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, and is active in the renewable energy source, environmental clean-up and energy efficiency sectors.

Thanks to its 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.

Conversion of Urban Solid Waste to Energy

Pirelli & C. Ambiente has been operating for over five years in the field of renewable energy sources, particularly in the conversion of urban solid waste (USW) and biomass 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 solid recovered fuels, which were made official by the European Union in 2007 through a special series of Technical Standards.

At the international level, it is also promoting industrial projects for eco-sustainable management of urban waste.

In 2008 Pirelli & C. Ambiente set up a joint-venture with Acea S.p.A. for the planning, realisation and joint management of initiatives in the waste management sector in the Italian Regions of Lazio, Tuscany, Liguria, Umbria and Campania.

It also operates in the energy efficiency sector through Serenergy, an energy service company (E.S.Co.) that is 50-50 owned with Buzzi Unicem. Serenergy develops projects for saving fossil fuels and electricity through the use of WDF-Q, receiving energy efficiency certificates that it then trades on the market operated by the GME (Italian national grid operator).

Pirelli & C. Ambiente Renewable Energy, which was merged with Pirelli & C. Ambiente S.p.A. in 2008, has developed and patented - in cooperation with Pirelli Labs - a WDF-Q (Quality Waste-Derived Fuel), whose uniqueness lies not only in its composition but also in how it is produced and used.

Pirelli WDF-Q

Pirelli WDF-Q is obtained by enhancing the dry portion of USW, through a sequence of sorting, chopping, drying and mixing operations with a number of components with high calorific content, such as non-chlorinated plastics from tyre scrap and recycling.

It can be used as a partial replacement for fossil fuels in existing, non-specialist plants, such as cement works and thermoelectric power stations, with significant environmental benefits (lower emissions, particularly CO2, NOX and SOX2 from fossil fuels) and economic benefits (lower waste disposal costs) for the population.

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 content, lower concentrations of pollutants and certainty of the biodegradable biomass content.

WDF-Q has many eco-sustainable benefits.

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

In Italy, the integrated system promoted by Pirelli Ambiente has been operating successfully since 2003 in the Province of Cuneo, which is the home of Idea Granda, a mixed public-private ownership company that is owned by Pirelli (49%) and the municipal company ACSR (51%). Since this system was implemented, the percentage of energy recovered from local waste has risen to 32%, which is both higher than the average for all of Italy (7%) and, above all, Europe (27%). The quantity of enhanced waste and WDF-Q produced by Idea Granda over the last three years is summarised in the following table.






Incoming dry portion





Non-chlorinated incoming recycled plastic waste





Incoming rubber scrap





Outgoing WDF-Q





Avoided CO2 emissions





At the Robilante cement works, the use of WDF-Q over the past year has reduced atmospheric emissions of CO2 by over 32,000 tonnes. Each tonne of WDF-Q used in co-combustion saves 1.75 tonnes of CO2 and reduces NOX by 20%, thus making a significant contribution to achievement of the targets adopted by Italy under the Kyoto Protocol.

The plant operating license of Idea Granda has been renewed until 31 May 2017. It has also increased the annual quantity of the authorised, incoming dry portion to 24,000 tonnes. In order to saturate this volume, it has signed agreements with another two consortia in the Province of Cuneo for supply of the dry portion of USW to be used as WFD-Q in 2009.

Idea Granda has been ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified since 2007, which apply to its quality management and environmental management systems, respectively.

Pirelli & C Ambiente Site Remediation S.p.A. - Environmental Clean-up and Energy Certification

Pirelli & C. Ambiente Site Remediation S.p.a. has been operating successfully since the 1990’s in the remediation, redevelopment and enhancement of brownfield industrial sites. Over the years, the Company has increased 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.

The scope of operations of Pirelli & C Ambiente Site Remediation ranges from the preliminary assessment of environmental liabilities (environmental due diligence) of property assets and/or sites that might require property brokering services, to the development of the necessary engineering activities and management of relations with the relevant authorities, to complete remediation and redevelopment of the areas, while safeguarding the environment and meeting any time constraints or specific requirements of the customer.

In 2008, several major engagements were received from external customers, including TAMOIL, CEMENTIR, VALDADIGE COSTRUZIONI, CAMFIN and BNP PARIBAS.

The following table summarises the extent of the work carried out by Pirelli & C. Ambiente Site Remediation S.p.A. between 1998 and 2008:


Total surface area redeveloped or undergoing redevelopment

approximately 3,400,000 m2

Buildings demolished

approximately 4,000,000 m3

Environmental due diligence of areas

approximately 6,700,000 m2

Environmental due diligence of properties

approximately 7,100,000 m2

Large-scale remediation projects through on-site remediation


Large-scale remediation projects involving site safety


Energy efficiency certification

approximately 1,800,000 m2

1 The data refer to the activity of Pirelli & C. Real Estate Project Management S.p.A. between 1998 and 2005 and the activity of Pirelli & C. Ambiente Site Remediation between 2005 and 2008.

Environmental solutions

The Company offers a vast range of environmental solutions, using its specialist technical expertise in soil remediation to satisfy the wide-reaching requirements of the overall process of urban and land development. Ambiente Site Remediation assists building and building services designers by providing ideas for high-quality, highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.

This support is based on 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.

Pirelli & C. Ambiente Site Remediation has obtained 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 research solutions designed to improve the building’s energy performance. The requirement for this type of certification stems from adoption by Member States of the European Union of Directive 2002/91/EC on the energy performance of buildings, whose principal goal is to promote energy conservation by reducing the energy consumption associated with buildings, which represents almost a third of the European Union’s energy needs.

A cooperative project with the University of Genoa is currently under review for the development and testing of innovative materials resulting both from research and from benchmarking of the most recent and advanced solutions available. These involve new generation products characterised by high quality, energy efficiency and eco-sustainability standards.

Pirelli & C. Ambiente Site Remediation will thus expand its commitment in the following areas:

  • energy efficiency for legal compliance;
  • low environmental impact;
  • sustainability of the built environment;
  • better air quality due to the absence of harmful emissions;
  • more healthful environments through the use of natural materials;
  • green areas designed for relaxation and leisure time.

Plans for 2009 call for completing decontamination of the former CAM di Pero oil depot by using biotechnology and continuation of ongoing activities to map and remove asbestos at TAMOIL service stations throughout Italy.

Pirelli & C. Ambiente Site Remediation aims to obtain ISO 14001 environmental certification in 2009.

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. Cleantech Capital specialises in solar and wind power, green building, bio-energy and advanced materials, with the aim of increasing renewable energy production and energy efficiency, and thus reducing the use of fossil fuels.

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

Solar Utility makes its operating decisions according to the optimal localisation of plants, resulting from a combination of objective local conditions (the typical sun exposure of southern Italy, orientation, shade, dimensions of roof or land areas) and the rules set out in the Energy Account Decree of February 2007, which regulates government subsidies for photovoltaic energy production.

Solar Utility works closely with the firmly established operators in the photovoltaic industry to implement its own capital expenditure programme.

One of the first projects approved by Solar Utility in 2007 was the agreement with the Town of Alessano (Lecce) for the construction and operation of photovoltaic plants on buildings and lands owned by the town. The town will realise major economic savings through this project, due to the significant dimensions of the photovoltaic plants (from 1.1 MW), which will provide an annual output of over 1,600,000 KWh clean electricity (equivalent to the consumption of over 600 families).

In 2008 Solar Utility signed another two agreements with public authorities for the construction of photovoltaic plants in Puglia and Calabria. It also completed construction on photovoltaic plants with an aggregate capacity of 3 MW.

Furthermore effectively into the photovoltaic market, Solar Utility initiated a collaborative project with Pirelli Labs in 2008 to develop innovative plastic materials that can be used to build photovoltaic structures and industrialise a prototype photovoltaic tracker created by exploiting the existing know-how of Pirelli Labs.