From waste to mobility: the A2A Sustainability Report

In Bergamo the eighth edition of the Sustainability report which reports on the Group’s environmental, economic and social performance in the area in 2022 and the activity plans envisaged for the next few years.

A good 159 million euros the economic value distributed in the Bergamo area in 2022; 31.9 million euros invested for the maintenance and development of plants and services; 77% of separate waste collection in the city of Bergamo; over 41 thousand tons of CO2 avoided thanks to the activity of the plants; 4.6 million kilometers traveled with zero emissions with the electric charging network. These are some of the data contained in theeighth edition of the A2A Bergamo Territorial Sustainability Reportwhich reports the Group’s environmental, economic and social performance in the area in 2022 and the activity plans envisaged for the next few years.

The challenge for our city in the coming years will be to completely eliminate CO2 emissions and further improve all its environmental parameters. Indeed, Bergamo is among the 100 European cities and the 9 Italian cities chosen to lead the ecological transition of the continent: we therefore become a laboratory of change and A2A represents a fundamental player in the implementation of the strategies that Bergamo is called to implement in the coming years – declares the mayor of Bergamo Giorgio Gori – We are talking about virtuous waste management, the implementation of district heating, renewable energies and mobility with zero CO2 emissions. We are working to multiply the charging stations for electric vehicles throughout the city, we are working on the connection between the city district heating network and the Rea di Dalmine, an operation which alone will allow us to heat up to about 11,000 more apartments and reduce carbon dioxide emissions of over 14,500 tons: this is the continuation of a work that began a long time ago and which has already allowed Bergamo to significantly cut emissions deriving from heating. Let’s consider that since 2010, the city has reduced the production of CO2 by 23% and in recent years the improvement trend of the air has proved to be constant as regards some pollutants, such as Pm10 and NOX. We know that we must continue like this and, indeed, multiply our efforts to achieve all the objectives of the 2030 agenda. In this sense, the multi-utility A2A is an important ally in overcoming the Carbon neutrality challenge by 2030″. A2A’s territorial sustainability unfolds along the lines of three keywords: Planet, People, Prosperity.

PLANET – A2A, in the province of Bergamo, it deals with waste management, gas and electricity distribution networks, public lighting, district heating, electric mobility and the sale of energy and heat. The Group produces energy from cogeneration plants and waste-to-energy plants, using the non-recyclable part of the waste which is used to heat homes through the district heating network. In total, 82 GWh of electricity were generated in 2022, of which 90% came from waste, and 230 GWh of thermal energy, of which over half came from waste. In 2022, separate waste collection in the municipality of Bergamo reached 77%, while in the province it settled at 69.1%, for a total of over 62 thousand tons of waste collected. 100% of the municipal waste collected was recovered without any landfilling: 75% was destined for material recovery and 25% used to produce electricity and heat, managing to avoid more than 38,000 tons of CO2 emissions. The collection services were strengthened, through the growth of the Aprica vehicle fleet, which reached 95 low-impact vehicles, of which 18 are 100% electric. Furthermore, the Ecological Islands have been repositioned with an even more innovative look: the waste bins are now equipped with a photovoltaic panel that powers the waste compaction device.

The district heating it is one of A2A’s projects with the greatest environmental sustainability value in the area, for heating homes with low environmental impact but high efficiency. The heat is produced in plants that use renewable sources, cogeneration or that recover it from industrial production cycles and waste treatment. In 2022, over 33,000 equivalent apartments were served, with a total of 209 GWht of heat sold, and a thermal storage system went into operation at the Bergamo waste-to-energy plant to conserve energy and be used by users when is required, up to a maximum of 160 MWh. A further development plan is underway for the waste-to-energy plant network in some districts of the city, which together with the laying of the Rea Dalmine – Bergamo connection backbone, will lead to an even more widespread distribution: over the next 5 years an increase of up to 50 %, with the injection of a further 2.6 million cubic metres. In addition, a research project is being implemented with the University of Bergamo to identify and map the heat sources present in the area, as well as to recover the heat now dispersed in an innovative way.

PEOPLE – A2A, as a Life Company, is committed to creating a safe, inclusive and sustainable work environment, to accompany its corporate population in all the territories in which it operates. Again in 2022, through a series of initiatives aimed at professional growth and development, the Group worked to involve and protect its people. Precisely in this regard, a convention led by the ‘Light up Life’ concept was held in November 2022 with over 1,400 participants to share the main evolutions of the 2021-2030 Strategic Plan. Furthermore, between 2021 and 2022, the ‘Leadership for Life’ course dedicated to all Group managers was provided, 53 of which for Bergamo, aimed at deepening the Plan’s three pillars: sustainability, circular economy and transition energy. Last year, 31 new resources were hired in the Bergamo offices, of which over 30% were under the age of 30, and over 7,600 hours of overall training were provided, of which over 57% on health and safety. In 2022, awareness-raising initiatives for employees also continued with the aim of creating awareness on the issue of gender harassment and to enhance diversity, formalizing its commitment by signing the Declaration of Commitment on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion issues.

PROSPERITY – In 2022, A2A supported the prosperity of the area, generating value and promoting interventions of a social, cultural and environmental nature: in the Bergamo area, over 159 million euros were distributed in the form of dividends, taxes, local fees and concessions, orders to suppliers , sponsorships and employee remuneration. Approximately 31.9 million euros were then allocated to infrastructure investments and plant maintenance (+15% compared to 2021). There are 206 local suppliers activated and the amount of orders has reached 115 million euros, of which 37 million to micro and small businesses.

Fostering electric mobility is one of the Group’s main commitments for a low-carbon economy: almost 5 million kilometers were traveled last year with zero emissions, thanks to more than 690,000 kWh of energy supplied by the 37 charging stations in the Province, which made it possible to save 502 tons of CO2. The A2A offer for the residential segment is made up of 100% certified green electricity, and 192 GWh of green energy were sold. IoT (Internet of Things) services and technologies have also been developed in 5 Municipalities of the Province: 5 interactive totems, 60 smart parking sensors, 85 cameras, 95 anti-intrusion sensors, 117 smart bin sensors and 111 wi-fi antennas.

As part of the 2020-2022 call ‘Doniamo Energia’ of Banco dell’Energia Onlus, a total of 2 million euros were raised, of which 500 thousand made available by the Banco itself. 185 thousand euros of funds were disbursed for two projects in Bergamo: ‘TenacINsinergia – Reactivating energy after the pandemic’ promoted by Farsi Prossimo Onlus Valle Seriana Superiore and Valle di Scalve (BG) area and ‘Let’s start from here’, promoted by Società di S Vincenzo de’ Paoli Central Council of Bergamo. Furthermore, as part of Bergamo and Brescia – Italian Capital of Culture 2023, A2A organized Light is Life – A2A Festival of Lights in Bergamo. Finally, various moments of dialogue and discussion with citizens were held: in 2022, the company participated in the eleventh edition of the Bergamo SOStainability Festival to raise awareness of the new ‘Bergamo+green’ district heating projects and during for Energy, a visit to the Rea Dalmine plant was organised. The A2A appointments also involved young people: the ‘We are the energy’ project dedicated to lower secondary school students was carried forward; moreover, with ‘Everyone in the field for our planet’ primary school students were made aware of the issue of responsible consumption of resources.