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On a global scale, the onset a series of macro-economic, demographic, social and environmental trends is bound to affect the main actors' choices and priorities, be they end users or decision makers.
These dynamics will especially impact on businesses linked to European utilities. As key areas for sustainable development in the coming years, energy, environment and water cycle will have to face new paradigms, aiming to reconcile the scarcity of some resources with the expected population boom, or the new geopolitical balance with the need for environmentally sustainable measures, to the benefit of the entire ecosystem.
In the coming years, institutions, regulators as well as citizens will pressure the industry into business models and solutions that can foster a shift to better sustainability and sharing standards (e.g. circular economy and sharing economy).
These pressures are likely to change what has been, to date, the competitive framework for utilities in Europe.

The discussion about socially-responsible investment is ratcheting up. Slowly it seems to be transitioning from a niche financial strategy, favored by the tiny percentage of those that would consider themselves truly green, to an important consideration for actors across the financial sector.


Digital transformation

For Hera, technological and digital transformation along the lines of “Industry 4.0” is an opportunity to reinforce its own sustainable economic model, within a strategy that includes developing cloud, mobile, analytics and big data technologies.

Our goal is to plan new intelligent and “transformative” solutions, not only in the area of energy networks and infrastructures, but also in light of future challenges. This includes introducing new sales support tools, increasing the speed of procedure implementation and becoming able to swiftly adjust approaches to business, thanks to processes that are perfectly integrated among themselves.

Digital trasformation

The ongoing innovation and development plan will allow us to have a positive impact on the local areas and communities served, introducing new potential services linked to a circular economy, environmental sustainability and safety.

Indeed, in 2018 alone, the Group invested roughly 62.4 million euro in 22 projects falling into four areas: smart city, circular economy, utility 4.0 and customer experience.

Some of the more important features of these projects include:

  • smart cities: smart ecological islands, environmental quality monitoring, a sustainability analysis and monitoring panel for municipalities, energy maps;
  • circular economy: research applied to analysis systems and network management, developing processes in producing 100% renewable natural gas, purification sludge recovery, ultrasound hydrolysis systems and developing bioplastics from the organic portion of waste and from CO2 and hydrogen in a partnership with Bio-on.
  • utility 4.0: the Senseable Dep project, an IT platform that monitors purification processes, and developing a control system based on a prognostic rationale and artificial intelligence, to optimise purification management, implemented with the support of Energy Way.
  • customer experience: creating important management tools based on artificial intelligence and data analytics, which provide a wide range of online services including document tracking and digital signatures, as well as various applications that simplify procedures and optimise customer relations.

Given that digital transformation is a process that calls for continuous technological innovation and the enhancement of information system performance, Hera is committed to staying in line with these megatrends. It will thus complete a technological renovation of the entire infrastructure and continue to facilitate the introduction of technologies able to transform the energy model into a more efficient, safe, sustainable and flexible system.

Page update 1 August 2019

Together to build the future
Insieme per costruire il futuro
REINVENTING THE CITY Regenerating resources to move to a society based on the circular economy
Sustainability and Shared value
Sostenibilità e Valore condiviso