Hera

Type

Type 3: Multi-stakeholder urban alliance

Sector of the company/organisation

Energy & Utilities

Name of activity/project (or solution offered)

HeraLAB (Local Advisory Board) - Multi stakeholder board

Relevant urban sustainability topic

climate (mitigation, adaptation,…)
energy
lifestyles (sustainable consumption, recreation, leisure,…)
social economy (unemployment, education, diversity, inclusive economy,…)
sustainability strategy (strategy development at city level, urban planning,…)

Start year

2013

Brief project summary

HeraLAB is an innovative dialogue and involvement instrument vis-à-vis communities.
The LABs are multi-stakeholder boards aimed at interpreting the needs of the areas and proposing initiatives aimed at improving the sustainability of the services offered by Hera. The functioning of the LAB is defined within a set of defined rules.

Short activity description

The LABs meet between 4 and 6 times per year.
The HerLABs' work is structured in 4 stages:
- know: the Lab defines the “map” of the aspects significant for the area and propose ideas and initiatives
- plan: the participants formulate effective and consistent ideas with the contents of the map of the significant aspects
- develop: in this stage, the Lab defines the Plan of the local initiatives to be proposed to Hera; after the amendment made to the rules in 2014, the Plan may contain a maximum of 6 initiatives
- create: in this stage, Hera expresses its assessments on the projects proposed by the Lab and approves the plan of local initiatives.
As from the second year of activities, the 4 meetings of the LAB will be divided into two parts:
- ordinary activities of the LAB will be carried out as before
- monitoring and reporting on the initiatives approved in the previous year proposed by LAB and approved

The company calculates an attendance fee of Euro 100 for each meeting and for each participant which goes towards creating a solidarity fund which the LAB shall assign each year to sustainability ventures carried out by local non-profit or public bodies.

Achieved impact

In 2014, a total of 17 meetings were held for the 5 active labs.
One focused on looking in-depth at the aspect of district heating in Ferrara while 3 focused on the district heating in Imola-Faenza. In total, 57 stakeholder representatives took part in the Labs.
The first two Labs were launched in the areas of Ravenna and Imola-Faenza during 2013. Thanks to their success, the company has decided to expand the project.
A total of 24 initiatives have been approved since the beginning of the project and 7 initiatives (since 2014) were concluded.

Is this project a best practice? Why?

HeraLAB is a best practice because it is an innovative dialogue and involvement instrument vis-à-vis the local communities.
These multi-stakeholder boards have a concrete role in interpreting the needs of the areas and proposing initiatives aimed at improving the sustainability of the services offered by Hera.

What are the main lessons learned during implementation?

The lesson learned is that involving different stakeholders needs a definition of a clear set of rules for the correct functioning of the Board. These rules are discussed and approved by each LAB. We paid more attention in the selection of members of each Lab.

More information on the project

Other details

Title

Director of Corporate Social Responsibility