sorted waste
over an area with 3.1 million
waste recovered
the amount of sorted waste
recuperated, going towards
a circular economy
thousand tons of CO2 avoided
with the plastic recycled
by Aliplast

Water consumption within the Group and water reuse

The attention that the Hera Group has always paid to issues of sustainability and circularity, has led to the decision to concretely plan actions aimed at saving, reusing and recovering water. The roadmap, outlined in 2018, will be operationally implemented over the four years of the industrial plan (2019-2022).

The concrete and challenging objective is to reduce the consumption of drinking water by 10% in four years (compared to 2017 consumptions in water, district heating and waste management areas) in the most “water-hungry” business units, with initiatives that will be carried out starting from 2019. Analysis of the conditions and the perimeter of consumption, completed in 2018, have shown that the presence of plants – for treatment (of waste, wastewater, etc..) or district heating and cogeneration – is the greatest factor for water consumption. The assessment of business customers has led to the same results: wherever there is production, water is an essential element of the process and its availability, a given until now, has not made companies aware of the need for a “circular” use of it.

To promote more efficient use of water, the Hera Group has planned structural (i.e. areas of intervention involving investments in plant modernisation) and non-structural (i.e. aimed at creating awareness of the use of water resources) projects for the next four years. More in detail, the main activities that will be developed within the Group are:

  • improvement of the main plants (waste-to-energy plants, purifiers, etc.) to allow the recovery and reuse of process water, otherwise discharged into public sewage or into the body of surface water after purification treatment;
  • technological modernisation to optimise cooling systems (cogeneration plants and district heating), thus reducing water consumption for the replenishment of circuits;
  • enhancement of the search for hidden leaks downstream of the meter;
  • campaigns to analyse consumption of Retail and Business customers, to stimulate and increase virtuous and conscious behaviour in the use of water resources also among our customers.


Water consumption within the Group (2018)

Thousands of m3

Civil and industrial aqueduct

Canal (surface water)

Well (groundwater)

Sewage and wastewater purification service




District heating


Waste treatment plants








The consumption data refers to the Group’s main purification plants (>100,000 pe), to the largest district heating plants in Emilia-Romagna, to the six waste-to-energy plants of Emilia-Romagna and to that of Pozzilli, to the main industrial waste treatment plants (excluding the F3 waste-to-energy plant) and to Herambiente’s composting and recovery plants.

In 2018, the Group’s water consumption amounted to 1.2 million m3 of water drawn from the aqueduct, 537 thousand m3 of surface water and 93 thousand m3 of groundwater. In the Group’s main purification plants, 84% of the water required for the process is reused (internal and external reuse), thus reducing overall consumption. Also in the waste-to-energy plants of the Emilia-Romagna area and in the plants for the treatment of industrial waste, is used water from the purification plants for 28% of the total consumption.