people hired
thanks to the induced employment
generated by Hera in 2017
million euro
Investments in innovation and
digitalization. 13 projects in smart city,
circular economy and 4.0 utilities
of reused soil
in projects implemented in 2016
and 2017

Air and soil protection

Scenario and policies

Why it is important

Biodiversity is our universal heritage and is at the basis of human life: it guarantees water, raw materials, food, soil formation and climate regulation. Over the last 50 years, human activities have changed our ecosystems with unprecedented speed and intensity. The deterioration of air and soil quality due to human activities is one of the main causes and intensifies the negative effects of climate change. The consequences for man vary: serious health risks, primarily related to respiratory diseases, the loss of productive farmland and the growing risk of flooding and landslides due to soil sealing. It is essential to preserve the quality of air and soil because they are key to survival and fundamental for the economic-social wellbeing of nations.

1,000 km2

soil area lost every year in Europe following the construction of new infrastructures (surface area of Berlin)


the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on the global Ecological Footprint in 2012 (41% in 1961)


the growth in soil consumption between the Fifties and 2016

3 m2

soil area irreversibly lost every second in the first months of 2016 in Italy


the loss of global biodiversity over the past 30 years


the percentage of deaths in Italy caused by atmospheric pollution

Europe and Italy committed to protecting air

The Po Valley is the most polluted area in Italy and in Europe, along with the most industrialised areas of Germany, Poland and Great Britain. Traffic is responsible for 40% of PM10 and NOx emissions in Europe. A significant contribution also comes from the combustion of wood biomass (wood, wood chip and pellet). In February 2017, the European Union reinitiated the two proceedings brought against Italy seeing that the daily limits of PM10 had been exceeded in 30 zones of many regions, including Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto.

Four of the first ten European cities by annual average concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 are Italian (values in μg/m3)

Over 30 Italian cities broke the 35-day limit for PM10 exceedance in 2016 (values in days)