Sustainability governance and culture
UniCredit's Group Sustainability unit, a part of the Group Identity and Communications Department, supports senior management by setting out sustainability strategy and policies. These are designed to generate lasting value for our stakeholders, incorporating sustainability criteria into company activities. The unit is also committed to facilitating discussions between stakeholders and UniCredit's governance bodies.
The Group Sustainability unit is responsible for supporting the Group management in developing strategies that integrate sustainability considerations into the value creation process and generate long-term benefits for all stakeholders. The unit is also charged with monitoring relevant key performance indicators and communicating UniCredit's sustainability policies to an external audience. The unit is part of the Group Identity & Communications department and reports directly to the CEO. This direct line of communication strengthens UniCredit's capacity to develop and fine-tune initiatives that significantly contribute to the long-term viability of our business.
The adoption of integrated reporting has proven to be valuable in strengthening our ability to monitor our progress towards financial goals as well as environmental, social and governance targets. It has also served to promote a deeper understanding of the benefits of integrated governance. In 2014, we reinforced our internal governance by establishing the Group Environmental and Social Council (GESC) to oversee the implementation of UniCredit's environmental and social initiatives and commitments. In cooperation with all relevant counterparts (Group Risk Management, business divisions and others), the GESC is in charge of proposing all relevant activities, including strategies, annual objectives and targets for approval by the Executive Management Committee. The Group Sustainability unit acts as the secretariat of the GESC.
We believe these developments have contributed to the improvement of our sustainability strategy and enabled us to achieve a more consistent approach across our various divisions and functions, with outcomes such as the recent approval of the new Human Rights Commitment. We have further strengthened our approach by disseminating the culture of sustainability among key people Groupwide. In 2015, this included specific training for new hired, colleagues who are part of the Talent Management Review, colleagues in strategic functions such as Corporate Learning and Group Identity & Communication, and newly promoted middle managers in Italy.