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Did you know...?

The Hera Group was formed in 2002 by the union of 11 public services companies in Emilia-Romagna. It operates in the environmental sector (where it is the leader in its domestic market) as well as the energy and water sectors. The value and passion of its workers are the most important of the many qualities that set it apart from its competitors. Advanced facilities, dedicated customer management, scientific research and protecting our environment: these are the things behind an ever-improving quality of service.

  • The new Hera project for involving stakeholders in the territories is called Hera LAB (an acronym of Local Advisory Board, but also the abbreviation of laboratories for the territory). It involves seven round tables, one for each territorial area. Each LAB will involve a group of people working alongside one another, an expression of the various categories of stakeholders, who will meet regularly between four and six times a year over three years. The LABs will be tasked with formulating an annual proposal for interventions involving stakeholders and initiatives to be implemented in conjunction with others to promote and improve the sustainability of the services provided by Hera.

  • Innovative plants designed with sustainability in mind, such as the co-generation station in Imola (opened in September 2009) – a technical and architectural jewel in the crown – or the many waste-to-energy plants throughout the region (emissions are monitored daily and published on this website).
    In Forlì, meanwhile, there is the Regional Network Remote Control Centre (inaugurated in May 2008), which combines the latest European technology and innovation to monitor Hera’s networks (the project was completed in April 2011), and the renovated Analysis Laboratories (2009), which conduct applied environmental research with a view to making the systems more efficient and protecting the environment and its resources. In June 2015, the new Rimini purification plant was opened, the largest in Europe using membrane technology ultrafiltration: it is a highly innovative, cutting-edge development which, courtesy of investments made since 2011 of almost €30 million (more than €40 million if the works for building the Dorsale Nord are also counted), can now serve the equivalent of 560,000 inhabitants during the summer season and 370,000 for the remainder of the year. The works concentrated on the construction of a new membrane technology ultrafiltration purification line, with a storage tank with a capacity of approximately 26,000 cubic metres (the equivalent of almost 10 Olympic-size swimming pools) and a final disinfection system which eliminates bacteria and viruses.

  • With regards to customer management, in 2007 Hera hired architect Michele De Lucchi (aMDL studio) to gradually redesign all its main branches (starting with a pilot in Bologna in September 2007 and ending in 2010 with Ferrara and Modena). The aim was to combine the company’s local roots with quality customer care and service (the average waiting time is just 13 minutes), in order to make the branches one of the company’s distinctive assets. Alongside the branches is also the Group   Call Centre: in 2014, the average response time to residential customers fell to   40 seconds  (compared with 49 in 2013). The average response time to businesses remained stable at   31 seconds. This performance can be interpreted in an even more positive light if the approximate 4% increase in the number of calls is also taken into account. As regards Hera Online services, on the other hand, subscriptions rose by 15%  compared with last year, amounting to   220,000 customers, with a service penetration percentage of approximately 15% of total customers. The increase in registrations for receiving bills electronically increased further with   over 160,000 customers  subscribing (+44.6% compared with 2013), proving the success of the “Stop paper bills, give your town a tree” campaign, which promoted online bills to replace paper bills.

  • By choosing the online billing service rather than the paper service means helping the environment by means of an ecological action. Following the great success achieved, Hera relaunched the   campaign launched in 2012 to  improve the urban environment. By joining the online billing system, customers contribute towards  reducing paper consumption and creating a new green area in the towns in areas managed by Hera. 1,481 trees  have already been planted and this figure will soon become 2,000,  thanks to 100,000 customers  who have already opted for online billing. This has saved 2,364,000 sheets of paper,  prevented the emission of 44 tons of CO2  and the absorption of 200 tons of CO2  every year. The new target  is to plant 1,000 new  trees in 74 municipalities  served by Hera which has signed up to the new campaign,  creating new green areas in order to improve the quality of the air and the urban  environment.

  • There are also other areas such as internet communication and human resources in which Hera has achieved significant results in recent years. In 2017, Hera was in 3rd place in the KWD Webranking with 91.5 points, ahead of other major players like ERG, Telecom Italia TIM, Mondadori and Enel. Among the multi-utilities, this year saw Hera come second, immediately after Eni. Conducted annually by Hallvarsson & Halvarsson in collaboration with the Corriere della Sera, the Webranking survey assesses the quality of online communications of the 100 largest Italian companies listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.

    In 2018, Hera obtained the Top Employers certification for the ninth year in a row, carried out by CRF, ranking among the Italian companies with the highest standards of excellence in human resources management. Furthermore, Hera Group received the special award relating to corporate culture.

  • Hera has always been at the forefront of environmental education targeted at younger people, as shown by the numerous projects for elementary, middle and high school students in Emilia-Romagna. Also repeated this year were the projects Well of science”, an event devoted to the dissemination of scientific culture, and “The Great Engine of the world”, a project that includes training courses aimed at all school years. More than 59,000 students were involved in 2014-2015. In December 2014, SOStegno Hera was published,a guidebook that concentrates all helpful information for citizens to take advantage of opportunities for keeping water and energy service costs down, reserved for those who, even temporarily, are experiencing financial and/or physical hardship. The guide came about from a HeraLAB Ravenna proposal, the multi-stakeholder board that the company set up to involve local communities. 2014 also saw the birth of the HeraSolidale project, to promote support among Hera employees for voluntary associations in the territories where the company operates. This initiative was introduced in December of last year, thanks to an idea put forward by an employee, Massimiliano Biagini. Through this project, all employees will be able to support the associations and their solidarity projects through a minimum monthly deduction of 1 euro directly from their pay packets. There are also a number of social responsibility initiatives such as “Cibo Amico, la solidarietà in mensa” (Friendly Food, solidarity at the canteen) a collaboration with Last Minute Market to recover unconsumed meals from Hera canteens, or the Hera2O project and the signing of the “Manifesto dell’acqua dei Sindaci” (Mayors’ Water Manifesto), both aimed at encouraging the drinking of tap water rather than bottled water, which saves money and is better for the environment.
    Finally, November 2011 saw the start of the course “Il sistema energetico e lo sviluppo sostenibile: tra crescita, fonti rinnovabili e risparmio energetico” (“The energy system and sustainable development: growth, renewable energy sources and energy saving”) organised by the Imola Open University, with the support of HERA S.p.A. and CON.AMI., which ams to raise awareness about sustainable development and renewable energy.

Page updated 29 August 2018

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