Pirelli & C. Ambiente S.p.A.

Pirelli & C. Ambiente S.p.A., a Pirelli Group company founded in early 2005, specialises in sustainable development technology and solutions, renewable energy sources, and photovoltaics.

Thanks to the synergies with Pirelli Labs – the Group’s advanced research centre – Pirelli Ambiente is able to offer the market a vast range of low environmental impact and high technology products.

Pirelli Ambiente owns the entire share capital of:

  • Pirelli & C. Ambiente Renewable Energy – Renewable energy sources
  • Pirelli & C. Ambiente Site Remediation – Environmental remediation

and 50%, in a joint venture with Global Cleantech Capital, of the share capital of - Solar Utility – Photovoltaic energy.

Pirelli & C Ambiente Renewable Energy S.p.A.

Pirelli & C. Ambiente Renewable Energy has been operating for over four years in the field of renewable energy sources, particularly in the conversion of urban solid waste (USW) to energy.

The company is also committed to the technical standardisation of waste-derived fuels, and contributes to the development and validation of technical specifications and analysis methods for the so called “Solid Recovered Fuels”, which were made official by the European Union in 2007 through a special series of Technical Standards.

Pirelli & C. Ambiente Renewable Energy – in association with Pirelli Labs – has developed and patented a high quality WDF (Waste-Derived Fuel), whose unique features consist of its composition and methods of production and use.

Of particular significance is the recognition received by the company in 2006 from the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), (a foundation set up by former US President William J. Clinton to collect resources to tackle the macro-problems faced by the planet), for its “Commitment” to reducing CO2 emissions by 5 million tonnes over 3-5 years in North America, Europe and Asia, through the spread of waste-to-energy technology.

Pirelli is also promoting industrial projects for the eco-sustainable management of urban waste at international level.

Pirelli WDF-Q

Pirelli WDF-Q is obtained by adding a number of components with a high calorific power to the dry portion of USW. It may be used as a partial replacement for conventional fossil fuels in existing non specialist plants, such as cement works and thermoelectric power stations, with significant environmental benefits for the population in the form of lower emissions, particularly CO2 ,NOX and SO2, from fossil fuels, and economic benefits (in terms of lower waste disposal costs). The WDF-Q – High Quality Waste-Derived Fuel – is not composed of waste, but is instead a fuel obtained from the separation, processing and recomposition of a minimum of 50% of urban solid waste.

WDF-Q differs from normal quality WDF and other “waste-derived fuels” because it guarantees greater stability over time and better standards of quality in terms of calorific power, lower concentrations of pollutants and certainty of the biodegradable biomass content.

WDF-Q has many eco-sustainable benefits.

First of all its biomass content, recognised in industrialised countries as a renewable energy source, of around 50%. This biomass is moreover “non-virgin”, i.e. originating from other production processes, thus avoiding the use of “virgin” biomass, obtained for example from wood from existing forests. Also, since the WDF-Q is employed in co-combustion in electric power plants and cement works, its use does not entail the building of new combustion plants, at the same reducing the use of fossil fuels.

The environmental and economic sustainability of energy recovery from “non-virgin” biomasses contained in urban waste was reiterated in 2007 by the UK Environment Agency in its “Waste Strategy for England 2007”, aimed at promoting the use of waste derived fuel through systems of incentives for the use of renewable energy sources.

Pirelli Ambiente palloncini

Pirelli Ambiente S.p.A. specialises in sustainable development technology and solutions

A recent study by Nomisma Energia (an economic research company founded in Bologna, with twenty years of research experience in the sector) analysed the benefits that could be obtained in Italy, based on the assumption of a potential consumption of 3.7 million tonnes, which would allow the use of around 8 million tonnes of urban waste:

  • Promotion of separate waste collection and reduction of urban solid waste disposal by around 6.5 million tonnes per year.
  • Reduction of CO2 emissions, the main greenhouse gas, of 7 million tonnes per year. This would represent one of the most effective measures to achieve the Kyoto targets.
  • Increase in electricity generation from renewable sources of 2.7 terawatt hours (TWh) per year, equal to the consumption by a million families.
  • Energy saving of 0.33 million tonnes oil equivalent (Mtoe) per year in cement works, against a national target of 2.9 Mtoe in 2009.

In addition, according to a study by the Bicocca University of Milan, conducted using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method, the use of WDF-Q is respectively 90 and 72 times more environmentally friendly than alternative solutions like landfills and waste-to-energy incinerators.

In Italy, the integrated system promoted by Pirelli Ambiente Renewable Energy has been operating successfully since 2003 in the Cuneo Province, through the mixed public-private company Idea Granda, 49% owned by Pirelli and 51% by the municipal body ACSR - Azienda Cuneese Smaltimento Rifiuti.

Since the start-up of this system the percentage of recovery of energy from waste in the area has risen to 32%, which is higher than both the Italian average (7%) and, more importantly, the European average (27%). In the cement works in question, the use of WDF-Q in 2007 resulted in a reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere of over 36,000 tonnes (+ 20% compared to 2006).

Each tonne of WDF-Q used in co-combustion saves 1.75 tonnes of CO2 and reduces NOX emissions by 20% (approximately 360 tonnes), thus making a significant contribution to the achievement of the targets accepted by Italy for the Kyoto Protocol.

Pirelli & C. Ambiente Site Remediation S.p.A. – Environmental Remediation

Pirelli & C. Ambiente Site Remediation S.p.a. has been operating successfully since the nineties in the remediation, redevelopment, and enhancement of brownfield industrial sites.

Over the years the company has widened its expertise by providing support to other companies in the Pirelli Group in the management of industrial areas throughout Italy, and also to Pirelli & C. RE in the acquisition and environmental remediation of new brownfield areas and/or property assets.

Pirelli & C. Ambiente Site Remediation’s scope of operations ranges from the preliminary assessment of environmental liabilities (Environmental Due Diligence) of property assets and/or sites possible targets of property broking services, to the development of the necessary engineering activities and management of relations with the relevant authorities, through to complete remediation and redevelopment of the areas, while safeguarding the environment and meeting any time constraints or specific requirements of the customer.

The company offers a vast range of solutions for the Environmental Reclamation of contaminated sites, using its specialist technical expertise in soil remediation to satisfy the wide-reaching requirements of the overall process of urban and land redevelopment. It also assists building and building services designers, by providing ideas for high-quality, highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.

This is based around four core principles:

  • Energy efficiency, not only for winter heating, but also for summer cooling.
  • Use of eco-compatible materials.
  • Use of renewable resources.
  • Living comfort.

At the end of April 2007, Pirelli & C. Ambiente Site Remediation S.p.A. obtained the SACERT certification (system of accreditation for building certification organisations), which allows the company to conduct building energy assessments, classify the buildings, prepare the Energy Qualification/Certification certificates, and to research solutions designed to improve the building’s energy performance.

The requirement for this type of certification follows the adoption by the Member States of the European Community of the Directive 2002/91/EC on the energy performance of buildings, whose principal goal is to promote energy saving by reducing the energy consumption associated with buildings, which represents almost a third of the European Union’s energy needs.

The following table summarises the extent of the work carried out by Pirelli & C. Ambiente Site Remediation to date:

Total surface area redeveloped or undergoing redevelopment

approximately 3,400,000 m2

Buildings demolished

approximately 3,900,000 m2

Environmental due diligence of areas

approximately 6,500,000 m2

Environmental due diligence of buildings

approximately 6,000,000 m2

Large-scale remediation projects via on-site remediation


Large-scale remediation projects involving site safety measures


Energy efficiency certification

approximately 700,000 m2

Solar Utility S.p.A.

Solar Utility S.p.A. is a 50/50 joint venture between Pirelli Ambiente, supplier of environmental solutions, and Global Cleantech Capital, a leading investor in the renewable energy sector in Europe and North America, specialising in solar energy, green building, wind energy, bio-energy and advanced materials, with the aim of increasing renewable energy production and energy efficiency, thus driving the decrease in carbon use.

Created in 2007 through the union of these two major players, Solar Utility is a photovoltaic electricity producer. It provides 100% green energy to end-users at competitive prices and has an ambitious investment program in Italy aimed at the development, construction and management of its own photovoltaic plants, with an installed capacity of 50 MW over the next 5 years.

In implementing its investment program, Solar Utility works closely with Pirelli & C. Real Estate Facility Management, a leading operator in Italy. Its operations are mainly focused on “integrated” installations on buildings, optimising Pirelli Group’s expertise and work in the real estate sector, with projects also aimed at the removal and replacement of large-scale asbestos roofing.

One of the first Solar Utility’s Projects in 2007 was the convention with the Municipality of Alessano (Lecce) for the construction and management of photovoltaic plants on buildings and lands owned by the Municipality.

The Municipality will achieve significant economic savings through this project, thanks to the significant size of the photovoltaic plants (from 1.1 MW), which will provide an annual production of “clean” electricity of over 1,600,000 kWh, equivalent to the energy consumption of more than 600 families.

Solar Utility also meets the requirements of the Italian Decree “Conto Energia 2007”, governing the national feed-in tariff for the solar electricity production.

Like the other Pirelli Environment companies, at Solar Utility business is effectively and efficiently combined with significant environmental and public health benefits.