Hera Group : Emitting data

The public presentation of current information is a smart reputation booster.

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The feature

Hera Group, Italian regional utilities and environmental management company, provides same-day information about the emissions from its waste-to-energy plants.

Hera includes profiles of six waste-to-energy plants within the Environment sub-section of the Business activities area of its group site. Each profile carries a chart showing the limits and status for six types of emission (for example, sulphur dioxide) plus a reading for ‘average value in the last half hour’. Descriptions of each emission type can be triggered in a pop-up box by clicking on the chart, which also has a link to Emissions record. This refreshes the page to the left of the chart with a table showing the daily values for each emission type for the current month. A simple set of date dropdowns (day, month, year) allows users to extend or shorten the time span in the display.

On the Italian-language version of the site the Environment (Ambiente) menu also includes a heading for Emissions online (Emissioni online) that provides a simpler list-based route to the emissions reports and explains the company’s reason for publishing the information.

The takeaway

Hera makes a good job of generating enough information in its plant charts, including the pop-up supplements, for its emissions data to be comprehensible to a non-specialist audience. And while the deep archive may seem more aimed at professionals and regulators, its provision is still primarily for public consumption and reassurance – the Italian overview states that the numbers are already available to the relevant authorities or by request. It also confirms that the aim of the ‘web service’ is about transparency and accountability, as well as bolstering the group’s technological and environmental reputations.

Making the almost-live data easily accessible to anyone living near one of the incinerators is a great public relations (or, if you prefer, public service) use of the site and behind the scenes must involve an impressive level of integration both technically and organisationally. One further integration that would boost its output even more would be with one or more social channels or sharing options. None is offered or utilised at the moment, but the group has presences in social media (Flickr, Pinterest, LinkedIn) so just needs to extend its thinking a little more to power up its profile further.


First published 24 April, 2014
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