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The area Hera operates in is made up of 244 municipal authorities, most of which are company shareholders. Hera has close relations and collaboration with technicians and administrators of municipalities, provinces, regions as well as nationally, and their associations and local bodies.
In the area managed by Hera, the organisation of the integrated water service and the municipal waste management service will be regulated by the new Emilia-Romagna area agency, set up by Regional Law no. 23 dated 23 December 2011. The energy sector (gas and electricity) is regulated by the Italian Authority for Electricity and Natural Gas (AEEG), an independent regulatory and control authority for the sector established by Law no. 481/1995.
The research and development activities undertaken by the Group entail collaboration with various bodies (universities, research centres such as ENEA, public bodies and other companies). These activities are conducted via partnerships or quite simply through sponsorship.

When environmental and social sustainability go hand-in-hand

The Hera Group has implemented projects for the prevention, recycling and recovery of waste also with the aim of socially requalifying categories facing hardships. "Manolibera" is a project developed by Hera in collaboration with Techne and Comieco, involving the creation at the Forlė prison of an artisan paper factory, overseen by an artist and a paper expert. The prisoners produce artistic hand-made items, writing paper and other objects for bodies, institutions, stores and bookshops, from scrap paper and cardboard.
The "RAEEbilitando" workshop, started up in Bologna in collaboration with the Remedia Consortium and the Opera dell'Immacolata, employs disabled youngsters in activities for the dismantling of non-hazardous waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The 8 youngsters involved handled nearly 30 tons of WEEE at the end of 2011, recovering nearly 90% in weight of the materials (copper, aluminium, plastic, glass).
The "RAEE in carcere" (WEEE in prison) experience also continued, started up in 2008 in Bologna, Ferrara and Forlė. Developed and co-ordinated by Hera and Techne, it involves the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government, the Regional Prison Superintendent's Office, Provinces and Municipalities of Forlė-Cesena, Bologna and Ferrara, the RAEE Ecolight and Ecodom consortia, professional training agencies, social cooperatives. The prisoners are employed in disassembly of WEEE from the Hera Group separate waste collection centres. The various components of the waste are dismantled and sent to specialised plants: recovery is over 85%. 27 prisoners were involved (of which 11 taken on). 2 of these workers on conclusion of their sentences were accompanied in work induction in the area. The quantity of waste treated to-date amounts to around 1,300 tons, with an annual growth trend of 30%.

Integrity in relationships with the Public Administration

Hera is committed to guaranteeing the highest levels of integrity and honesty in relationships with public administration. For this reason, the Group has adopted, and keeps updated, a model for organisation, management and control designed to identify specific risks associated with the crimes identified in Legislative Decree no. 231/2001.
Currently the organisation model includes twenty-four protocols that strive to ensure transparency and a sense of ownership in internal and external relationships. For each "high risk" process, the protocols identify principles, roles, and responsibilities which should be followed in managing the activities and define the periodic information flows for control. Each protocol ensures the constant monitoring of high risk activities for the Supervisory Body. The subjects dealt with include: relationship management with the Authorities, public loans, sponsorships, donations and gifts and procurement, protection of the environment and health and safety in the workplace. During 2011, Hera S.p.A.'s Board of Directors approved new protocols: "Sales activities" and "Formalities for conduct and management of the activities for environmental protection purposes". The protocol "Handling of relations with Shareholders, Statutory Auditors and Independent Auditors" was also reviewed.
The procedures adopted conform to the principles of the Code of Ethics with the aim of guiding Group management based on the values and principles defined in the Charter of Values.

Recycling pays at the Le Befane shopping centre in Rimini

"Recycling pays"; this is the slogan by means of which Hera joined E.Leclerc-Conad and Tetra Pak Italia to promote the separate collection of polylaminate packaging. Near the hypermarkets cash registers, a special machine for the collection of Tetra Pak containers issues receipts to those who feed in packaging, entitling the holder to a discount on their shopping. Involving the Municipal Authority of Rimini and numerous schools, the initiative raised awareness of the importance of separating waste to save resources.