Being sustainable means being able to generate lasting value over time, and therefore investing in the future. In 2018, Prysmian invested €285 million in its industrial development in high-tech and value-added areas such as optical fibres and submarine cables. Nearly one-fifth of industrial investments in 2018, or 19%, were made to achieve efficiency in energy and waste. Prysmian Group is committed to developing environmentally friendly new products because we are convinced these products are the key to guaranteeing economic sustainability over the long term. Our Research & Development budget in 2018 was €105 million. The Group’s capacity to provide innovative and sustainable solutions in design and materials is fundamental to maintaining its leadership role in the market.
Sustainability is a guiding principle we use when we plan industrial investments as an opportunity for innovation. Prysmian’s R&D department is always looking for innovative ways to make products consume less and deliver more, making them more sustainable by using lighter materials, more efficient design and reducing hazardous materials. Materials play a leading role in sustainability gains, as exemplified by E3X, a breakthrough solution for overhead power cables that was a Gold Innovation winner in Energy and Sustainability category in the Edison Awards in 2017.
Sustainability is a pervading thought for the Prysmian Group not only for product and process innovation but also for our continuous cost reduction program called Design to Cost. Engineers in our R&D development team apply sustainable principles across every aspect from cable design, manufacturing, technical support to cutting-edge innovation. Design-to-Cost encourages the use of better materials, more efficient processes, and innovative designs. These projects deliver products with improved productivity and lower material consumption, resulting in a lower environmental impact.
The group invested €16 million in 2018 on improving its health, safety and environmental protection at its plants around the world.
In 2018, the economic value generated by Prysmian amounted to €10.24 billion, of which €58 million was distributed to the Group's shareholders and minority interests as a dividend. A significant share of this overall economic value was redistributed in the following way:
As a public company with a 100% free float and no controlling shareholder, our relationships with investors are crucial. Every year we organize over 500 meetings with members of the financial community. Find out more in our Investors section.