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Quality, Safety and Environment

In the first half of 2011, the Quality, Safety and Environment Department (DCQSA) underwent major restructuring. The key phases were as follows:

  • the creation of a regulatory framework for Quality, Safety and Environment (QSE);
  • the identification and appointment of a health and safety coordinator;
  • the creation of a single Health and Safety Department providing support to the Local Operating Company business units in Imola-Faenza, Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena and Rimini, classed as the “Romagna” region;
  • the restructuring of QSE coordination through the definition of areas of specialisation, mainly to foster better synergies within the technical aspects of the sector.


With the definition and publication of the guidelines entitled “Hera Group Quality, Safety and Environment Policy and Management System” (issued on 21 March 2011), the importance of the coordination carried out by the DCQSA within the Group has been further strengthened, clarifying its role in subsidiary and investee companies.

In the first half of 2011, two major non-conformities were resolved on schedule (by February 2011). These concerned the third part of the scope, in the water-cycle certification process, recorded by the certification body (DNV) at the LOC business units in Bologna and Imola-Faenza. Certification was subsequently awarded with satisfactory results, integrated for the first time across the three certification models (Quality, Safety, Environment) in line with the planned objective, for all entities and central divisions and for all local operating companies (LOC). The exceptions were the Ravenna and Modena LOC, which, due to the parallel implementation of the new WFM information system, requested a revision of the timetable for water-cycle certification, to be concluded in September.

As planned, the major review of environmental assessment and legislative compliance was completed, which began last year with the integrated water cycle. During this period, the revision of environmental aspects for the Environmental Services, Gas, Electricity and District Heating sectors was also completed.

During the same period, the specific risk-assessment criteria and methodology were finalised for health and safety in the workplace, as required by Legislative Decree no. 81/08 (as subsequently amended), leading to the publication of specific operating procedures.

Once again, with a view to improving and standardising the management of key QSE aspects and improving their efficiency, some critical processes have been coordinated by DCQSA:

  • the “management review” process, which has seen both the LOC (level III review) and Business Sectors (level II review) involved in the analysis of defined and shared inputs aimed at generating, in a virtuous, closed circle, outputs used in the preparation of the final management review (level I review);
  • internal audit activities, which this year have sought to optimise and capitalise on the Group’s QSE expertise and to align approaches and audit methodologies in order to maximise audit efficiency and streamline the resulting outputs. The key stages of this project consisted, in line with the restructuring of QSE coordination, of a clear assignment of areas of responsibility, the definition of common audit criteria as a guide to planning and management of audits by the entire Group, and a combined analysis of the results for each sector.


During the first half, the targets set by the Quality, Safety and Environment Department were achieved with satisfactory results. The service carried out by the DCQSA is aimed at all Group business units, particularly involving the Local Operating Company business units, which have made a huge effort and commitment to work towards achieving the ambitious objective of certifying our integrated Quality, Safety and Environment management system.

Some of the most notable results include reaching the impressive milestone represented by the certification of the environmental management system and validation of the environmental declaration for the purposes of EMAS registration of the Casalegno di Imola cogeneration plant, a large 80 MW plant providing district heating for the city of Imola, which in 2010 had not yet completed the final registration process with the Ecoaudit-Ecolabel committee. Again this year the audit results were excellent, with no recommendations and with a new certificate of conformity issued for the environmental declaration updated for 2010. In May 2011, the EMAS registration process was finally completed and the number IT-001333 was assigned.

In early 2011, the health and safety issues raised included the following:

  • the preparation, with the help of medical coordinator Dr Sante Tabanelli, of draft company regulations on the consumption of alcohol. This was presented to all employee safety representatives at a special meeting;
  • the completion of training on health and safety in the workplace aimed at senior management, much of which was based on a cascade approach intended for managers and workers;
  • the introduction of computerised management for occupational medicine and the gathering of information for the risk-assessment document and accident-data management.

Following the training course on incident and near-miss investigation techniques, a licence has been obtained to use the procedure covered in the course, known as the Systematic Cause Analysis Technique (SCAT). This tool has been refined and customised for Hera and was rolled out in 2010 after undergoing tests and inspections. An additional effort will be needed to ensure that all business segments are using it methodically and consistently.

In conjunction with the Group Purchasing and Procurement Department, a specific audit cycle has been completed aimed at verifying the level of implementation of the principal company procedures for supplier and supply control, activities which are increasingly important for the Hera Group in view of the size of the investments made and the impact of supplier performance on QSE issues.

As every year, in preparation for 2011 Emissions Trading certification, a series of actions have been carried out concerning 2010 data. These include:

  • performance of internal audits,
  • organisation of a task force on this subject to analyse common issues and harmonise behaviour.


In early 2011 certification was obtained for all 11 plants assessed, in recognition of the compliance and comprehensiveness of the data and management of the system certified.

These are in addition to the normal activities that the DCQSA plans and carries out to maintain the Group’s integrated management system. Of those carried out since the start of 2011, the DCQSA has notably been involved in:

  • conducting QSE coherence checks for procedures and instructions drawn up by the various business units;
  • updating the system documentation, QSE manual, system procedure, risk-assessment documents and environmental analyses;
  • supporting Facility Management in its inspection of regional centres within the various LOC and structuring major projects to address certain non-conformities which have emerged in terms of environmental aspects and supplier control.


In 2011, the launch of the project "Un Anno per la Sicurezza nel Gruppo HERA” (“A Year of Safety at the Hera Group") was decide to foster a health-and-safety culture and to improve conduct in the workplace. A steering committee has been set up, composed of the chairman of Hera S.p.A., the vice-chairman of Hera S.p.A., the CEO of Hera S.p.A., the chairman of Herambiente, the DCQSA, the DCPO, the DCSR and the DGO. The project consists of 15 schemes, some of which encompass the entire Group and some of which are pilot schemes managed at a local level.

Project status is monitored and coordinated by a group which draws up the guidelines for each individual project and verifies their overall development, periodically reporting back to the steering committee on progress.

The coordination group is composed of:

  • three employers’ representatives (Hera S.p.A. LOC business unit, Hera S.p.A. Central Bodies-DCSSI, Herambiente),
  • the health and safety coordinator and QSE coordinator,
  • an employee health and safety representative.
  • Within the coordination group there is a scientific committee consisting of three external specialists in the fields of employment and health and safety in various areas (legal, economic, psychosocial).


In terms of data protection, during the first half of 2011 the data-protection management system was further enhanced and consolidated with the units concerned.

The system covers various organisational ambits, primarily focusing on those aimed at: governing and guaranteeing compliance of internal and outsourced activities; intervening to prevent unlawful conduct; maximising the re-engineering and streamlining of privacy-oriented processes.

In this context, numerous activities have been carried out, such as:

  • the first uniform survey of company databases, documented in the 2011 Safety Programming Document,
  • a procedure aimed at managing company data-protection obligations (awaiting publication),
  • cross-functional activities for specific data-protection managers/Group companies;
  • fundamentals identified for data-protection management and adaptation of critical processes (administration of Group information systems, employer audits, video surveillance),
  • process under way to assign responsibility for data protection to suppliers,
  • “passive nominations” procedure with assignment of responsibility for data protection by third parties,
  • data-protection assessments initiated within the Group based on the key business ambits (Hera Comm/FoL),
  • distribution of letters of appointment for employees/contractors,
  • regulatory support/consultancy given to Group business units.