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Quality and Environment

During 2006, Hera continued with the consolidation and development of the Quality, Safety and Environment management system, created in previous years; the activities carried out led to the realization of the aims contained in the 2006-2008 Strategic Plan.

First and foremost, the objective of environmental certification. In December 2006, and after an extremely demanding series of internal analysis, training awareness-raising and assessment activities by a third party, Hera obtained ISO 14001 standard certification.
This project extended to the entire Group has led to the need to harmonize the environmental analysis criteria so as to be able to evaluate systems which are standard, as well as to share common problems which may lead to a solution in keeping with Hera's organization.

For such purposes, under DQSA co-ordination, meetings were organized between the various bodies present within Hera leading to the definition of an environmental analysis and management procedure model in accordance with regulations defined in shared documents.

The planning of the controls linked to the process, extended to many environment aspects now represents one of the activity governance instruments aimed at guaranteeing observance of the legislation, the quality of the products and services provided without ignoring pollution prevention and the environmental impact in a broad sense.

The Group's commitment in the environmental field has achieved additional, important results involving consolidation of the EMAS registration for the activities already registered and the extension to 4 new waste disposal plants, on a consistent basis with the commitment undertaken in 2005 via the EMAS Committee.

Alongside the environmental route, that associated with quality was further developed and in 2006 saw the surmounting of the third party assessments for maintenance of the certification already acquired in accordance with the ISO 9001 standard. New projects were launched in collaboration with the QSE service, with the common aim of integrating the QSE Management System with the corporate organizational instruments on a more meaningful basis. Further to the corporate climate and customer satisfaction surveys, projects were launched for reviewing the system of the KPIs, the introduction of improvement and feedback groups, and other initiatives, with the mutual objective of on-going improvement peculiar to the management system introduced. The various improvement projects identified within the sphere of Quality System implementation came together clearly in the BSC projects. Accordingly, again during 2006 an assessment of the DQSA was performed aimed at looking in-depth at and recovering the climate of the structure within a feedback context. Handled in collaboration with an outside body, this involved the entire DQSA from September to December in an assessment of the QSE system, probing the internal climate, the complexities of the same and the suggested corrective action. The results of the assessment were at the basis of an organizational re-planning of the QSE system aimed at enhancing the role and incisiveness in the development of the processes and in the procedures. The reorganisation will be implemented during the first few months of 2007 at the same time as the start up of the ISO 14001 standard certification procedure.

With regards to certification, Hera confirmed its commitment to go ahead with dealing with the health and safety system, according to the OHSAS 18001 standard. The assessment activities performed by an outside body will commence as early as the first few months of 2007, and conclude by the end of Summer 2008, given the complexity and delicacy of the related subjects.