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The roots of Herambiente's expertise can be traced back around 100 years to the municipally owned companies of Emilia-Romagna tasked with waste management in the first half of the twentieth century, and to the subsequent construction of urban-waste disposal plants.

Herambiente was created on 1 July 2009 out of the Environment Division of Hera Group, Ecologia Ambiente S.r.l. and Recupera S.r.l., inheriting their expertise and plants.

The incorporation of local companies into Hera enabled it to use and extend their plant infrastructure, expanding its presence in special-waste management thanks to enhanced managerial skills, available financial resources and improved expertise, maintaining strong roots in local communities within the region.

It constituted further proof of the local authorities' desire to remain at the forefront of the waste sector through brave, innovative policies that have enabled the region to be one of the few in Italy that can be certain of being protected against the risk of environmental emergencies over the coming decades. Herambiente is currently the biggest Italian operator in waste disposal and recovery by number of plants and volume of waste treated, and is an industry benchmark throughout Europe.

This interest materialized in July 2010 through the entry into the Herambiente's share capital of leading institutional investors with a long-term view. The Herambiente Group is now 75% controlled by the Hera Group and 25% by EWHL European Waste Holdings Limited, a company incorporated under English law, 50% owned by the British Infrastructure Fund and 3i Managed Infrastructure Acquisitions LP and 50% by the Dutch Pension Fund Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP.

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