Municipal waste in landfills: European targets for 2020 already met
In December 2017, a tripartite agreement (Council, Commission and Parliament) was reached on amendments to some waste directives, proposed as part of the Circular Economy package adopted in 2015.
In particular, the new agreement includes:
- as regards municipal waste, achieving a recycling rate of 55% of waste by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035 (the initial proposal was 50% by 2020, 60% by 2025 and 65% by 2030);
- for packaging waste, achieving a recycling rate of 65% by 2025 and 70% by 2030 (the initial proposal was 75% by 2030);
- a maximum of 10% in landfills by 2035 (the initial proposal was by 2030).
In this scenario, Italy is far from the objectives on the use of landfills and recycling of municipal waste, while it ranks well in relation to packaging recycling.
In the area served by the Group, the targets for landfill use have already been achieved (8% compared to the 2035 objective of 10%) while it is on track to reach the target for recycling of municipal waste (48% in 2016 compared to the 2025 objective of 55%) and has already exceeded the target for packaging (68% in 2016 compared to a target of 65% by 2025). The Group’s objectives for 2021 are to reach 60% for recycling of municipal waste and 70% for packaging.
Hera among the world leaders in the circular economy
In October 2017, the Hera Group was the second Italian company to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’ prestigious international CE100 programme and immediately started a close collaboration relationship to implement the projects carried out to create shared value through activities inspired by the circular economy principles. In addition to large groups concentrated mainly in Europe, the United States and South America, the programme also includes institutions, universities, small and medium-sized enterprises, with the aim of promoting awareness of these issues, the exchange of experience, the launching of partnership projects and collaborations in the field of research and development.
The CE100 initiatives address the global challenge of using resources sustainably, where the model of prolonging the life of the goods produced or recycling and converting them into raw materials becomes predominant and provides economic, environmental and social benefits. In line with the principles set out above, the Group has prepared and presented to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation its CE100 plan, i.e. the main “circular” projects underway and planned for 2018, and described in this report.
Through the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Group intends to increase the exchange of ideas with other members of the CE100 programme, in order to make the re-use cycle even more virtuous, efficient and broad and to play an even more important role in certain strategic sectors, such as recycled plastic, also taking into account the recent European Strategy for Plastics. With the support of such a prestigious global organization as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Hera will be able to further increase the creation of shared value and contribute effectively to long-term sustainable development.
Aliplast among the main actors in Italy in the plastic recycling
In December 2017, Herambiente’s ownership of Aliplast increased to 80%. Aliplast, with 9 industrial plants, 4 of which outside Italy, manages the plastic integrated cycle, transforming waste into finished products, mainly PE films, rigid PET films and polymer granules/flakes. Its mission is to make the life-cycle of plastic sustainable, by collecting and recycling it to produce new materials, with the lowest possible environmental impact. Focusing on constant research, development and technological innovation (regarding products, services and processes), Aliplast manages a traceable plastics production chain, which is capable of transforming a fragmented path into a virtuous circle and of ensuring high quality final products that are efficient and economically more convenient than traditional materials. In 2017 the plant treated 109,586 tonnes of plastic waste, recovering 93.9% of it.
A new waste tariff for 9% of the residents served by Hera in Emilia-Romagna
During 2017, Hera completed the development of systems and processes for the integrated management of quantity-based tariffs on a large scale, so as to apply the Group model effectively and uniformly in all its aspects and phases, from customer management to the measurement of non-separated waste disposed of, and up to final invoicing. In addition to the application of the tariff in the two municipalities of Budrio and San Giovanni in Marignano, during the year Hera began all the preparatory activities for the transition to the quantity-based tariffs for the municipalities of Ferrara, Castelfranco Emilia, San Cesario sul Panaro, Bomporto, Bastille and Monte San Pietro from 1 January 2018, which will bring the total number of residents served by the new tariff system to about 225.000 inhabitants, equal to 9% of the residents of Emilia-Romagna served in 2017 by the Hera Group through the integrated management of municipal waste.
In the municipality of Budrio, the first to switch to quantity-based charging in 2016, the second year of application of quantity-based charging ended successfully. The collection service applied is the door-to-door collection, with non-separated waste bins equipped with transponders that recognize the client disposing of the waste. Customers were regularly billed at the agreed intervals, including the balance of the first year of quantity-based charging.
From 1 January 2017 the quantity-based tariff was applied also in the Municipality of San Giovanni in Marignano, after dedicated experimentation. The service in that municipality is mainly carried out through roadside bins, with volume-based limitation system and “lid” type user identification installed on the containers of the non-separated waste bins. The first invoice was issued in July.
In Ferrara, where lid type bin had already been tested in the hamlet of Pontelagoscuro, quantity-based tariffs were applied using the group model, taking into account the complexity and needs of a large capital city. The service with waste metering has been extended to the entire municipal territory and is tuned for optimal coverage of the territory, mainly served by lid-type roadside bins for non-separated waste in residential areas, supplemented by door-to-door service areas with bins equipped with tag transponders in suburban and production areas. The lid installed on the non-separated waste bins is an innovative, larger-volume model, (30 litres), developed to improve use by users. A Carta Smeraldo card was delivered to all users to give them access to lid-type roadside bins; contact with users for the distribution of equipment was managed through temporary booths, equipped with dedicated computer systems, gradually set up in the various areas involved.
Ferrara organized a number of initiatives to involve residents and inform them on the new collection system: over 60 informational evening events, 4 eco-branch offices, use of eco-volunteers for 5 months in the city districts, multilingual flyers, 3 letters sent to residents, information pages in local newspapers, numerous tweets and presence on local TV, including a video in Ferrara’s dialect that logged over 18,000 views on YouTube.
The introduction of quantity-based tariffs in Ferrara will allow the most virtuous residents (i.e. those that separate their waste) to save: it is expected that a family of 3 people that disposes of 52 deliveries of non-separated waste in 2018 per year will save about Euro 35 compared to the previous year.
In the Municipality of Castelfranco Emilia the service that had been trialled in the Gaggio and Mezzaluna hamlets in 2016 was gradually extended to the entire area, using roadside bins equipped with waste disposal monitoring and a volume limiter for non-separated waste, and a user identification system on separated waste bins. In this case too, temporary offices were set up for communication and distribution of materials to users in the various areas involved. The service model used for Castelfranco was also applied in the neighbouring municipality of San Cesario sul Panaro, with the same methods for access and measurement of disposal.
In the municipalities of Bomporto and Bastiglia, the service was activated throughout the territory with new roadside bins, equipped with a lid installed on the non-separated waste bins and user identification system on the separated waste containers, and door-to-door collection service in industrial production areas. All users were given the equipment to access the waste collection systems: Carta Smeraldo cards to open the bins, personal bins with tag transponders for door-to-door collection.
In Monte San Pietro, the door-to-door collection service was activated throughout the area using bins equipped with tag transponders for the quantity-based charging of non-separated waste.
Excellent results were achieved in terms of increasing separate waste collection. In Ferrara, from October-to December 2017, the percentage was 73%, 16 percentage points higher than in the same period of the previous year. A similar effect occurred in the municipality of Castelfranco Emilia, where the new service increased the separated waste from 63% in 2016 to 79% in 2017 (16 points), and reduced the amount of waste produced per capita.
These results confirm the positive effect already experienced in the municipalities that switched in 2016: in Budrio, although the situation was already very good, quantity-based charging increased separate collection to 82%, while in San Giovanni in Marignano growth was 11 percentage points (76% in 2017).
The excellent results achieved now allow us to increasingly focus on the quality of separate collection, which is necessary to ensure high recycling rates.
In the coming years, further municipalities served by Hera will gradually transition to quantity-based charging (an additional 100 thousand residents will switch in January 2019), increasing the services for measuring mixed waste and the application of the tariff according to the Group model, always in accordance with the provisions and guidelines defined by regulatory bodies.
Circular economy and separate waste collection: thanks to the commitment of Hera and residents, 94.6% of the separate waste collection was actually recovered in 2016
2017 was a very important year for Hera in the circular economy, culminating in its entry in the CE100 of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which brings together the world’s leading companies actively involved in processes that support circular economy. As proof of Hera’s commitment, for the eighth consecutive year it published the “Tracking waste” report, which transparently and completely certifies that the percentage of separate waste collection actually recovered by the company reached 94.6% in 2016, divided into 87.3% of material recycling and 12.7% of energy recovery that is obtained exclusively in the plastic and green waste sectors. The initiative regarded the main materials that are collected separately: green waste, paper, organic waste, glass, plastic, wood, iron and metals (aluminium, steel and tinplate packaging).
The report, that for the first time includes the entire Group, shows a recovery rate of 98.2% for green waste, 95.6% for paper, 92.3% for organic waste, 95.8% for glass, 83.6% for plastic, 98.5% for wood, 98.0% for iron and 92.0% for metal, and over 271 kg of separated waste per capita.
To produce this year’s report, 66 companies were analysed, that operate 79 first destination waste plants. Thanks to them we have gone up the entire recovery chain, tracing the 174 final recovery plants managed by 159 companies that regenerated, renewed and circulated waste from separate waste collection, reinstating it in the production cycle in a circular economy perspective. Of these, 32 are in the area served by the Group.
For the first time, the report also includes two new sections on Hera’s initiatives for the circular economy, which summarize the main initiatives for recycling and reuse and for the circular economy and the Group’s commitments and results in relation to the European Commission’s objectives in terms of recycling and use of landfills.
The report was presented at the international Ecomondo 2017 event, and emphasizes how recovery is one of the key supply chains of the green economy. The circular economy of recovery, in fact, feeds 159 recovery facilities that employ a total of 19,000 people and achieve a total turnover of over Euro 9 billion. To ensure maximum transparency and reliability of the data provided, the report was examined and entirely audited by DNV GL.
The extended contents of the project and further in-depth data can be viewed at www.gruppohera.it\report.
Separate waste collection in the Bologna city centre reaches 60%
The project for the city centre, consisting in the construction of underground mini drop-off points for glass and organic waste, and simultaneously starting door-to-door non-separate waste collection district by district, began at the end of 2014 with the former San Vitale neighbourhood, continued with the activation in June 2015 of the former Porto neighbourhood, and in May 2017 with the former Saragozza neighbourhood. The businesses were also supervised to assess needs on the target services.
The project was delayed initially by the demanding requirements set by the Archaeological Superintendence, due to the need for continuous stratigraphic surveys and the relevant restrictions related to underground utilities, and subsequently for the inclusion of the project (3rd portion mini drop-off points and 3rd portion upgrade of large underground drop-off points) in a regional financing operation and therefore, before starting all the related activities, it had to wait for the completion of the authorization process.
Of the 140 mini drop-off points initially planned, a total of 109 were built below ground and 14 above. The lower number compared to the plan is due to the presence of underground utilities found after starting the work, which prevented the tanks from being installed. 23 underground drop-off points were activated in March 2018 in the fourth and last district of the old town: Santo Stefano.
In the second half of 2017, the three large underground drop-off points already existing, were also reopened after revamping.
The entire municipality reached 47.6% in 2017 compared to 45.9% in the previous year while the entire old-town changed from 46.2% of 2016 to 50.0% in 2017. In the three neighbourhoods of the old-town with a collection system in place, separate waste collection is on average 60%. Checks on the quality of the organic and glass waste continue to be encouraging, with percentages of compliant materials around 90%.
Tracking and recovery also for industrial waste with HASI
Herambiente Servizi Industriali is the Group company that offers solutions for the proper disposal of industrial waste. As it constantly dialogues with industry, the company is committed to responsibly manage natural resources, improve its results and adopt increasingly efficient technologies with low environmental impact. A key element of its offer is the identification of the optimal solution to recover and recycle, which ensures maximum traceability and compliance with all environmental regulations whose objective is to minimize landfill disposal. In 2017 and 2018, the commercial strategy is aimed at creating value for the Group and for its customers, by offering solutions that are increasingly oriented towards circularity in waste treatment, due to more consolidated synergies with the companies acquired during the year.
Business customers have found that Herambiente Servizi Industriali is a coordinated partner that is capable of correctly treating and sending their waste and scrap to be recovered with priority, an expert market leader that contributes with its expertise to optimize and innovate processes, as well as a supplier that makes it possible to achieve challenging performance objectives. Since 2015, within the new Herambiente website, a reserved area has been created in which, for each contract, information is provided regarding the quantities disposed of or recovered with evidence of individual destinations.
The success path we have undertaken in the past few years is evolving: not only management of the produced, but also the optimization of internal processes and on-site management of facilities. The goal for coming years is to develop and strengthen the waste collection and treatment processes for recovery and recycling, so as to concretely lead customers into the circular economy. Lastly, approximately 60% of the companies with Global Waste Management, have within their plant systems that treat certain production process by-products, and that generate waste: Herambiente Servizi industriali wants to offer these customers a service that manages this type of systems, aimed at optimizing them. The integration of our Waste Management services with those of Systems Management helps the Group be effective and well known in the market, encourages customer loyalty and creates value, besides being a factor that sets it apart from its competitors.
With Riciclandino we help the environment and schools
Riciclandino is a project that engages children and families in an environmental initiative that involves the part of a town’s residents that is related to school, in its role as an institution and a community of people. Under the project, the more separate waste collection is done, and the more waste is sent to drop-off points, the more points are obtained, giving the local school the opportunity to receive financial incentives. Families of students can use their Riciclandino Card to dispose of waste at drop-off points, obtaining a discount on their own bill, as per municipal regulations, and providing a matching incentive to their child’s school. The added value of the initiative is raising environmental awareness and sharing actions that create and strengthen the civic and social sense of the community.
In 2017, the project, which started in the 2010-2011 school year in Ravenna, involved 18 municipalities in the Ravenna area, and 22 municipalities in the Modena area, and Ferrara, for a total of 41 municipalities. It involved 388 schools and 74,146 students in the 2016-2017 school year. The participating schools were awarded prizes for their work amounting to over Euro 102,000. In the framework of the project, over 1,700 tonnes of waste were taken to drop-off points by children and their families. All 41 municipalities will participate during the 2017-2018 school year.
City clean-up after major events
During the summer/autumn of 2017 Hera organized and managed the extraordinary waste management services for the major events held in some municipalities of the territory it serves.
The organization activities focused particularly on some common strengths:
- service planning in collaboration with the municipalities involved and the companies partnering to implement the service;
- environmentally sustainable event management: supply of containers for separate waste collection and promotion of the company’s “Green” image, also by means of awareness-raising actions addressed to the general public;
- special attention to cleaning and immediate reinstatement of pre-event “normal” conditions.
The Guns ‘n Roses concert attracted 83,000 paying spectators. For the concert, the equipment present in the territory was integrated with 3 non-separated waste containers, 35 igloo bins for glass, plastic and cans, and 170 waste paper trestles located on the Station-to-Racetrack path and in the areas surrounding the circuit. During the event 3.3 tonnes of waste were collected, 1.2 tonnes of which as separately collected waste. The cleaning service required 31 hours of manual street sweeping, 4 hours of automated street sweeping, 22 hours of sweeping and cleaning of green areas.
The Vasco Rossi concert drew over 300,000 people to Modena, of which 220,000 were concentrated within the Enzo Ferrari Park concert area. The waste collection and cleaning service required: 600 workers and 315 vehicles (including 15 special vehicles: hay rakes, high-pressure cleaners, tankers, etc.), 400 1,700 litre bins, 100 wheeled bins located in the old city centre areas and outside the park, 800 cardboard containers for separate waste collection and 200,000 bags. 291 tonnes of waste were collected, 188 tonnes of which as separately collected waste, reaching 62% of separated waste (32% sent for recovery); 100 work shifts over 4 days were needed for collection.
Pope Francis’ visit involved the cities of Cesena and Bologna during the same day. In Cesena, in order to ensure safety during the visit of the Pontiff, 19 basic drop-off points were removed and repositioned, involving handling 100 containers and about 120 baskets were “treated” by sealing or removing/repositioning them. All the work required 38 hours of service. In the Municipality of Bologna, we provided the sweeping and cleaning of the parking area used as landing area for the helicopter used by the Pope and cleaned the road of his visiting route after moving the containers, and the surrounding areas (500 containers and 400 baskets). We set up two stations with tanker trucks to distribute water and supplied bags for plastic and solid municipal waste for the volunteers of the Curia. Lastly, the Group has also expanded its cleaning services to restore normal conditions. In addition to the normal personnel, the operation required 16 people from within the Company and 20 outsourced resources.
Experience gained by analysing the events provides various opportunities for better future management:
- Creation of guidelines and standardization of good practices (cleaning, container handling, environmental sustainability, communication).
- Creation of a standard for the containers to be used (number of containers per participant or number per area involved, volumes, supply chains).
- Possibly create a centralized “Major Events” point for containers available for all areas.
- Ideas for promoting the Company’s image: use of the Hera logo and diffusion of institutional messages, communication/awareness campaigns for participants, tutoring of volunteers and workers.
CiboAmico: 12,000 meals recovered in Hera’s canteens in 2017
“Cibo Amico” is the project that the Hera Group launched in December 2009, with the support of Last Minute Market, to recover the meals that had been prepared but not eaten in the company’s 5 canteens, and to donate them every day to 6 non-profit organizations that provide hospitality and assistance to around 140 people in need, in 8 facilities.
The project has social, economic and environmental benefits, from preventing the production of waste (in 2017 the project avoided the production of 5.7 tonnes of waste, approximately the volume of 10 bins) to reusing excess food and preventing the waste of the water, energy and land consumption required to produce it.
In 2017, 12,577 complete meals were recovered, a value of Euro 54,513 (+23.5% compared to 2016). Since the beginning of the project to the end of 2017, almost 80,000 meals were donated overall, for a value of over Euro 327,000; this avoided the production of approximately 34.7 tonnes of waste, meaning about 76 bins.
The project was suggested as good practice in a meeting addressed to the municipalities of European countries engaged by the Municipality of Ferrara in a project funded by the European Commission on the prevention of food waste.
In December 2017, television footage on the CiboAmico project was also taken at the Hera offices to be broadcast on PresaDiretta, for an edition on “The Agricultural Revolution” aired on Rai Tre on 5 February 2018, to highlight the benefits and effects of the project for the recovery and donation of food surpluses.
FarmacoAmico: 53 thousand medicines that have not yet expired recovered
FarmacoAmico is the project promoted by Hera to collect medicines that have not yet expired in order to create a charitable network in the local area. The pharmaceuticals, which still have at least six months to go before their use-by dates and which have been properly stored, are thus reused by non-profit organizations that operate in local or decentralized cooperation projects. The goal is to prevent the production of waste, spreading good practices regarding the decrease of waste and supporting the organizations that help the weaker sections of society.
Launched in 2013, in Bologna, FarmacoAmico is jointly organized with Last Minute Market and currently involves 13 municipalities in Emilia-Romagna where there are about 1.1 million inhabitants (44% of the population served).
In 2017, in the above-mentioned areas, approximately 53,000 packets of pharmaceuticals were re-used (+34.7% compared to 2016) for a total value of over Euro 670,000 (+33.3% compared to 2016), with increasingly positive results, also thanks to 2 new municipalities joining the project.
The project involved a total of 109 pharmacies and 30 not-for-profit organizations, some of which operate abroad, as well as several partners, institutions, trade and business associations, for a total of 49 parties involved, a positive increase compared to the 38 participating partners in 2016.
In the Bologna area, as part of the joint school-work experience courses, students from several high schools in the Bologna area attended introductory lessons to the FarmacoAmico project, and a 40-hour internship was developed, in which the students worked to raise awareness among residents in a number of pharmacies that participated in the project.
Thanks to the collaboration of the Modena Pharmacists’ Association and the Local Public Health Unit, a training course was organized for volunteer pharmacists on the correct method to select and sort medicines at not-for-profit organizations. The extension of FarmacoAmico remains one of Hera’s objectives: we have planned 3 extensions for 2018 that will bring the project’s coverage to over 50%.
Change the Ending is an ongoing success: 866 tonnes of bulky waste collected in 2017
“Change the Ending” is the project promoted by Hera, in collaboration with Last Minute Market and 20 local non-profit organizations, which aims to recover bulky goods that are still in good condition, preventing them from becoming waste, while also pursuing the goal of social responsibility. Under this initiative, that started in March 2014, users can contact Hera’s customer service to request home collection of bulky waste. If the material is not reusable the user can always take it to the nearest drop-off point or get it collected free by the bulky waste collection service, if their area is served. The project is active in 80 municipalities. In 2017, the not-for-profit organizations collected around 866 tonnes of bulky waste by carrying out 6,773 collections, 5,320 of which were free collections at the user’s home. Compared to the previous year, the quantity by weight of goods collected increased by 15% and the quantity by weight of goods sent for reuse by 10%, and the total number of items collected also increased. Lastly, and significantly, Hera’s 20 non-profit partners involved over 1,100 volunteers and made 360 socially-motivated job placements in 2017, 99 of which directly involved in the project.
Hera for the “circularity” and sustainability of FICO Eataly World, the world’s largest agri-food park
At the end of 2017, Fabbrica Italiana Contadina, the world’s largest agri-food park that is focused on the Italian sector, was inaugurated in Bologna. It is a place not only for food lovers interested in discovering secrets and traditions, but also a space dedicated to food and environmental education, to talk about food waste and how to avoid it, about the need for sustainable use of resources in a circular economy, a new paradigm of economic development in which raw materials and natural resources “live” longer, through recycling and reuse.
Hera signed a protocol of understanding with Eataly World, CAAB and the FICO Foundation which, supported by the leading role of the Ministry of the Environment, promotes collaboration to implement circular economy actions, such as the recovery of surplus food and the reduction of waste, encouraging its reuse. In particular, Hera is committed to:
- promote waste reduction initiatives;
- improve the selection of dry waste in order to encourage its recycling;
- reduce environmental impact by using local infrastructure;
- recover organic waste by producing biomethane;
- cooperate in initiatives to reduce food waste and promote re-use;
- promote information/educational activities on sustainable development at FICO.
In the FICO space, district heating, waste management, electricity, water and ICT are services totally managed by Hera, which is therefore its only partner in the energy and waste sector.
In May, one year after signing the memorandum of understanding, the first report will be issued on sustainability data relating to waste management and prevention, electricity and heat consumed and water consumption.
Il Rifiutologo (the Wasteologist), an app for separate waste collection and more: 95 thousand residents use it!
Il Rifiutologo is a free app with several features, available both online on Hera’s website and as apps for smartphones and tablets. As of 31 December 2017, the number of downloads reached over 184,200 and there are almost 95,600 active users, proving the usefulness of the tool. In 2017, internal work was carried out to make the Rifiutologo an increasingly interactive tool, able to provide residents with the real time status of waste management services, geolocalised for each territorial area. It is a great change for the service information that will be made available to residents through the new customer site, as well as with the new release of the app, planned for spring of 2018. The breakdown of all each service information within the new system will make it possible to find out about the individual services offered (e.g. eco-mobiles, cooking oil collection stations, location of underground mini drop off points…) and to view the door-to-door collection schedules, so as to be always updated on the individual services in real time. In addition, the “environmental reporting” feature is expected to be even easier to use. Residents will be able to use it to send customized messages or real time georeferenced pictures to Hera’s staff to point out problems with the waste management services and/or request action, and correspondingly receive a report when the issue has been dealt with.
In 2017 29,840 (+51% compared to 2016) reports were sent concerning emptying bins, cleaning roads and removing abandoned waste; 5,660 suggestions were sent on new types of waste to be added to the database (+34% compared to 2016). The “Scan barcode” feature is also quite popular. It helps the user recognize materials by scanning the barcode printed on products and shows how to properly dispose of each package, by accessing an archive that as of 31 December 2017 includes 1,300,000 barcodes of the most widely used products. For packages made of multiple materials, the app can provide instructions on where to dispose of each component. If a code is not recognized, or a type of waste is missing, the resident can report it via the Rifiutologo so that it can be added to the system: in 2017 there were 7,529 reports of bar codes sent by the residents to update the database compared to 11,850 in 2016. The searches carried out by scanning barcodes grew from 104,081 in 2016 to 282,804 in 2017. The app is active throughout the territory we serve in Emilia-Romagna and Triveneto; in 2018 it will be extended to the Marche region.
SCART®: the beautiful and useful side of waste
In 1998, Waste Recycling started up SCART®, an ecological and original project founded on the desire to restore life to the materials that become waste every day. SCART® is now a registered trademark in Italy and in Europe with which exclusive works and installations are 100% made of waste. Its goal is to encourage responsible behaviour versus environmental matters, offering new stimuli to create useful and artistic objects starting only and exclusively from waste as raw material. As a result, sofas, armchairs, tables, chairs, lamps, drawers, games, musical instruments, clothing, and installations were made, but also scenery for shows and costumes. SCART® is an invitation to think of new styles of intelligent, creative and most importantly sustainable life.
Many initiatives at national and international level, such as the important conventions with the Academies of Fine Arts in Florence and Bologna, involve many students every year in seminars and workshops that are held at the SCART waste recycling workshop. These are artistic and training initiatives addressed to students and their topic is experimentation on the artistic use of industrial waste. Over the years SCART® has also attended many national and international exhibitions; in 2017 it was the star of touring exhibitions in Imola, Modena and Ravenna. At the end of January 2018, the travelling exhibition also stopped in Bologna on the occasion of Arte Fiera.
Hera Luce measures the “circularity” of street lighting systems, and measurement now becomes a part of Minimum Environmental Criteria (MEC)
The circularity measurement project concerns the lighting system installed by Hera Luce in the municipality of Gabicce Mare. The objective was to measure the material and economic circularity since an environmental impact assessment had already been carried out at the preliminary stage and during the design phase of the system through a study by LCA.
The installed system, which has 25 light points, is completely powered by energy from renewable sources. Furthermore, we expect the system’s life cycle to be about 40 years, only requiring replacement of the lighting fixtures after 20 years.
In order to obtain useful feedback from the project, the circularity measurement was based on the input-output principle and was divided between “system resources” and “maintenance resources”. Fuel consumption for the periodic maintenance required during the maintenance phase was also taken into account.
The material circularity was initially evaluated through an analysis of the types and quantities of materials used in relation to their origin and destination at the end of their life: renewable/non-renewable, virgin/recycled/permanently recycled and recycling/energy recovery/landfill.
Subsequently, the economic circularity was evaluated, considering only the system’s components and those necessary for the maintenance phase, as well as the economic cost/revenue valuation of the components that have reached their end-of-life. The economic data on the system and maintenance elements have been taken from specifications, while the economic values at end-of-life have been provided by Hera Ambiente.
At the end of the two evaluations, cross-referencing the information obtained, interesting information was found on the possibilities of improving the system’s circularity, and on the maintenance phase. For example, concrete, which is currently used as a base to ensure the stability of the pole, amounts to 84% of the resources used and is the greatest cost element for recycling. Clearly, replacing concrete can be an initial improvement step, alongside the replacement of other material, also for the maintenance phase. The final results were then compared to the system’s expected life and to the individual elements to define the circularity KPIs for internal company use.
By thoroughly measuring the material and economic circularity, we have obtained design guidance to improve the lighting systems, linking the system’s components with the maintenance phase and the end of its life.
Anticipating the requirements of the lighting MEC, and in line with Hera Group’s policy, Hera Luce has started a series of circular economy actions to introduce instruments that measure the circular economy of all its plants, also involving Public Administrations to present the results in terms of the environmental benefits obtained, as a communication tool towards end users. Public lighting MECs are an energy assessment system updated to the latest available technologies and set the guidelines for targeted investments in the sector, providing public administrations with a useful tool, which could reduce energy consumption by over 35%, with an annual saving of Euro 530 million and a reduction in CO₂ emissions of 1.3 million tonnes.
Increasingly sustainable services with bills on recycled paper
Even for Hera customers who have not yet switched to electronic invoicing, bills are becoming as green as possible: in August 2017, the company decided to print them on recycled paper. By doing so, every year, 68 million sheets of paper saved cut CO2 emissions by over 100,000 kilograms, saving approximately 650,000 kilograms of wood and 400,000 kilograms of waste, besides saving 1.3 million kW/h of energy and 10 million litres of water. Hera’s commitment to the circular economy is thus enriched by a new important initiative, which for now affects only Hera Comm’s customers, but which from 2018 will also extend to those of AcegasApsAmga in the Triveneto area.
“More trees in town” if you go to Hera’s drop-off points
After the great success of the “Delete the bill, give a tree to your city” campaign, the project “More trees in town” has been launched, with the Municipality of Modena, designed to further promote urban forestation by encouraging residents to use waste collection centres more often.
Thanks to this initiative, throughout 2018 Hera will donate one tree to the city for every 50 new households in Modena that dispose of their separated waste at the waste collection centres. The Municipality of Modena, according to its plan for urban green areas, will plant the trees in the appropriate public places.
The objective of the urban forestation initiative is to plant at least 150 trees in Modena by 31 December 2018, a goal that seems almost at hand if we consider that at 31 January 2018 more than 25% of the objective had been reached.
The project aims to encourage a greater use of Hera’s waste collection centres. This behaviour is beneficial for the environment and urban décor as it helps to reduce waste abandonment and increase the quantity and quality of separate waste collection. The use of waste collection centres also brings economic benefits for residents: municipalities grant households a discount on the TARI waste tax.
“More trees in town” will also improve air quality and mitigate the negative effects of climate change: each tree can capture 100 kg of CO2 annually. Once the target is met, the plants donated by Hera will be able to remove 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air every year, which is equivalent to the amount produced by a car travelling 112,000 km.
During 2018 the project will be extended to Ferrara.
Full details of the initiative are available at www.ilrifiutologo.it/alberimodena