Discover the Acea Group online 2019 Sustainability Report

Environmental sustainability and the primary challenges: overview

The main challenges for environmental sustainability dealt with by Acea during the year are included in the framework outlined in the 2030 Agenda and focus on a few key issues, including climate, water resources, circular economy and technological innovation applied to infrastructure management.

With regard to climate change, the Group is undertaking initiatives aimed on the one hand at the process of adaptation to these changes, for example, by making infrastructure more resilient and incorporating the analysis of critical scenarios into operations, and on the other hand at the mitigation process through the progressive reduction of climate-changing emissions. In 2019 it continued the path towards the implementation of a system consistent with the UNI EN ISO 14064 standard (on the inventory of greenhouse gases), which enables a more accurate analysis and knowledge of emissions generated by plants, and achieved positive results on the CDP- Carbon Disclosure Project Questionnaire for which Acea improved its score, obtaining an A- (see also the box in the Corporate Identity chapter Strategy and sustainability).

With regard to the management of water, in agreement with the institutions of reference Acea continued the actions necessary for the construction of the new upper section of the Peschiera-Le Capore Aqueduct to safeguard the water supply in Rome and the Province of Rome. In addition, the wastewater reuse project continues, important both for preserving water resources and for the circular economy.

Acea has been investing in the circular economy for some years now, with the aim of both reducing waste of resources, for example by using process waste, and obtaining energy recovery. This commitment was reinforced by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Enea for the joint development of projects in the circular economy, with regard to the sustainable waste cycle and water resource management (see also the chapter Institutions and the company).

Also this year Acea contributed to the pursuit of some of the objectives set by the four European Directives of the “Circular Economy Package”. Indeed, at Ecomondo Acea Elabori, Acea Ambiente and Acea Ato 2 presented some projects aimed at the development of diffused composting, the reuse of water, the recovery of matter in urban purification plants and the reduction of sludge (see the box for details).

Promoting a circular economy also requires the best possible management of water including through the use of water kiosks, see in this regard the chapter Customers and the community.

With regard to technological innovation particular attention is paid to applications that concern the management of networks and their evolution (see also Corporate Identity and the Institutions and the company chapter).


Acea once again this year participated in Ecomondo, the most important international trade show of sustainable development in the Euro- Mediterranean area held in Rimini with an innovative format that brought together the sectors of the circular economy referring to the recovery of matter and energy, and the sustainable management of water resources. The topics covered during the event were “waste and resources”, “circular bioeconomy”, “reclamation and hydrogeological risk” and “water”, with a focus on the most advanced and sustainable technological solutions for the correct management and leveraging of resources (types of waste, water, polluted marine sites and raw, second and renewable materials).

Acea presented some projects focused on the circular and green economy such as Acea SmartComp for local composting (for more information see also the box in the chapter Environment – waste management), Sludge Mining for the recovery of fertilizers and biofuels from sewerage sludge and Water Kiosks, and shared , testimonies shared in the topical seminars and interviews by project managers.

In addition, the Chairwoman of Acea addressed the international plenary session of the General Assembly of Ecomondo entitled “Climate and Green New Deal: a compact between companies and governments”.

The booth set up by Acea, visited by many and also by the Minister of the Environment, proposed several activities engaging visitors, including an educational presentation on the water cycle for boys and girls of school age, practical demonstrations on chemical analyses and water controls, a social activation on the importance of the reuse of objects thanks to creative restyling. In addition, experts in the scientific and environmental field have given advice on the conduct needed in everyday life to help improve the quality of the environment, by recycling plastic or reducing its consumption.

Acea also presented the AIRES network contract: A network of companies, institutions and technology consortia engaged in the development of a circular economy and environmental sustainability (see also the chapter Institutions and the company).