Energy efficiency and waste control

Energy is a precious asset that Autogrill Group intends to use responsibly. The commercial structures open to the public imply a considerable consumption of energy for lighting and all the necessary technological equipment. Autogrill ensures that this considerable energy expenditure never translates into waste and to this end, next generation equipment and plants are the rule in the stores. The use of innovative equipment enables the Group to avoid waste, monitor energy efficiency and adopt corrective actions that generate additional savings. For the provision of catering services, the performance of periodic assessments and the possibility of applying specific changes to the structure and the equipment used in relation to the duration of the concession is of the essence.

Within specific infrastructures, where utilities are managed centrally by the landlord, like airports, it is difficult to collect detailed data about consumption and utility costs. This is important to note, because the costs are already included in the concession agreements stipulated with the landlords. In this case, in addition to using highly efficient equipment and plants, training employees to utilize them correctly is critical. In recent years, the situation is changing, showing an increased engagement also from airport landlords.

Food & Beverage

In recent years, the Autogrill Group has ramped up its commitment to the development of commercial structures equipped with top-notch tools to monitor and manage waste. The approach was multifold and cross-sectional: from the changes applied to the free cooling set points to increase ventilation to failure prevention by exploiting technological alerts; from Network staff training during the performance of audits to the weekly analysis of consumption to monitor short-term actions; from the computation of consumption to verify management failures to the prompt reporting of failures that may have an impact on consumption.

This year in Italy, efforts to reduce energy consumption resulted in the development of two photovoltaic plants, exploiting the roofs of the warehouses in Pieve Emanuele (Milan) and Anagni (Frosinone) and installing approximately 18,000 sq m of panels. The generation of energy from the two plants is equal to about 2.4 GWh with self-consumption of between 70-90%. Moreover, to improve the quality of lighting and safety in the workplace, in addition to energy efficiency, a light design project was completed in the warehouse of Pieve Emanuele (Milan). More than 1,200 traditional bulbs were replaced by approximately 800 LEDs with the same illumination output. This project included a first stage for the photometric assessment of the illumination provided by the traditional devices and a second stage for the measurement of the real energy consumption, using a meter. A third step was added for the valuation of the technical feasibility, financial sustainability and impact. Thanks to the increasing use of LED technology for light design the Pieve Emanuele logistic center achieved savings of 58% of total energy consumption, corresponding to approximately 250 MWh per year.
These two projects are part of a broader framework regarding operations in Italy as a whole, which achieved an important target: a 3.65% (equal to 4.75 GWh) energy reduction in comparable stores1 on a year on year basis.

Sharing best practices among the countries within the Group plays a fundamental role in terms of engineering aspects and technical purchases, similarly to the management of other business aspects (human resources, product offering and new service development). For instance, the use of LED technology in new stores is spreading in all the countries in which the Group operates. Moreover, in Spain, following the example of Italy, stores have implemented High-Speed Grill hot plates. Developed in collaboration with Electrolux, this solution combines three different technologies in a single piece of equipment: contact plate, infrared and microwave. 30 seconds are sufficient to warm up a sandwich, instead of the 2 minutes required using traditional plates, and they consume 0.5 KW/hour, half as much as the traditional ones. This technology also contributed to improving employee safety in the workplace.

Spain is also looking into the use of domotics to control light systems, heating, air conditioning and production equipment. A pilot system was successfully installed in a few stores and yielded good energy savings. In addition, after an initial test, open refrigerators were replaced with refrigerators equipped with sliding doors in the stores in Europe. This small modification will also result in energy savings.

1“Comparable stores” refers to the perimeter of stores remained unchanged against the previous year (which may not coincide with the total number of Italian stores).
The difference in consumption registered for comparable stores is taken as reference to collect truly comparable data.

Travel Retail & Duty-Free

The greatest challenge in Travel Retail is the installation of store management systems controlling energy efficiency and monitoring in the stores. To this end, collaboration with airport landlords is of utmost importance in obtaining all the relevant permits for installation, as well as cooperation with the brand partners in order to ensure that the equipment installed is energy efficient. Specifically, new stores should be equipped with highly efficient air conditioning systems and LED technology lighting.

Moreover, World Duty Free Group UK is a founding member of the “Heathrow Sustainability Partnership” together with the same airport facility management company and other companies operating at the terminal. The objective of this partnership is perfectly in line with Afuture Roadmap, that is, collaborating to support the airport in its path towards eco-sustainability and implementing energy efficiency plans based on the investments made by the airport company to improve automatic energy consumption measurements. Within the framework of this program, in 2012 a series of initiatives were launched in Travel Retail, specifically along the line of the areas of major interest and expertise: “Energy Metering & Monitoring”, “Energy Reduction” and “Energy Communication”.