+255%
total yield
of the stock
compared to
its 2003 price
9.5
euro cent
dividend
per share
1,248
million euro
of added value distributed
to local stakeholders

Communication

Social and environmental communication

In 2017 Hera Group’s social and environmental communication was aimed largely at promoting good separate waste collection behaviour. The campaign to improve the quality of collected plastic involved all the citizens of the area served by Hera. We started from a quantitative research on plastic recycling which showed that there are quite evident information gaps that compromise the effectiveness of plastic material collection and reusabililty. A large percentage of citizens (74% of people interviewed) declare that they throw all sorts of plastic objects in the plastic collection bin (this percentage increases in Rimini and its province). Not all of them know that only plastic “packaging” (e.g.: food trays, wrapping, bottles, jars, household appliance packaging) must be thrown away in the plastic collection bin, and that the packaging has to be emptied and washed. This distinction is very important if we wish to have an efficient collection of reusable plastic. Any other object that is disposed of incorrectly, undermines all the efforts made. (e.g.: toys, rubber hoses, CDs, chairs, glasses, pens).

To get rid of any doubts on this matter, a creative communication campaign was conceived to stimulate those citizens who, without thinking, just throw away any object that seems to be plastic, but which unfortunately is not made of recyclable plastic. The campaign was run on the radio, in the local press and on billboards, on digital channels and on waste collection vehicles. Intense on-site activities were also set up in the main shopping centres throughout the areas served by Hera. The majority of activities were carried out during the first 6 months of the year. Another important environmental communication campaign regarded organic waste. We used creativity to communicate the following concept: valuable, natural compost can be created from organic waste, but few know that this waste can be used in many more ways. Since this waste is organic, it has an endless cycle.

The campaign involved the entire area served by Hera and was run on digital channels and on waste collection vehicles. Lastly, the campaign regarding the abandonment of waste in streets, especially bulky waste, was further applied to the Municipality of Ferrara.

Hera on the Internet

Hera is continually committed to ensuring effective web communication, which fully meets the transparency expectations of its stakeholders (local communities, customers, shareholders, suppliers, investors and students) and is in line with the principles of environmental sustainability which has always been in the company’s DNA. The Group website, therefore, is not only an important showcase for the company but also a service tool that is constantly updated and renewed, with the creation of new thematic pages (for example, in 2017 with the sections Shared Value and Hera for circular economy; the latter had a part dedicated to the Group’s entrance into the prestigious CE100 programme of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation).

Website access
No. 2015 2016 2017
Customers section 112,378 129,189 167,697
Section on Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainability reporting and CSR initiatives 9,329 10,443 10,699
Suppliers section 8,181 9,035 9,712
Investor Relations Section 3,002 2,541 3,394
Other sections 51,660 55,896 60,627
Total average monthly visits 184,550 207,104 252,129
Total page views (monthly) 602,743 661,184 766,701
Total unique visitors (monthly) 116,776 130,014 153,294

Excluding AcegasApsAmga and Marche Multiservizi

Compared to the previous year, 2017 recorded a significant increase in website visits (+21.7%), single visitors (+17.9%) and page views (+16%), peaking in October with the highest ever values reached since the start of data tracking (June 2007).

There was also a constant increase in the number of mobile device views, which exceeded 40% of the total in 2017 (+13% compared to 2016).

Confirming the Group’s commitment to timely and transparent online communication, in addition to its focus on excellence in corporate reputation, is Hera’s third place in the 2017 Webranking, the Oscars of corporate websites awarded by Lundquist and Comprend, which every year analyse the websites of Italy’s largest listed companies and their online communication strategies.

The most significant project in 2017 was Hera’s 15th birthday, for which the 15anni.gruppohera.it website was created (preceded on the Group website by a timeline covering the most significant events). The website is richly illustrated, with emotional content, graphics and videos that accurately tell the emotionally involving story of the Group from 2002 to present today. The site was designed and created with an innovative layout and horizontal scrolling content, making it easier to use even from smartphones and tablets.

The Environment section of the customer area is increasingly detailed and offers prompt information and news on separate waste collection methods. In 2017, there was a 33% increase in the number of visits compared to 2016, and its contents were reorganised to help some areas (including Ferrara) switch to a new waste collection system with Carta Smeraldo. The Hera & SocialMedia section was also renewed, following the launch of Hera Group’s Twitter account, which reached 2,269 followers in six months.

Among the other web projects developed during 2017, the website of Digi e Lode aimed at promoting digitalisation in primary and secondary schools in the area served by Hera. This project is part of the broader educational proposal entitled La Grande Macchina del Mondo (The Great Machine of the World): whenever customers enable one or more digital services, they contribute to increasing a score that is distributed among the schools of their municipality. Furthermore, customers can choose which school to assign the score reached by filling in the form on the dedicated website.

The new editions of the sustainability reports (“Value to Energy”, “Tracking Waste”, “In Good Waters”, “1000 Faces of Service”) were also published with a new graphic design.

With the aim of explaining and giving visibility to our most interesting projects, great space was also given in 2017 to videos, starting from the Group’s new corporate video and the video dedicated to its 15th birthday, both marked by highly emotional content. In addition to the comment by the Chairman Tomaso Tommasi di Vignano on the 2016 Financial Statements, a video was also made on shared value – the perspective that integrates Hera’s strategic approach to corporate social responsibility and sustainability – and another one on Aliplast, a national centre of excellence in the recycling of plastics, acquired by the Hera Group in January 2017.

During the year, Hera also started a series of video tutorials, publishing suggestions to help prevent the water meter from freezing and a guide on the new separate waste collection system for the citizens of Ferrara (also “translated” into the dialect of Ferrara with excellent results in terms of views). Again, in the field of separate waste collection, another new project in 2017 was the creation of two ironic videos that look at various types of “separators”, describing their attitudes in a very funny way.

Regarding to the Group’s apps, during 2017, the Acquologo reached almost 11,200 downloads, with over 10,500 active users and 190 water leak reports. Following its launch, Il Rifiutologo reached over 184,200 downloads (65,650 of which in 2017 alone) and, during 2017, over 29,800 reports regarding bin emptying, road cleaning and abandoned waste.

In 2017, the AcegasApsAmga website had over 20,000 average monthly visits with a monthly average of page views totalling over 49,000. In 2017, the Marche Multiservizi website had over 131,000 total accesses (almost 11,000 on average every month), while its monthly average of page views was 33,000.

In 2018 we expect to develop water-related issues through specific actions (including a video) in order to spread greater awareness and knowledge of water services, tap water quality and its proper use (savings and environmental benefits). Our goal is make what is invisible visible, i.e. everything behind the water cycle. This activity will be achieved by constantly updating the Acquologo app and by renewing the Water Section on the Group’s website. At the same time, we will further enhance the concepts of Circular economy and Shared value, which have become an integral part of Hera Group’s business, as well as the new biomethane plant that is being built in Sant’Agata Bolognese and will become operational in 2018.

What is Hera’s presence on the web?

The Group’s visibility increased in 2017. Hera’s presence on the web focuses on blogs, forums, social networks and YouTube, platforms where the Group listens and responds to the needs of its users and monitors exchanges that are relevant for its reputation. The analysis of over 6,800 posts referring to Hera showed that the global visibility index is growing on blogs, social networks and Youtube, while falling in forums. Compared to 2016, the global quality of the Group’s visibility is increasing, confirming quite positive results. The qualitative visibility index is slightly falling on blogs, but rising on all other sources. With regard to social networks, visibility quality is improving on Facebook, while there is a slight decline on Twitter which confirms quite satisfying figures nonetheless.

Among the most frequent issues dealt with in 2017, the first is waste collection, followed by environmental projects aimed at reuse and recovery, by the Tracking Waste and In Good Water reports, by the Sustainability Report and by the presentation of the Business Plan. At local level, the opening of the SCART® exhibition in Ravenna was very successful, whereas the new bins with cap opening in Ferrara were among the critical issues.  Favourable opinions were also received in the Services section, with good visibility of waste collection and great perception of water issues (also thanks to the publication of the In Good Water report).

Regarding social media, Hera Group’s Twitter account, which was launched on 30 May 2017, had 2,269 followers on 31 December, steadily increasing over six months, and an average of 96 tweets published every month (670 in total), which generated around 340,000 monthly views and, in total, over 10,200 shares (i.e. 6,137 likes and 4,103 retweets).

As to Linkedin, Hera Group’s account follower in 2017 increased by 44% compared to 2016, reaching a total of 27,841. 195 posts were published during the year on the profile, reaching 12,580 shares (i.e. 10,872 likes and 1,708 shares).