22 April 2022
A protocol has been signed to implement environmental sustainability and circular economy initiatives, reducing waste, recovering resources and optimising the water cycle to reduce sludge and losses.

Fiumicino, 22 April 2022 - A protocol to jointly assess joint initiatives in favour of sustainability and a circular approach to the management of Fiumicino and Ciampino airports: this is the focus of the protocol signed by Aeroporti di Roma - the company that runs both of the capital’s hubs - and the Hera Group, one of the main multi-utility companies in Italy. The areas of intervention of the agreement, valid for two years, concern the management of waste, the treatment of waste water in the airport purification plant and the optimisation of water network management.

Actions to make the first airport hub in Italy, the seventh in Europe, increasingly sustainable. The hub’s commitment has already been recognised by ACI Europe, which awarded Fiumicino excellence as the best airport in Europe for three consecutive years from 2018 to 2020. In terms of circular economy, “Leonardo da Vinci” airport boasts a separate waste collection that has amounted to 99% and, in the last 10 years, the consumption of drinking water for each passenger assisted has been reduced by approximately 30%, thanks to a dual distribution network system that ensures the reuse of “recycled” water for all uses for which drinking water is not necessary: ​​irrigation, fire prevention, etc. The Hera Group will make its experience and commitment available in terms of the circular economy and the recovery of resources that have distinguished it since its inception.


Concrete projects to reduce waste, the production of waste and increase its recovery

As regards waste, the main objective is to define guidelines to improve the recovery and reuse of waste produced at the airport, identifying the best solutions to manage the main types of waste, minimising environmental impacts and optimising economic management. This will be achieved by studying any new operational and management processes to further develop separate collection, also involving staff, suppliers and passengers, recover the waste produced (especially used oils, plastic and organic products), reduce the production of waste that cannot be recovered, adopt systems for the recovery of food surpluses produced by airport catering, thus reducing waste and giving new value to uneaten food.


Reduction of sludge produced in the purification process and water losses

The water system of the airports is also the subject of the agreement, in order to assess the possible optimisations to be made to the purifier in a circular economy perspective, facilitating processes that enable the reduction of sludge produced by the waste water purification process (such as, for example, through the installation of dryers to reduce weight and volume) and assessing the possibility of recovering material. Systems are also being studied to optimise the management of water networks, to prevent and limit losses with a view to increasingly virtuous water management, including with the use of advanced sensors and artificial intelligence systems.


“We continue along the path of environmental transition by co-opting the best national excellence” said Marco Troncone, CEO of ADR “by launching, today, a partnership with the Hera Group, a key player, amongst other things, in the circular economy. The scope of action will be concrete and focused on areas in which ADR already performs high, such as waste management and the water cycle, but on which we intend to reach levels of excellence with the support of a recognised specialist leader.”


“This agreement with Aeroporti di Roma is a virtuous example of how a partnership between companies can be a driver of sustainability with positive effects for the environment. Sustainability accompanies and permeates all of our activities and we want to share our experience in this area with the people who operate

in the communities, further strengthening our commitment to the circular economy and the regeneration of resources” commented Stefano Venier, CEO of the Hera Group.

Hera Group

The Hera Group is one of the largest Italian multi-utilities and operates in the environment, energy and water sectors, with over 9,000 employees, engaged every day in responding to the multiple needs of approximately 5 million citizens located mainly in Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli- Venezia Giulia, Marche, Tuscany and Abruzzo. Listed since 2003, it is one of the top 40 Italian companies by capitalisation (it is part of the Ftse Mib index) and, since 2020 ,it has entered the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, World and Europe.

Aeroporti di Roma, Atlantia Group company, manages and develops the airports of Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino and carries out other activities associated with and supplementary to airport management. Fiumicino has two passenger terminals and is dedicated to business and leisure customers on national, international and intercontinental routes; Ciampino is mainly used by low-cost airlines, express couriers and General Aviation activities. In 2019, ADR, as an airport system, recorded 49.4 million passengers with over 240 destinations worldwide that can be reached from Rome, thanks to the approximately 100 airlines operating at the two airports (In 2021, following the effects of Covid-19 on air transport, Fiumicino airport recorded approximately 11.7 million passengers, whilst Ciampino airport closed the year with 2.3 million passengers). In 2020, Airports Council International Europe awarded Leonardo da Vinci the “Best Airport Award 2020”. For the third consecutive year, Leonardo da Vinci confirmed its first place out of all European hubs with over 40 million passengers. The award adds to the recognition of Airports Council International World which, in 2021, for the fourth consecutive year, awarded Leonardo da Vinci the “Airport Service Quality 2020” as the most popular airport in Europe out of all the hubs with more than 40 million passengers. ADR's management capacity was also confirmed by the awards received in 2019 from Skytrax, the main international rating and assessment company in the airport sector, which confirmed the 4 Skytrax stars obtained by Fiumicino in 2017. Significant awards have also been received in the area of ​​digital innovation, the main driver of ADR’s strategy. During 2021, the “Digital Transformation Award”' was awarded to Fiumicino airport as part of the ACI Europe Best Airport Awards. Lastly, with reference to the measures implemented for health protection, the hubs have distinguished themselves by winning numerous awards: the “Airport Health Accreditation”' for 2020 and 2021, the “Airport Health Measures Audit”' in 2020, which certified the Safeguard airports, the “Biosafety Trust Certification” by RINA in 2020, the result of a careful investigation on the containment measures adopted for all forms of possible contagion and the “Covid-19 Skytrax Airport Rating 2020”, which awarded Leonardo da Vinci 5 stars globally based on the efficiency of the procedures and the results of the ATP tests.