A cura di See all stories


Major global companies choose sustainability

‘Green’ ethics make their way with great strides in global business

Not only a declared environmental sensitivity, but also concrete plans of action to reduce the carbon footprint..


A recent study of more than a thousand CEOs in 103 countries carried out by Accenture, a global management consultancy, showed that 93% of the vertices of major companies consider sustainability a key factor for future success in the market. While research by Deloitte, another giant in business consultancy, points out that 93% of CFOs consider that there is a direct relationship between sustainability programs and business performance.

According to Andrew Winston, co-author of the best seller Green to Gold, 75% of major global companies have adopted policies of environmental sustainability. These include Google, Apple, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Shell, McKinsey, Nestlé, Pfizer, Disney, Chevron, Coca-Cola, L’Oréal, Dell.

There are numerous examples of initiatives and best practices, a little in all productive sectors. Coca Cola, for example, has indicated its goals for 2020, including a 25% reduction of polluting emissions for each drink, the recycling of 75% of the bottles and cans and the 100% restitution of the water used for beverages to the local communities and nature. On the other hand Google has launched the Google Green project that predicts data centre that pollute half of the traditional ones. Again, Ford has inserted a soya based padding for its seats in some models of Explorer, while H & M has chosen an E-Soft finishing technology for its jeans that uses 98% water and 79% less energy than traditional techniques.

Autogrill, leader of catering at the service of the traveller, present in the mobility infrastructure of 30 countries, has long since launched an international program aimed at developing projects and best practices of sustainability in the Group's international network, called Afuture. Shape our Tomorrow the motto that accompanies it, has translated into targets defined in a Roadmap for the period 2012 - 2015 which aims to improve energy productivity and the reduction of water consumption; the establishment of at least 30 new LEED certified buildings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and the rethinking of the packaging with a sustainable approach; last but not least, the reduction of accidents of employees. A concrete example of the group’s sustainable philosophy is the selling location Villoresi East, inaugurated in 2013 on the A8 Milano-Laghi motorway where there is a concentration of avant-garde solutions regarding sustainable innovation. It is the only case in the area of motorway service stations in Europe that has been given the Leed Gold certificate. The environmental impact is minimal, the visual is at its maximum. Villoresi East welcomes clients with the visual impact of a 27 meter high volcano, which at night becomes red like an erupting Etna. The volcano shape with intercept roof and 420 geothermal probes allow it to exploit the thermal exchanges with the external environment, reducing the amount of energy required to heat or cool the air. Innovations that in 2013 made it possible to save as much as 266 Mw of electricity, resulting in a reduction in CO2 emissions equal to 125 tons. A system for collecting rainwater and groundwater can reduce water consumption, at least for industrial use. The futuristic building is made of laminated PEFC certified wood, which comes from forests managed in a sustainable way and the building materials used are environmentally friendly and recyclable. A service station for electric cars that enables a car to recharge in less than half an hour was installed in the parking area.


Another virtuous practice that is part of the environmental sustainability project of the Autogrill group is the recycling of construction materials.  For example, coming to the hyper-modern structure of the Delaware Welcome Center, which received the LEED Silver Certificate in the US, it is hard to imagine that it was created by reusing 75% of the material that came from the demolition of the previous building. Its large windows allow maximum use of natural light, reducing electricity consumption. That which is needed comes from 60 geothermal wells, which also feed 37 pumps that are distributed within the building.

At Chicago airport however, in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Aviation, the O'Hare Urban Garden the first ‘aeroponic’ in the world was created inside the airport. It uses a cultivation method that does not require the use of earth: the plants are placed on 26 towers which are 2.5 meters high, and their feeding is guaranteed by a system which sprays the roots with water enriched with mineral fertilizers. There are more than 40 crops, including lettuce, basil, oregano, beans, parsley, which are used in the cuisine of the airport’s restaurants - including the O'Hare Bar and Grill which has a view of the garden itself.


Also in Canada, the Group has pursued sustainable development strategies. Along the two busiest motorways of Canada, the Highway 400 and 401, surrounded by the incomparable landscapes that characterize the country, there are 23 eco-friendly service areas, which have been rebuilt since 2010 in accordance with the LEED Silver standard. And the results were not late in coming: the reduction of approximately 40% of potable water consumption and the reduction of about 25% in energy costs. The majestic nature, gives thanks.

There is a growth of awareness on the planet of the importance of adopting environmentally friendly behaviour, in order to conserve natural resources and slow down global warming. It is a choice that imposes itself more and more onto businesses, public institutions and individuals. It is consumers themselves that are requesting that companies in particular, have an eco-friendly attitude, not only in words but also in action, as they are increasingly attentive to issues of sustainability. Travellers are no exception. And when they make a stop they are no longer demanding merely gastronomic quality. In an eco-friendly and bright environment, designed to minimize emissions and fuel consumption, you can relax and eat better!