Let’s retrace together the major steps of the journey that led Prysmian to be one the main sustainability player in its field:

  • 2006: Prysmian installed its first fully recyclable insulation for medium voltage cables, i.e. the group’s patented technology MV P-laser.
  • 2010: before becoming a full public company, the Group had already produced 3000 kilometers of fully recyclable cable to serve the Italian medium voltage grid.
  • 2013: the company launched its employees equity program, YES.
  • 2014: Prysmian is among the first companies to issue a standalone sustainability report.
  • 2018: Prysmian included ESG principles in its management’s remuneration policy.
  • 2020: sustainability was integrated in the Board Skill Matrix as a key competence for a Prysmian Board member, and in the same year the Board Sustainability Committee was created.
  • 2021: Prysmian received the approval of the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) to its Climate Change Ambition and launched its Social Ambition the same year.
  • 2022: the company issued its first integrated report and launched the BE-in Program to allow shop workers to become shareholders of the company.

Finally, in 2023, the journey continues to build tomorrow’s sustainability with new ambitious targets: the Group, in fact, has committed to reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 47% by 2030, from the 2019 baseline. It also commits to reducing absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services and from the use of sold products by 28% within the same timeframe.

And, in the meantime, the company kept innovating its products. To provide some examples of the key innovations with sustainable impact launched by Prysmian Group during the past 20 years:

  • P-laser MV and HV
  • Ecocable
  • Sirocco extreme
  • E3X Robot
  • Alesea
  • Pry Cam

...just to name a few.

These products are a concrete proof of how the Group deeply believes that sustainability is essential for nurturing its leading position in the sector and be impactful.

This is the reason why it believes in the strategy Sustain to Lead.

Sustain to Lead, the Group’s strategy on sustainability: what’s that about?

Sustain to Lead, Prysmian Group’s strategy on sustainability, relies on four pillars, extremely interconnected among each-other: Environmental, Social, Innovation and Governance. In particular, the latter oversees all the other dimensions to guarantee the highest level of transparency and rigor.

The Environmental Dimension

Prysmian Group is extremely committed to sustainability matters, and – as stated above - it has been the first cable maker to receive the Science Based Target initiative validation for its climate change ambition in 2021.

  • Scope 1 and Scope 2

This year, Prysmian wants to drive the industry even forward, which is why it upgraded its sustainability targets. The Group is fully committed to:

  • achieving 90% decarbonization of Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2035, in line with the 1.5 degree trajectory;

The Group is perfectly on target to be -47% by 2030, and is actually ahead of schedule, since it was already at -28% at the end of 2022.

The innovation approach that characterizes the Company has surely contributed to these results, together with the fact that the Group has been able to remove the SF6 gas - a very bad gas that is emitted during the testing phase of the underground high voltage cable – from its operations.

And, in order to make sure the Company meets the targets set, 100 milion euros of Capex are being devoted to the decarbonization process and the overall circularity principles across the entire value chain.

  • Scope 3


  • achieving Net Zero, so decarbonizing 90% of Scope 3 by 2050 in line with the well below 2 degree trajectory.

But the Group’s environmental responsibility goes beyond its footprint, i.e. beyond scope 1 and scope 2: an important part of the Climate Change commitment includes helping the customers to decarbonize their operations. This is part of Scope 3. In order to do so, Prysmian Group has launched its innovative “Design for Sustainability” initiative, which is focused on developing new thinner, lighter, faster, and greener products with a higher value in terms of sustainability. This neatly complements the already existing “Design to Performance” program, to make sure the Group provides the best performing and most sustainable products to its customers.

  • Scope 4

The new ambitious sustainability targets set by the Group call for it to go beyond Scope 1, 2 and 3, tackling Scope 4: the avoided emissions. While Scope 1, 2 and 3 are related to the carbon footprint and the focus is on reducing it, Scope 4 refers to the avoided emissions that can in principle be avoided through innovation but whose impact goes beyond the value chain and beyond the life cycle of the products.

To tackle scope 4, Prysmian Group offers solutions to avoid emissions while preserving the planet resources. To provide a few examples:

  • The E3X robot enables the upgrade of existing lines, reducing the need to install new transmission lines.
  • Sirocco Extreme reduces the environmental footprint of optical networks, avoiding emissions thanks to reduced excavation works, leading to less soil being removed and processed.
  • Alesea enables the Group to reduce emissions across the supply chain for big renewable projects, keeping cables waste and scrap at minimum, thanks to real-time information on cable drum location, drum use and the amount of cable available.
  • PryID creates a digital twin for quick verification and accurate product mapping, allowing the Group to reduce the movements of workers and materials.
  • The All-Ground, mainly for medium voltage cable, solution can be directly buried with trenches that are less deep and wide, avoiding transportation of sand or special materials.
  • Moreover, a majority of grid failures are in the cable connections. To address this topic, Prysmian has introduced Elaspeed-S, a sensorized network component that has voltage and partial discharge detection to reduce emissions from manual interventions for maintenance.
  • Finally, the Group is developing Megawatt Charging/Fast Charging solutions for electric vehicles, that would reduce the utilization of broad fossil fuels.

These innovative products - designed through the collaboration with customers, the world's leading universities, think tanks and industrial partners – can pave the way for industry decarbonization through Scope 3 and, more broadly, through Scope 4.

The Social Dimension

But of course sustainability doesn’t only include the environmental dimension, it’s not only innovation: it’s also the commitment to social matters.

Prysmian truly believes that nurturing an inclusive, equal and attractive working environment is essential to be a successful company and, moreover, to sustain a leading role. Also for this reason in 2021 the Group launched its Social Ambition, setting a broad range of inclusion and equity targets to 2030:

  • 50% employees holding shares
  • +500 women in STEM
  • 40 training hours per employee

But it is its strong commitment to these matters, together with the strong motivation of the Group’s people, that put Prysmian in the position to be able to anticipate some of the mentioned KPIs to 2027.

  • 45-50% employees holding shares

The role of its people is crucial to Prysmian: approximately 37% of Prysmian employees (i.e. approximately 10.000 people) are shareholders of the company, thanks to the Equity program YES (that celebrates the 10th anniversary this year), and BE- IN, which allows the shop floor workers to be shareholders of the company. Thanks to the strong support and willingness to participate in this program, the Group is proud to be able to bring forward to 2027 the target originally set for 2030 of having 50% of Prysmian employees shareholders of the company by 2027.

  • +500 women in STEM

In 2021 Prysmian set the target of hiring, promoting and developing additional 500 women in STEM roles by 2030. And also on this target the Company is ahead of schedule and is thus confident to be able to achieve the commitment by 2027.

  • 35-37 training hours per employee

The Group also strongly believes in the benefits of investing in its people. That is why, by 2027, it will provide a minimum of 37 hours of training annually to each employee from the current 29 hours. To achieve this target it will leverage on its Prysmian Academy, which has already provided more than 800.000 hours of training to employees of all levels, as well as using the Sustainability Academy, to raise awareness on key ESG topics.

But also on the Social Dimension Prysmian wants to go beyond: beyond the business, beyond the value chain, and beyond the organization. The Group keenly feels the responsibility to give back to the communities where it operates, to reward and promote talent of the underprivileged. This is why by 2027 Prysmian will invest in the education in STEM areas of more than 400 women and young girls and over 1.400 children coming from underprivileged communities. These initiatives are already underway: in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Oman, and the Netherlands.

It's not good enough to just talk about what you do - you need to set targets and track your performance against those targets. At Prysmian, we believe in the relevance of measuring and tracking your performance. If it's not measured, if it’s not a number, it's not really done”.


Maria Cristina Bifulco

Chief Sustainability Officer – Prysmian Group