Collaborate, educate and disseminate

Protecting natural resources means using less energy. Every effort made by Autogrill starts from this simple, yet fundamental principle. Using less energy is a key objective in the battle for environmental sustainability: it is necessary to rely on technological research, scientific innovations but, above all, people must pitch in.

Only a cultural transformation can lead people to reduce their energy and water consumption. This requires changing ingrained habits and a re-orientation of employees who use the equipment on a daily basis, suppliers who produce it and customers who come to Autogrill stores and make use of the services.

The Group pays a great deal of attention on the ethical and environmental aspects in the supplier selection process. This means adding an additional layer of assessment in addition to material quality and process reliability.

Selecting the right suppliers with whom to support the Group’s commitment towards eco-sustainability means to also facilitate the process of technological and cultural innovation that the sustainability challenge demands.

Moreover, for the purpose of disseminating an environment-dedicated approach to all the stakeholders, Autogrill decided to start with the Group’s people, through ongoing projects to raise employee awareness and engagement and share eco-sustainability principles, in particular through waste reduction. The message conveyed to employees focuses on the proper use of kitchen equipment (hot plates, ovens, deepfryers, dishwashers, etc.), which in low traffic time slots may be switched off, thus generating significant savings. These actions are accompanied by initiatives targeting customers, like the sale of compostable shoppers or jute bags, theme-focused communication campaigns focusing on sustainability issues and the proposal of waste differentiation. By modifying their daily behavior customers can support the challenge for the environment along with the Group.

In 2011 Autogrill participated in the World Earth Day, celebrated each year on the 22 April . This is a day dedicated to the environment and the protection of the planet, because a healthy, balanced and sustainable environment is everybody’s right and it is the task of all of us to make it come true through our daily commitment to protecting nature. From April 19th to April 22nd the price tags in Italy, United States, France, United Kingdom and Spain were personalized with messages confirming the Group’s commitment to the environment.

Furthermore, the Autogrill Group is an official sponsor of Connect4Climate, a global initiative coordinating efforts to combat global warming promoted by the World Bank. Connect4Climate was founded with the objective of increasing awareness about the causes and consequences of climate change and includes a communication campaign, a photography contest and an open web community featuring debates and user comments.

The Group Aconnect portal includes the “Afuture” section. This is another way to keep attention focused on sustainability, a place where all the information of the Roadmap is collected, ranging from its history to the news and events from the world dedicated to the dissemination of the principles of sustainability. Last but not least, the monthly column “Go Green” was developed to disseminate best practices for the responsible use of paper, water and power. Simple concrete actions that every employee can apply every day, an additional effort to further disseminate the Group Afuture Roadmap.

How does it translate in Food & Beverage?

In 2011 the survey on environmental issues was continued, which involved more than 200 stores in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia. The questionnaire, distributed to the locations operating in the airport, highway and mall channels, investigated various issues. The first part is dedicated to the management of the main environmental issues that have an impact on store operation: power, water and differentiated waste — cooking oil, coffee grounds, milk packs, bottles in glass and plastic, cans, wooden pallets, etc. The second part maps 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 teaching the staff how to save water and the use of recycled paper in the offices, up to the environmental certification obtained. 90% of the people involved in the stores responded, showing particular attention to the recycling of cooking oil, cardboard, ink cartridges and the use of energy-efficient bulbs. This annual survey proved to be an important moment to involve and increase employees’ engagement in adopting sustainable behaviors.

HMSHost stepped up its collaboration with some non-profit organizations that support the private and public sector through the development of new technology, while pursuing energy efficiency in compliance with the guidelines provided by government bodies.

In recent years Autogrill Spain has been collecting suggestions from its employees on how to improve plant and equipment efficiency. Some of these indications have been implemented: the use of solar battery chargers in the spaces outside the store, the installation of a flush adjuster to the water closets and the possibility of having an average consumption benchmarking of the equipment used in the store. This is the starting point for the Spanish Edison contest, which awards the Spanish company which best improved its energy efficiency over the past year (kW/h of power/€ sales). The individual winners will receive a coupon for travel holidays in Europe, dinners and relaxing days in a spa.

Customers, too, are involved and stimulated to adopt a sustainable approach. HMSHost participates in the Re-Booking program, which is a significant example. This is a charity initiative that promotes the re-use and recycling of second-hand books, inviting readers to bring the books back to the store to donate them to non-profit organizations or be re-pulped.

What’s going on in Travel Retail?

In Travel Retail the environmental engagement is strongly focused on internal communication and, in particular, on newsletters and communication campaigns with an eco-sustainability orientation. 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 apply, 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 little things can contribute to reducing every day costs, consumption and atmospheric emissions, and can also concretely change our future. In addition, the Manual for Health, Safety and the Environment was launched, containing all the operating procedures and instructions that, in addition to giving specifications as to how correctly performing tasks, remind operators of the importance of responsible and sustainable behavior to guarantee the safety of oneself and others and to protect the environment.