Autogrill Villoresi Est gets Gold LEED® certification

  • First f&b building in Italy builit to a LEED® standard
  • Energy savings of 260,000 kwh/year
  • Water savings of over 25,000 m3/year
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 17:30

Milan , 01 October 2013 - Autogrill Group today presented its most significant constructions in terms of sustainability and Green Building at the Salone della CSR e dell'Innovazione Sociale (CSR and Social Innovation Expo). They include the Villoresi Est motorway service area that opened in at the beginning of 2013 and has obtained certification to the LEED® NC for RETAIL protocol (Gold rating), thus bringing this standard to the food&beverage sector in Italy for the first time.

Villoresi Est embodies the Group’s international best practice in the field of environmental protection and sustainable innovation. Its building involved various players, including ICMQ (consulting), ASC Engineering (commissioning), Total Tool (architectural design), Starching (structural design) and Geoenergia (mechanical and electrical systems design).

LEED® protocols provide an integrated approach to the design and construction of buildings based on assessments of their environmental impact while in use. Factors monitored include the design and the choice of site, the materials and resources used, the environmental quality of the interiors, energy and water savings and reduction of emissions. Ten months after its opening, Autogrill Villoresi Est is recording energy efficiency levels better than those originally estimated, with savings of 260,000 kwh/year against the 166,000 originally forecast. The efficiency of the water management system (which obtained the maximum rating from the GBCI certification organization) is also borne out by the results, with savings of over 25,000 m3/year.

The creation of the Villoresi Est service area comes within the framework of Afuture, Autogrill’s sustainability programme, which looks at all the impacts of business processes at economic, social and environmental level. With the launch of the Afuture Roadmap, the programme for the first time set quantitative objectives in three areas, People, Products and Planet. One of Autogrill’s objectives was to obtain Leed certification for 30 points of sale worldwide by the end of 2015, a target that’s now nearer thanks to the eight locations already certified in North America and Italy.

“Autogrill chose the LEED® protocol,” explained Group Chief Internal Audit & CSR Officer Silvio De Girolamo, “because it’s an internationally recognized certification system that enables us to share a design approach across the various countries where the Group operates and is in line with the principles underpinning the Afuture Roadmap. LEED® introduced a holistic vision of design that has favoured the spread of sustainability culture in our project teams and, as a result, has improved our consumer’s experience of a motorway stop-off. One of the key requisites for LEED®, in fact, is environmental quality inside a building, meaning the traveller’s experience in our facilities in terms of usability, accessibility and wellbeing”.

“The suite of LEED®-GBC™ protocols can be applied to different kinds of buildings, from homes to commercial premises, by adapting to the complexity and size of the construction and adopting a versatile and flexible approach,” said Green Building Council Italia chairman Mario Zoccatelli. “Obtaining LEED® certification is the best opportunity, for all Italian operators, to get in line with Europe’s 2020 objectives, thus ensuring competitive edge for themselves and enhanced credibility for the country as a whole. For GBC Italia it’s a source of great satisfaction to see that more and more clients have, like Autogrill, integrated these tools into their business processes and are working to boost their competitiveness whilst caring for the environment and citizens’ wellbeing.”

Autogrill’s Villoresi Est is pioneering LEED® certification of food&beverage facilities in Italy, an achievement made possible by favourable business conditions: the Company owns the service area in which the building was constructed. The duration of concession contracts – Autogrill’s main mode of operation – is crucial to the feasibility of the major infrastructural work required to obtain LEED® certification. To date, the Group has found favourable conditions in Canada, where it has built seven service areas with LEED® certification, while in the United States the certification process for the Delaware service area on the Delaware Turnpike is still in progress.

The Group’s commitment to limiting its environmental impacts also includes instilling environmental best practice in its 56,000 employees in over 4,700 points of sale worldwide.