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Environmental aspects of the activities managed by Hera

The main environmental issues related to our operations are described in this section, along with the results achieved thanks to the development of the environmental management system.
For the energy services, the main environmental issues are:

  • the efficiency of the gas, electricity and district heating distribution networks;
  • the production of electricity and thermal energy from renewable sources (photovoltaic energy, use of landfill biogas, wastewater treatment and digestion of organic waste), from similar sources (cogeneration plants and turboexpanders) and from waste-to-energy transformation.

For the water services, the main environmental issues are:

  • limiting subsidence;
  • the efficiency of the water network and of drinking water purification plants;
  • the reintroduction of water into the environment following collection by sewage systems and required purification.

With regard to subsidence, Hera applies the water supply policy defined by local authorities, and works toward reducing groundwater collection by using plants fed by surface water as frequently as possible.
To limit the environmental impact of wastewater, the sewage network in coastal areas is equipped with mechanisms regulating discharge into the sea in the event of heavy rainfall. Tanks are also being built to collect runoff water to be transferred to treatment plants.
The main purification plants are equipped with odour treatment systems using bio filters. All plants are equipped with 24-hour a day staffing, supported by a remote-control system, and inspections on a daily basis or 2-3 times per week, depending on the plant size. Wastewater is controlled before being reintroduced into the environment according to a plan specifying the number, frequency and type of analysis.

 
Main environmental issues
 

With regard to waste management services, the main issues concern:

  • promoting and applying initiatives for waste prevention and the reuse of products;
  • increasing separate waste collection and the consequent recovery of materials;
  • reducing waste sent to landfills, consistent with European and Italian regulations;
  • recovering energy from waste (via waste-to-energy transformation processes and biogas recovery).

The prevention of waste limits the waste of resources and reduces the quantity of waste to be managed. Increased separate waste collection enhances the efficiency of downstream waste treatment and the recovery of material and energy, as well as reducing landfill volumes.

The applicable environmental regulations, continuously evolving, require that all equipment containing substances damaging to the ozone layer or greenhouse gases undergoes review and frequent checks in order to detect any leaks. A specific instruction which the Hera Group has implemented identifies in detail the activities required and the frequency of checks which are mandatory in order to guarantee full compliance.