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HeraLab, local multi-stakeholder committees

HeraLabs are local multi-stakeholder advisory boards tasked annually with organizing initiatives for stakeholder involvement and improving the sustainability of the services Hera provides. LAB is an acronym for Local Advisory Board and also an abbreviation of LABoratory for the area. For Hera, a LAB is:

  • a place to communicate, disseminate and promote the results achieved and future objectives for the individual areas in the three dimensions of sustainability: economic, social and environmental;
  • a tool to listen to the needs and expectations of local stakeholders in relation to the services Hera offers;
  • a laboratory of ideas for creating shared value;
  • a committee to monitor the effectiveness of the initiatives proposed by the LAB, approved and implemented by Hera.

Launched experimentally in 2013 in the Ravenna and Imola-Faenza areas, the project was extended, in 2014, to Rimini, Ferrara and Bologna and in 2015 to the Modena area. The LAB activities of Imola-Faenza, Ferrara, Rimini and Bologna were completed in 2017. Considering the 6 LABs, as at 31 December 2017, a total of 83 meetings were organised (equal to over 1,700 hours of listening) and 69 members planned and proposed to Hera 48 new projects, 40 of which have already been developed. Specifically, in 2017, 10 ordinary meetings were held, besides 4 in-depth discussion meetings on district heating, Tre Monti landfill, vulnerable users and water cycle management.

The following projects stand out among the main initiatives carried out in these first years, according to the topics identified by participants in the meetings:

as part of the promotion of separate waste collection and incentives:

  • Bologna Green Welcome. Two multilingual information brochures were prepared to describe the specific methods to use for separate waste collection in each district and to show how to properly separate waste and dispose of household waste in the city of Bologna. The booklets will be delivered to new residents by the registry offices (HeraLAB Bologna).
  • Application of the concept of accessibility in the waste management system and related activities: Preparation of guidelines containing measures for the protection of persons with disabilities and victims of discrimination, to be presented to Atersir in view of upcoming tenders; at the same time, the preparation and dissemination of “Green Welcome”, a multi-language guide on separate waste collection for new residents, especially if foreign (HeraLAB Ravenna).
  • SepariAMO (We love to separate): a competition for ideas.Raising the awareness of students of secondary schools on the importance of quality separate waste collection, especially for organic waste, by preparing a video clip. The best works, judged by a commission, will be awarded with a gift certificate donated by Hera (HeraLAB Rimini).
  • Spreading the word on the Wasteologist. To advertise the "Rifiutologo" app and also to increase the percentage of separate waste collection, 12 Municipal Administrations of the Rimini area put a banner of the app on the home page of their websites; at the same time Hera put stickers on the non-separated waste bins to encourage users to download the (HeraLAB Rimini).
  • We promote the Riciclandino. Extension of the project to kindergartens, primary and secondary schools of Ferrara. Riciclandino promotes separate waste collection at waste collection centres through an incentive scheme: students receive a membership card with the bar code of their participating school and for each drop-off they receive a discount on their TARI bill and an equal incentive for the school (HeraLAB of Ferrara).
  • Encouraging the proper use of Collection Centres: Implementation of promotional initiatives for using waste collection centres within the ceramic district of Modena. Proposal to the municipalities to offer a new, consistent discount system. In December, the local Board of Atersir approved the proposal presented by HeraLAB and the inter-communality of all the Collection Centres in Hera’s area of management in the province of Modena (HeraLAB Modena).
  • Working together for urban décor: Development of regulations that define a method for requesting and supplying materials required to provide support for supplementary cleaning by single citizens or volunteer associations of the area. Hera provides the requested material (HeraLAB Bologna).

concerning environmental education:

  • LITTERING, a concrete commitment to a clean city. With the goal of rasing awareness among the population of Ravenna on the topic of waste abandonment, under this initiative the pupils of the Montanari Middle School drafted a journal against littering (HeraLAB Ravenna).
  • Discovering district heating. Students of the "Istituto Tecnico Commerciale Bechelet" of Ferrara were engaged to present and explain the economic, social and environmental aspects of district heating. Starting from the group work done by the students, a video was shot on the operation and on the benefits of this kind of heating system (HeraLAB Ferrara).
  • Angel. After switching to quantity-based charging in the Pontelagoscuro hamlet of Ferrara, this initiative was designed to have volunteers act as environmental tutors to supervise, inform and raise public awareness on the proper management of municipal waste, with particular attention to separate waste collection (HeraLAB Ferrara).
  • Getting to know the Seawater Protection Plan. An information initiative on the Seawater Protection Plan to update the inhabitants of Rimini on the progress of the initiative, at meetings held by the company and by the municipal administration (HeraLAB Rimini).
  • Energy mapping: Initiative aimed at creating behaviour that generates energy saving in schools and at encouraging these schools to reduce consumption by offering financial rewards. Proposal to map the energy efficiency of the buildings of the participating schools, as a way to assess school consumption (HeraLAB Modena).
  • “Waste-free” protocol in schools: Extension of the project «Waste-free protocol» - already under way in the schools of Bologna consisting of delivery of separate waste collection containers to the schools – to the Municipalities of the province (HeraLAB Bologna).
  • Bologna separates its waste:Addition of a leaflet to the bill that summarises the results achieved in Bologna since the start of the separate waste collection project: percentage of separate waste, the savings it generates and indications on correct disposal of waste. The leaflet also promotes the “Rifiutologo” app which contains information on the door-to-door calendar in the historical city centre and the map of the mini underground drop-off points (HeraLAB Bologna).

in the context of support to socially vulnerable customers:

  • With everybody’s help. A proposal of the LAB’s members to ATERSIR to promote the increase of the social fund on water service for families of Rimini. ATERSIR ordered an increase of the fund versus the previous provisions, aligning the amount in terms of Euro/resident for users in need to that of the other ATOs (HeraLAB Rimini).

in the "Waste Prevention" area:

  • FarmacoAmico. The coverage rate of "Farmacoamico" has increased to 44% of the residents we serve in Emilia-Romagna. FarmacoAmico is Hera’s project to recover pharmaceuticals that are no longer used by private citizens, by involving pharmacies and creating a solidarity network in the area that involves municipalities, citizens, Hera and the beneficiary organizations (HeraLAB Bologna).
  • Recovery of surpluses (food and non-food):  On the basis of the TARI regulation of Ferrara and the ANCI ER and ATERSIR guidelines, we submitted a proposal to the Modena Municipality for a discount system for non-domestic users who donate their surpluses. Creation of a network for donors and recipients: pilot project at Mercato Albinelli (HeraLAB Modena).

in the field of energy saving:

  • "In step with the times" the section of Hera's website dedicated to energy efficiency: it explains the new regulations on individual heat metering and bank financing agreements to support the costs of implementing it, provides advice on household savings and the Hera's energy efficiency services.

concerning the development of the area:

  • Call for ideas and RiReRi start up and The company step by step are the proposals that the Hera Innovation Day responded to, as the event in which 13 start-ups of the area, jointly selected with Aster, Innovami and SIPRO made their projects known and were assessed by Hera in order to identify opportunities for collaboration (Ferrara and Bologna HeraLABs).
  • Energy saving tutor: Providing citizens with useful tools to analyse their consumption and consequently identifying the best conduct to save energy and make bills cheaper (HeraLAB Modena).

concerning suppliers:

  • Setting up a focus group on tenders and contracts: Analysis and discussion round table between Hera’s Procurement and Tender Contracts Department, the interested LAB members and some sector representatives to examine and identify improvement areas with regard to tenders and contracts and to supplier management (HeraLAB Ravenna).

concerning the District heating:

  • District heating: the Customer at the centre Check to identify any in energy efficiency differences in district heated structures. For about a year were compared different types of buildings, monitoring them by installing 5 secondary meters, located in different positions with respect to the primary devices (HeraLAB Imola-Faenza).

Page updated 23 July 2018

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