Innovation in points of sale

Innovation in Autogrill points of sale is directed at improving processes and buildings’ energy efficiency and draws on constant research into new technologies involving renewable energy sources such as geothermal and solar. And since Autogrill serves millions of people, it is equally important to communicate transparently with consumers on these environmental issues and make points of sale more and more accessible and usable by all people.

Autogrill Group’s most significant projects in this field in 2009 are outlined below:

  • Work started on the building of the new Delaware Welcome Center (around 4,000 m2) to LEED standards. The building will also host the new Delaware State Visitor Center, an information centre documenting tourist attractions and events and activities going on in the State of Delaware. The project is part of the 35-year contract entered in 2008 with the Delaware Transport Department to upgrade and operate the Delaware Service Plaza. In summer 2010, after two years’ work, HMSHost will commence its openings schedule, starting with the Sunoco fuel station (21 fast-fill pumps) and an APlus mini-market and continuing at a later stage with f&b and retail locations. The Delaware Welcome Center offering will include Baja Fresh, Starbucks, Burger King, Brioche Dorée, Bakery Café and Cinnabon. It will have parking facilities for over three million visitors a year and 50 power outlets for suitably equipped trucks, enabling them to run air conditioning with minimum use of the engine. This is the fruit of collaboration between HMSHost and CabAire, a supplier of electronic components for trucks, to reduce noise and atmospheric emissions along the extremely busy I-95 corridor.
  • Autogrill France built a point of sale of around 740 m2, with solar panels covering part of the roof (390 m2). Electricity produced from March 2009 to March 2010 amounted to 15,714 kWh.
  • The ISO 14001:2004 certified Brianza Sud point of sale in Italy obtained an EMAS conformity declaration attesting to its voluntary participation in the European ecomanagement and audit system. On the A4 MI-BS motorway, the point of sale has a total area of around 1,450 m2 and can seat around 200. Energy consumption has been dropping over the last two years thanks to constant monitoring by a centralized system and the introduction of corrective measures. Consumption of water was also significantly down thanks to rationalization measures and the installation of new water supply systems in toilets.
  • Autogrill Italy, Conai (Consorzio Nazionale Imballaggi - National Packaging Consortium), Waste Italia and Hera group (the main waste collectors in Italy) and ID&A (equipment manufacturers) launched the “Destination Environment” project for waste sorting in motorway locations, in both back areas, customer zones and forecourts. The initiative addresses a potential 300 million people a year who stop off at motorway service areas (of whom 200 million in areas operated by Autogrill).
    Implementation of the project was preceded by analysis of flows of the various fractions of waste generated by motorway service stations, definition of containers, identification of optimum routing and emptying times, personnel training and storage procedures. Service stations involved in the initial phase were Brianza Sud (MI), Villarboit Sud (NO), Limenella Ovest/Nord (PD) and Mensa (RA). The part of the project visible to the public are ID&A’s mini ecological islands (EcoBelly), which have the dual purpose of alerting passers by to the importance of waste sorting and providing an easy to use system for sorting waste into three groups (paper and cardboard, glass, plastic and metals) and keeping non-recyclable waste separate. The rounded shape of the EcoBelly also makes it very safe for kids. Results in the first six months were encouraging, with sorted waste rising from 38.4% to 50.4%.
    To further optimize the logistics of waste collection, Autogrill decided to extend waste collection in the back area to nearest premises present on the same motorway section.

 

 2009 (2nd half)2009 (1st half)
UnitTotal
waste
Waste
sorted
%
on total
Total
waste
Waste
sorted
%
on total
t313.312157.7750.4%296.1113.6938.4%

Estimates

  •  The 4th“Design and build for all” International Ideas Competition was held for students and designers to promote a new design culture that looks at the needs of everyone and makes daily living spaces more accessible and usable. The competition theme this time was the design of free-flow restaurants and seating in Autogrill points of sale. In the previous competition the themes were the bar counter, toilets and check-out area. The winning project for the bar counter was recently implemented in the Mensa di Ravenna service area. 466 designers (students and professionals, Italian and foreign) took part in the 4th competition and the jury examined 202 entries redesigning the layout of the free flow self-service area in Autogrill location to make it more accessible. Most of the participants were from Sicily, with 66 entries, followed by Lazio (49), Lombardia (45), Veneto (42) and Liguria (40). Internationally, there were entries from Canada, France, Spain, Poland, Greece, Romania and Kazakhstan. Sicily also had the highest number of winning projects (four out 12). The objective was to design service areas that increase comfort and usability for everyone and not just those with motorial or sensorial difficulties. This design approach is based on the experience of “lo Spirito di Stella”, the world’s first catamaran built without architectural barriers.
    Andrea Stella showed that, in design, focussing on disability is an advantage and not a limitation because design for the disabled improves the quality of what is built for everyone.
  • In December, Aldeasa – Autogrill Group’s Spanish division, in the Travel Retail & Duty Free business – introduced biodegradable plastic bags in its points of sale in Spanish airports. The bags are bio-plastic, made with potato starch and natural ink, to reduce the environmental impact with respect to traditional plastic bags. Under the project, all traditional plastic bags, of all sizes, will be withdrawn except for transparent bags for carrying certain objects onto flights, as required by European law (ICAO STEB). The new bags are 100% biodegradable, recyclable, re-usable and compostable: they decompose in 18 months, without a trace of contamination. In July, the company started testing the eco-sustainable bags in Palma de Majorca Airport and found considerable consensus among customers (90,000 bags purchased in two months).
    The proceeds from sale of the bags were donated to marine conservation projects promoted by WWF Spain. Aldeasa will also be introducing raffia bags of cabin handbaggage dimensions that customers can use to take purchases and other personal effects onto flights.
  • In recent years, World Duty Free, HMSHost and Autogrill France have also been using bio-degradable bags in their points of sale to raise awareness amongst staff and customers of the “three Rs” (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), the strategy to adopt to limit the environmental impact of packaging and wrappings.