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Strategy and Business plan

Hera’s new Business Plan aims at creating value for all main stakeholders through a strategy of internal and external growth, and a target 2021 EBITDA of € 1.135 billion. Future outlooks show a good concentration of opportunities in the business sectors in which the Group operates. Hera’s strategy will be structured around the same factors as in the past, with its bases laying on the strong points that define the company. Growth will be pursued through the usual levers of efficiency, innovation, agility and excellence in all areas, and greater weight will go to aims in sustainability and circularity.

A significant increase in investments is foreseen, coming to roughly +400m€ over the five years in question. These investments will be focused on grasping opportunities that are expected to arise, without altering the Group’s financial solidity, now characterised by a debt/EBITDA ratio of 2.9.

Strategic focusInternal Growth M/A Risk analysis Financial targets Capital allocation


The Plan confirms the Group’s previous attention towards the creation of value for shareholders, with profits per share growing by an annual average of roughly 5% and a dividend policy that shows improvement over both past trends and the expectations of the previous Business plan. The dividend will in fact rise to 9.5 euro/cent as of the payment pertaining to 2017 (to be made during the current financial year) and settle at 10.5 cents in 2020 and 2021.

Hera’s strategy


Why How What


A series of macro-tendencies can now be observed globally having an impact on the environment and on resources, with their social and economic implications raising significant challenges. The United Nations has elaborated a list of objectives with the precise aim of countering these trends; multi-utilities, by way of the particular nature of the services they offer and their close relation with the localities served, can actively contribute to this ongoing transition. The Hera Group, as a national reference point in the sector, fully embraces this global call to action and has elaborated it point by point within its own strategy.

Taking a leading role in the transition currently underway is furthermore in line with the company’s mission, defined 15 years ago when it was established. Here, Hera states that its « goal is to be the best multi-utility in Italy for its customers, workforce and shareholders. It aims to achieve this through further development of an original corporate model capable of innovation and of forging strong links with the areas in which it operates by respecting the local environment.

For Hera, being the best means inspiring the pride and trust of:
customers, who receive, thanks to Hera's responsiveness to their needs, quality services that satisfy their expectations;
the women and men who work at Hera, whose skills, engagement and passion are the foundation of the company's success;
shareholders, confident that the economic value of the company will continue to be generated, in full respect for the principles of social responsibility;
the areas in which Hera operates, where economic, social and  environmental health represent the promise of a sustainable future;
suppliers, key links in the value chain and partners for growth ».


Relations with stakeholders, Excellence in Business, Circular Economy and Sustainability



The strategic levers through which the Group will be able to reach its goals are:

  • Innovation: The pivotal point of the main projects foreseen by each business area over the duration of the Plan consists in the opportunities made available by technological innovation.
  • Excellence: Hera has always given attention to pursuing a high service level in all business areas in which it is active, with the aim of surpassing the quality standards imposed by the Authority. Service quality is a key element in constructing a long-term relation with our stakeholders, and also represents a source of economic value.
  • Agility: Within the context of an increasingly dynamic sector, this lever is useful in facing change in the best possible way and is therefore also applied to the Group’s leadership model.
  • Efficiency: The reference context as regards competition requires a boost in efficiency, achieved through internal and external levers.
  • Growth: The Group’s growth has historically been guaranteed by a balanced mix of internal and external growth, and ensures that the services offered are efficiently managed, both in terms of its ability to deal with adverse conditions and discontinuity, and as the drive needed to maintain a leading role in consolidating sectors that remain extremely fragmentary.

The strategic layout constructed by the Group is furthermore in line with the sustainable development goals set out by the United Nations, which can take the shape of concrete actions within each of the business areas in which the Group is involved.





The Group’s strategy is elaborated through concrete projects that coherently respect its strategic levers and goals in sustainability:

  • Public Lighting: contributing to an intelligent use of energy, with LED lighting points and automation systems;
  • Waste treatment plants that contribute to the recovery of materials and energy, especially our biomethane plant, currently under construction;
  • The energy services we offer to companies, residential buildings and public administrations, aimed at promoting unique solutions to improve energy efficiency in production systems and energy absorption;
  • The Water Cycle meets both general objectives in resource recovery and specific ones concerning water that is suitable for drinking and the quality of purification;
  • District heating offers an efficient and sustainable solution, since it is combined with heat production from renewable sources;

Care is given to diversity and inclusion in not only in the Group’s governance, but also its various internal and external stakeholders.


Concrete action to deliver on our strategy

  • Unique control room
  • Digitalization of workflows and client interface
  • Proprietary radio network for smart metering
  • On field IT support (3D, Virtual reality, on-line)

  • Mobility work and automation
  • Virtual office and dialogue with machines

  • Leverage upon peculiarities and integrate rapidly
  • Smart water mgmt: further leakages reduction and water re-use.
  • Energy water supply optimization
  • Circular approach on water mgmt and material mgmt.

  • Targeting -5% energy consumptions by 2020
  • Z.E.D. plants (water treatment)

  • Moving into upstream of geothermal source (FE)
  • Exploit residual materials for new products/energy production


  • Materials flow optimization
  • Analytics on workforce and trucks mgmt (e.g. Geo.BI)

  • From "go for disposal" to "Global w. mgmt" provider to industrial customers
  • Move to new target sectors

  • Digitalize waste collection and metering
  • Enhance recycling means and quality
  • Exploit mkt fragmentation and asset scarcity
  • Enhance plant platform (refurbishm. & developm.)
  • Tenders for w. collection

  • Contribute to build the new business model
  • Deploy more and more circular approach (recycle, re-use) leading the way in Italy

  • Bio-methane plant
  • Fully exploit Aliplast potential & synergies
  • Support other portfolio businesses to cope with circularity


  • Cross selling & increase penetration
  • Enhancement of selling channels
  • Maggior Tutela handover

  • Salvaguardia tenders

  • Optimize cost to serve
  • Robotize processes

  • «Fully» Integrate acquired customer base

  • Lead consolidation of s/m sized players in key areas
  • New V.A. services around commodity supply
  • Energy services to P.A. and Industries
  • «Full energy service» provider

  • Exploit capacity market
  • Demand response
  • TAP contract

  • Personalized approach through data analytics/AI
  • Omnichannel mgmt "always on"
  • Caring of customers

Growth, creation of shared value, circular economy

Hera's strategic goal is to continue growing and creating shared value, in particular carrying out the projects launched in 2016 and starting new ones inspired by the circular economy. In October 2017, the Group joined Ellen MacArthur Foundation CE100 program, to promote ideas, activities and business models based on circular economy principles and intends to intensify its collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation in order to follow and contribute to the best international practice in this field.

Hera's Chief Executive Officer, Stefano Venier, met Ellen MacArthur to discuss the current situation and future perspectives.

The 2017-2021 business plan and the creation of shared value

One of the Plan to 2021’s centrepieces concerns its long-term orientation towards an intelligent use of energy, with an efficient treatment of resources, innovation and local development, along with a rationale that fully endorses the creation of Shared Value. Therefore, while even in 2016 these activities were responsible for a creation of Shared Value amounting to roughly € 300 million or 30% of the Group’s consolidated EBITDA, in 2021 this figure will reach € 450 million or 40% of Group EBITDA.

CSV 2016 - CSV E2021

Page updated 10 January 2018

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