Educate and disseminate: two steps towards an internal re-orientation

Everyone must make a contribution if we are to reduce energy consumption. Autogrill decided to start from its employees, by putting them at the center of its journey towards sustainability.

Any initiative dedicated to sustainability derives from a very simple belief: to protect natural resources means increasingly using clean energy sources, but, above all, decreasing energy consumption.

Consumption reduction is a key objective in the battle for the environment and in order to reach this target it is necessary to rely on technological research, scientific innovation and, above all, people pitching in. This is a firm conviction throughout the entire Autogrill Group, which believes that everybody should be expected to contribute to reducing energy and water consumption, starting from the employees who use the equipment on a daily basis, suppliers who produce it and consumers who come to Autogrill stores and make use of the services provided: we must all change the way we relate with the environment.

This is not at all an easy task. Autogrill decided to start from the Group’s people and its employees to rely on a sustainable culture that can then be disseminated also to all the other stakeholders. For this reason, ongoing projects are in progress to raise employees’ awareness and engagement and share ecosustainability principles, in particular through waste reduction. The message conveyed to employees focuses on the proper use of kitchen equipment (hot plates, ovens, deep-fryers, dishwashers, etc.), which in low traffic time slots may be switched off and thus generate significant savings.

Newsletters and internal communication campaigns with an ecosustainability orientation have also been organized.
For example the World Duty Free newsletter, through which the “Change the world 9 to 5...” initiative was launched to describe the actions that everybody can put in place, such as, for instance, not leaving the PC in stand–by, switching off unneeded lights, not leaving mobile devices attached to the battery charger when they are charged and not wasting office supplies. These small things can contribute to reducing costs, consumption and atmospheric emissions. Also, Autogrill France’s “Planet A” newsletter has launched a message emphasizing sustainability. The newsletter, appropriately enough, is printed on recycled paper.

Autogrill Italia developed the “Piccoli Gesti per Grandi Risultati”(Small Things get Big Results) campaign. This is a communication initiative dedicated to the Sales Network, regarding water and illumination saving and a correct differentiation of waste. Since July 2010, after the implementation of the new regulation in the matter of waste differentiation at the central offices of Milan, a communication campaign was launched dedicated to all employees, promoting more effective use and recycling of available resources (paper, plastics, glass and aluminum). The objective was to raise employee awareness about reducing waste and recycling it properly: extending product life presents a great opportunity to protect the environment and mitigate climate change.

In order to further stimulate the development of a culture increasingly oriented towards ecosustainability, “Go Green: our journey towards sustainability!” was launched at the end of October 2010 within the Afuture section of the Aconnect Group portal. This is a column that provides solutions and information in the matter of recycling and use of paper, water and energy, promoting sustainable behavior and sustainable consumption habits starting from the small, everyday things we do at home and at work.


A strong sign from the US to understand what are the key issues in the matter of environmental sustainability. How can we drive employees’ behavior and align it to the Group’s?

In 2006 the Sustainability Package was developed, which included the Group sustainability report, intended to monitor engagement in the different locations in the matter of social and environmental responsibility. Over time, considering the territorial expansion of the business, the differences in the approach and sensitivity to environmental issues and the impossibility of promptly monitoring utility trends, because costs and energy consumption for the management of the spaces are already included in the majority of the concession contracts in force, the sustainability report has increasingly become key in raising employees’ awareness with respect to ecosustainability.

This was the thinking behind the survey on environmental issues conducted in 2010, which involved approximately 240 stores in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia. In fact, HMSHost based the survey on the information contained in the relevant Sustainability Package. The questionnaire, distributed to the locations operating in the airport, highway and malls channels, investigated the management of the main environmental issues that impact on store operation: first, energy, water and differentiated waste (cooking oil, coffee grounds, milk packs, bottles in glass and plastic, cans, wooden pallets, etc.) and secondly the mapping of the distribution of some environmental initiatives, such as the use of LED lamps, the installation of individual presence detection for switching on lights, training courses for the staff to save water and the use of recycled paper in the offices up to the environmental certification obtained.

The initiative proved extremely successful. 95% of the people involved in the stores responded, showing particular attention to the recycling of cooking oil and packaging (more than 80% of respondents are committed to recycling cooking oil and almost 79% to recycling packaging) and printer cartridges (56%). More than 110 locations use energy efficient bulbs; in 107 locations consumers are always asked first whether they need a shopper. It is also interesting to note that geothermal energy is used in three stores operated by the Group on the US highways.

The results collected from the survey can be considered satisfactory. More than half the locations responded that they can measure their yearly consumption of energy and one third of them can also measure their yearly consumption of water, and among these, almost all of them monitor the implementation and completion of initiatives targeted to reducing consumption. The objective for the upcoming years is to continue monitoring this data in order to define reduction targets and increase people’s engagement in adopting sustainable behaviors.


Autogrill’s sustained efforts to protect the environment and reduce consumption would remain incomplete without the assistance of consumers. As a result, it is absolutely necessary to also raise awareness outside the company.

In recent years, Autogrill Group has promoted several initiatives to increase employees’ awareness about the importance of protecting the natural environment. The Group also accompanied these actions with initiatives aimed at consumers, because consumers can support the Group’s response to environmental challenges through their daily habits.

Numerous initiatives have been launched. An increasing number of companies, including World Duty Free and Aldeasa for Travel Retail and Autogrill France, HMSHost and now also Autogrill Italia for Food & Beverage, have decided to use shoppers in recycled or bio-degradable material or also offer jute shoppers. Approximately 6,000,000 shoppers in polyethylene available in the Italian stores will be replaced in favor of MaterBi shoppers (biodegradable and compostable material based on plant components, like maize starch, and biodegradable polymers obtained both from raw materials of renewable origin and raw materials of fossil origin).

In 2010, Aldeasa, the Autogrill Group Spanish division which operates in the Travel Retail & Duty–Free sector, confirmed its support for WWF’s projects in Spain promoting preservation of marine life through the sale of biodegradable shoppers.

HMSHost has also developed various awareness raising initiatives, from the simplest ones, like the printout of menus with 20% recycled paper or the use of recycled paper for napkins, up to initiatives that require greater engagement by consumers, like “StartSomeWhere”, promoting and communicating green messages within the stores, or “Re–Booking”, a charity initiative that promotes the re-use and recycling of secondhand books, inviting readers to return them to HMSHost stores, so that the book may be donated to non-profit associations or recycled and thus continues to exist in other forms. To enhance this commitment to ongoing participation and engagement, HMSHost will include mineral water bottles with a percentage of recycled plastics in its commercial offer in 2011.

This is also the direction of the expansion of the “Destination Environment” project, developed in 2009 in collaboration with CONAI (Consorzio Nazionale Imballaggi), Waste Italia and the Hera Group (Italy’s main waste management operators) and ID&A, for the development of improved equipment. In order to gradually optimize the logistics of waste collection, Autogrill has decided to extend waste differentiation both in the back area and in the customer area and in the area outside the location, involving an increasing number of locations – from 4 to 13 – on the same highway. As part of this project, Autogrill renewed the signs on the premises in order to more effectively explain correct waste differentiation criteria to consumers, both close to the bar counter and outside the location. The renovation process also involved the green areas behind the stores, which were equipped with special waste storage and differentiation units. These were graphically customized in line with the image of the project, but, above all, new and safer cleaning systems have been implemented to keep the containers clean and free from any food residue, thus preventing the formation of unpleasant odors.
In addition, the equipment also includes a compactor that presses waste and thus permits fewer pick-ups by specialized companies. All this results in more efficient waste management for each single location.

Campagna di comunicazione interna per il risparmio delle Risorse e la tutela dell’Ambiente


A sustainable answer

Sustainability results and objectives

Objectives declared for 2010
• Development of new stores adopting ecoefficient solutions
• Waste differentiation project
• Use of biodegradable shoppers

Projects and results
• Inauguration of the Delaware Welcome Center in the state of Delaware (US)
• Expansion of the Destination Environment project to 13 stores
• Autogrill Italia also adopted MaterBi shoppers

Target for 2011
Launch of the Villorese project, the store extending over a surface of approx. 2,500 sqm >which is expected to become Autogrill Italia’s flagship store, thanks also to the partnershipsestablished with the producers