Hera Business Solution (“HBS”), the cutting-edge offer of Hera Group dedicated to businesses, is here. The entire expertise gained by a leading Group in the efficient and circular management of all utility services is made accessible to clients. The offer promotes a new approach that supports clients with holistic assistance.
These new multi-service contracts for businesses go beyond the traditional supply, since they facilitate development towards circular economy models, by pursuing efficiency even in the use of services.
We talk about this topic with Dr. Andrea Ramonda, CEO of HERAmbiente SpA.
Hera Group has gained a well-consolidated know-how in providing services to businesses. How have you developed this idea of an integrated and sustainable offer?
Evolution in management of utility services has been fuelled by technological development; therefore, things that would have been unimaginable only ten years ago are now possible. Our Group has been focusing on innovation for almost a decade; the expertise we have gained is thus definitely of interest to those among our business clients who make intensive use of the services we offer. Enterprises, as complex organizations, have a growing request for integrated services and professional solutions to respond more effectively to their need to evolve. From this point of view, an integrated supplier offers clear advantages of simplification and speed.
“Common denominator of the solutions contained in this proposal is the economic and environmental sustainability, intended as the offer of green services that can improve customers performance.”
How does the new HBS protocol fit into Hera’s initiatives for environmental sustainability? What targets have you set in terms of stimulating greater circularity in the companies that will purchase the HBS integrated offer?
It is not easy for companies to reduce waste produced and decrease energy consumption; such results require an expertise that has not been considered crucial until recently. Today it has become a priority for everyone. In this perspective, the management and development models promoted by Hera Group allow the customers to achieve the new goals, which involve savings as well as higher levels of environmental sustainability. Indeed, we are talking about real circular economy, which also includes the possibility of turning the waste of customers into a resource or regenerated raw material that can be reintroduced into the production systems. We do for our clients what we have already applied to the management of our activities in the Group for years.
“Now, through HBS, by leveraging on our experience, we can help to support other companies in this shift towards development models that combine growth and sustainability. The aim is to find opportunities and tools to reduce costs or develop new revenues through circular economy.”
I can think of a number of examples. For one of our customers, directly at their site, we regenerate plastic packaging films to produce a plastic product sold on their shelves. We have also devised a way to reuse the water waste of a customer as a resource in other production processes, generating savings in the annual consumption of such resource. In another case, we have studied an economically efficient and sustainable solution to self-produce the energy needed by the customer with a micro-cogeneration plant co-financed by Hera. These solutions generate advantages for customers; anyway, they would not be conceivable without a specific know-how. It is a “win-win” game: customers can save money, do good for the environment and Hera Group has the satisfaction of measuring, certifying, and releasing positive environmental impacts in its sustainability reports.
How can business clients materially improve their environmental performance through these new solutions?
They can, through various stages that range from the initial assessment to the construction of proposals and targets, from implementation/execution to performance reporting and communications; guidance in the selection of various solutions proposed, integrating a number of actions such as the management and exploitation of industrial waste, the supply of green gas and energy, as well as the improved efficiency both in energy and water cycle, to name a few.
For the same company we can handle the full range of waste-related needs. With Herambiente Servizi Industriali’s global service, the company has a single point of contact for the management of all waste produced at the plants, with the opportunity to maximize its recovery and reduce the use of landfills. We can also work on water efficiency, with the aim to make the business customer more sustainable and resilient to the availability scenarios of this resource; we can design and build water treatment plants, or simply manage existing plants on their behalf. Not only that: we can also propose a tailor-made energy offer, with compensation for consumption through participation in projects aimed at reducing the equivalent emitted in CO2, allowing for online monitoring of consumption and energy costs and improvement of energy efficiency, through the identification of needed interventions. In the same proposal, they can also find ICT services and facilities, internet services, data and voice on fibre optic, housing, hosting and disaster recovery, up to the regulatory adaptation of energy systems and the operation and maintenance of air conditioning systems.
What are the aspects of your proposal that companies are appreciating most?
A distinctive feature of the offer is the Circular Economy Report. The sustainability report of the offer through which Hera Group provides its pioneering reporting know-how. Companies that subscribe to HBS are provided with a customised report for any individual client, in which the performance achieved against the pre-set targets is monitored for each service activated. All this according to the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines, which are the most widely used at global level for the drafting of sustainability reports.
“Through numbers corporates can increase the understanding of their own processes and impacts, acquiring the awareness needed to act and improve.”
What is the stage of development of the project?
It is no longer a project but a reality. In September 2020, we signed the first HBS protocol with Fruttagel, a leading company in the processing of fresh fruit and vegetables, cereals and legumes, which has been using some of the services offered by Hera for some time now. The new overall monitoring model of Fruttagel’s activities will provide substantial support in achieving the environmental sustainability objectives that the Company had set. These objectives can be made even more challenging by expanding the range of services that the Group now offers in a structured way. Demand for this type of supply is set to increase, also in view of the increasingly stringent regulatory standards.
What is the minimum size that you target in terms of corporates to be served?
HBS has been specifically designed for large manufacturing companies that have high impacts in terms of energy/hydric requirements and related production of industrial waste, such as those operating in the metallurgical sector or in iron and steel, engineering, food manufacturing, chemicals/pharmaceuticals, ceramics, tanning textiles… We do not set ourselves any limits, however. The search for environmental sustainability and the reduction of the impacts of our business are becoming a cross value and a driver of development for all manufacturers, regardless of size. Smaller companies, or “VAT numbers”, already enjoy advanced and tailored services: for example, those related to energy efficiency, installation of renewable systems, but also co-financing for energy-efficiency works. These services, however, do not require the high level of multi-service integration that HBS provides.