Impact of business on the environment

The sectors in which the Group operates have an impact on the ecosystem, to varying degrees depending on the complexity of the business. Taking Food & Beverage, the most complex of the three, as an example, there is a direct correlation between management of food and management of the environment, with the input of production factors (labour, raw materials, energy and water) on one hand and the output of product/services (the point of the business), and waste, on the other.

These aspects will be reported on below, starting with energy and water costs in 2009. The increase in these costs in the last two years is largely a reflection of the acquisitions in the Travel Retail sector (the remaining 50% of Aldeasa and World Duty Free). Since 2008, the cost of energy and water utility charges over sales has been stable at 2% in Food & Beverage and 1% in Travel Retail and Flight.

Costs for energy and water

Food & Beverage
(€k) North America and the Pacific Area Europe Travel Retail and Flight Group
2009 30,613 57,021 18,809 106,443
% 29% 53% 18% 100%
2008 31,188 56,343 15,443 102,974
% 30% 55% 15% 100%
2007 29,932 50,300 7,420 87,652
% 34% 57% 9% 100%

During 2008 the Group significantly changed the Travel Retail & Duty-Free activity boundaries, and, to a minor extent, the Flight activity


Autogrill stores show a peculiar energy “behaviour”. Being commercial premises open to the public, their architecture, lighting and interiors are specially designed for maximum comfort of consumers all year round. Energy consumption is constant in terms of lighting and food preservation and preparation, whereas it rises in summer because of air conditioning systems.

Box: Carbon Reduction Commitment.

Indirect energy consumption Food & Beverage - Europe *

Indirect energyMWh230,443236,550 **230,280
Year change in consumption%(3)3 

* Estimated data, including consumption in points of sale and headquarters in Austria, Belgium, Spain and Italy. The energy consumption data for Italy do not include the two distribution centres
** Value adjusted after balancing

To make a structured response to the sustainability issues raised by the Afuture project, Group companies in some countries employed an energy consumption monitoring system for their points of sale. For each new development project, a comparison is made between performance with and without use of renewable energy sources and this is put in relation to estimated sales.

In 2009, despite the adverse macroeconomic situation and thanks to monitoring and control, points of sale in Italy, Austria, Belgium and Spain saw a 3% reduction in consumption (MWh).

This results also reflects the implementation of efficient technological systems, installation of special meters and improvements to the performance of locations as detailed below.

An increasing number of locations in America and Europe (including Austria, France, Italy and Spain) are installing new generation systems that delivery greater efficiency and lower consumption of natural resources. Such initiatives range from use of lowconsumption light bulbs to photocells for switching lights off in WCs, from water and energy saving systems to roof-top solar panels for water heating. The biggest locations on the Italian network now have centralized energy management systems covering all equipment and systems, which has delivered an average energy saving of around 8%.

In other points of sale in Italy, e.g. Dorno, Brembo and Brianza Sud, gas fired cogeneration and tri-generation systems for the joint production of heat and refrigeration have been installed. In addition, a meter was installed at the Dorno restaurant (functioning since November 2005) to monitor and register the amount of electricity produced and of CO2 emissions saved by the system. The use of the turbine has saved around 526 tonnes of CO2 emissions to date, against 107 tonnes in 2009.

In the last two years, Autogrill Italy has built or renovated a number of eco-sustainable points of sale, including:

  • Mensa di Ravenna, certified energy class A, with a geothermal system that reduces energy consumption by 30%;
  • Viverone Nord and Viverone Sud (A5 motorway, Ivrea–Santhià), with geothermal systems;
  • Brembo (A4 Milano-Bergamo), restructuring of the air conditioning system for the entire complex, thus reaching high energy efficiency and limiting impact on the natural environment.

Autogrill Italy started up a partnership with Electrolux to find new ways to reduce energy consumption by equipment in points of sale. A new grill plate for rolls, with a certified 30% energy saving, is currently being tested in four motorway locations and throughout the Fiera di Milano. The objective is to extend its use other locations.

In its routine assessments for ISO 14001 certification maintenance, World Duty Free has set environmental goals for its point of sale renovation process, such as installation of low consumption lighting systems, reduction of lighting on renovation sites, reduction of consumption at locations and an internal communication campaign.

In 1st quarter 2010, WDF started to implement a consumption and CO2 emissions monitoring system in line with the new “Carbon Reduction Commitment” law (cap-andtrade) introduced in the UK to promote energy efficiency in large corporations and public organizations.

Direct energy consumption Food & Beverage - Italy *

Natural gasm3400,000400,000400,000
Other (LPG)kg52,18951,51828,410

 * Estimates

Most of the Italian point of sale network is equipped with heating systems run on methane.

In around 150 locations which cannot connect to the methane network (mostly on motorways), the heating systems run on oil. Having carried out feasibility studies, Autogrill has set itself the goal of gradually replacing the oil-fired systems in its locations with LPG, which has less impact.


Autogrill points of sale generally source their water from local utilities. Where there is no such supply, water is taken from wells and/or rivers. Waste water disposal complies with local and national waste management directives. Water from wells and/or rivers is used in toilets, kitchens and fire-fighting networks.

Water consumption in 2009 amounted to 3,232,372 m3, this figure relating to 569 locations in Italy, Spain, Austria and Belgium (around 53% of Autogrill’s Food & Beverage locations).


Water consumption – Food & Beverage – Europe *

2009 2008  2007
 Sales points
 Water m33,232,372

* Estimates

In the countries where Autogrill operates there is a widespread trend towards automatic water-flow regulators in bathrooms and kitchens to reduce waste as much as possible.

Various measures have been taken since 2008 to optimize water consumption throughout the network, including installation of systems to monitor and optimize water use in kitchen equipment and toilets in the main points of sale (e.g. leakage detectors, dual-flow taps and waterless toilets), elimination of water veils from urinals and WCs (usually the biggest water users) in all locations, installation of air/water mixers and testing (in three locations) of experimental systems to limit water consumption in urinals, use of rainwater in toilets, and use of a mechanical system to clean WCs.

Waste and materials

In Food & Beverage points of sale waste is produced during food preparation, where it also includes food packaging, and during service, which produces left-overs and throwaway plates. In the retail sector, on the other hand, waste is mainly product packaging.

In all points of sales, whatever the business, waste management is carried out in accordance with local and national regulations or others indicated by the landlord. Autogrill uses private firms specialized in collecting recyclables and waste disposal for locations on the Italian network not served by a public waste collector.

In Group headquarters in Milan (Autogrill Italy), Bethesda (HMSHost), Madrid (Aldeasa) and London (WDF) waste is sorted. Paper, plastic, glass and tins and printer toner are sorted as stipulated in agreements with waste collection and disposal firms.

On the basis of data provided by a leading US operator in the field of management and protection of data and information, HMSHost estimated that its saved around 10 tonnes of paper through sorting waste in its Bethesda headquarters. It also estimates that this was the equivalent of saving 175 trees, 42,308 kWh of electricity and 17,969 litres of oil, as well as reducing atmospheric emissions and landfill waste.


Waste – Food & Beverage – Italy



Sales pointsno.527539509
Change in sales points%(2)6 
Year change in waste (Italy)%(23)(2) 


Concerning the point of sales network, various initiatives are promoted by the Group, landlords (motorway and airport operators, etc.) or other commercial partners, with waste sorting programmes and campaigns to optimize use of materials by personnel. Space permitting, points of sale install compactors for waste paper and cardboard, which is then collected by public utilities or private operators.

In America, despite the difficulties in waste monitoring, HMSHost’s approach is that of the “three Rs” (Reduction, Recycling and Reuse). Its over 200 points of sale carried forward initiatives, varying from location to location, to sort plastic, paper and cardboard, glass bottles and coffee grounds, which go to farmers as fertilizer. Some locations also use zero environmental-impact chemicals. Employees are continually addressed on environmental issues and encouraged to adopt an eco-sustainable approach at all levels.

In Europe too (France, Belgium, Austria and Italy), more and more locations are sorting waste oils, plastic and paper and where possible also recovering consumers’ plastic, glass bottles and used batteries. In France, “PET” is collected separately and at the newly opened Carrousel du Louvre equipment was installed to sort and collect PET bottles and aluminium cans, thanks to a partnership with Coca-Cola.

New points of sale in Belgium too have equipment for sorting glass and paper, though the marked reduction in waste paper (around 36%) was due to optimisation of packaging procurement. In Austria, some points of sale send their waste to local power plants that serve district heating and public transport.

Autogrill Italy works with major waste collection operators for its motorway locations, which are not all served by public utilities. Waste collection here is of the “deferred” type, meaning that locations only sort out paper and cardboard, while all the other waste elements are separated at the operators’ facilities. Only 20 or so motorway locations separate wet waste from the rest.

In Milan, following the start up of testing with plastic sorting in both the back and front areas of high street locations (Spizzico), Autogrill and Conai launched the “Destination Environment” project in July 2009 (see above).

In the retail sector, there was a drive in the UK to limit amounts of waste for recycling.

World Duty Free is engaged in reducing packaging in its locations and encouraging its suppliers to make products with smaller volumes of packaging. China plates and glasses are being preferred in various concepts because they have lower impact on the environment.

Waste produced by World Duty Free in 2009 amounted to 1,019 tonnes, of which 968 tonnes (95%) was recycled and 51 tonnes (5%) went to landfill. The figures for 2009 show the company is continuing to reduce the impact of its business on the environment. Such progress is even more significant if compared to 2004, the year the project started up, when 85% of waste was recycled and 15% went to landfill.

On the materials front, paper and cardboard are key elements in Autogrill’s business in that they form the packaging of food and non-food goods purchased to supply points of sale with products to sell to consumers.

Paper and cardboard – Food & Beverage – Italy *

Sales pointsno.527539509
Change in sales points%(2)6 
Paper and cardboardt4,4105,8304,930
Year change in Paper and cardboard%(24)18 

* Estimates

In this context, Autogrill Italy continued to work with its partners to reduce packaging in terms of both weight of paper/cardboard and dimensions of packaging for transport and storage in points of sale. A case in point is Spizzico’s packaging rationalization in 2007, when reduction of material delivered economic and ecological benefits along the entire packaging life cycle, from transport and handling towards points of sale to disposal.

Limiting the environmental impact of logistics
Autogrill’s focus on the environmental impact of the different segments of its distribution chain also covers transport and logistics management and the issue of harmful emissions.

Company fleet
A new Group-wide ecological Car Policy was defined in 2009 to build up a fleet with ecological credentials (lower atmospheric emissions) whilst maintaining the same levels of on-board comfort, safety and performance. The new car policy sets its CO2 emissions limit at 160 g/km per vehicle (257 g/mile). To guarantee high safety standards, all cars must be fitted with the following:

  •  stability control (ESP);
  •  fog lights;
  •  driver, passenger and side airbags;
  •  viva-voce kit.

The main Group companies have gradually started renewing their fleets to reduce CO2 emissions and cut consumption of fuel.

Fleet characteristics by business sector

 Total carsNumbers of cars
(> 160 g/km)
Numbers of cars
(<160 g/km)
% cars
(>160 g/km)
% cars
(<160 g/km)
Food & Beverage (Italy,
Belgium, Spain, Netherlands,
France, Switzerland)
Travel Retail & Duty-Free
(Aldeasa and World Duty-Free)

Autogrill also works with government agencies and other organizations in certain countries.
Autogrill Italy continues to support the “10x10. 10 big corporations challenge CO2” campaign launched by QuattroRuote, a magazine, to reduce emissions by company fleets.
Autogrill’s Italian fleet was made “sustainable” whilst maintaining its characteristics of comfort, safety, performance and driving pleasure. Autogrill France, with the help of GE Commercial Finance, continues to assess the environmental impact of its fleet, which was 147g of CO2/km in 2009.

Truck fleet

In Europe, delivery and distribution of goods to points of sale is primarily by truck.
These services are outsourced to specialized companies (varying in number with peaks in production) who are responsible for maintaining the fleet. To limit the environmental impact of the fleet, Autogrill organizes its distribution of products to stores by optimizing numbers of weekly supplies and distances between locations in a given delivery round. Some Group companies, such as Autogrill Italy and World Duty Free, are seeking to optimize logistics by gradual replacement with lower emissions models.
Lastly, it should be noted that Autogrill’s Italian haulage company is particularly focused on environmental issues: in addition to periodically renewing its fleet in line with Euro 5 regulations to lower NOx emissions, it has installed a dispenser of urea-based additive at Autogrill’s Pieve Emanuele (Milan) warehouse to further reduce harmful emissions.