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Zero-emission meals those delivered to schools and hospitals in Naples thanks to a project by EP Spa in collaboration with Renault. Steaming dishes coming upelectric vehicles with zero emissionshe explains Giuseppe Esposito, commercial director of Ep Spa: "The new vans will make it possible to minimize the environmental impact of meal delivery, reducing emissions of carbon dioxide in the air by over 46 quintals". The project is moving forward.
1) How did the idea for this initiative come about? Who helped you?
For EP, attention to the environment is not simply responding to ministerial directives that set limits and stakes in this sense. We have made it a real mission, which involves our entire business, from transport to used materials, fromenergy efficiency the safety of the products used. After the innovations introduced in the hospital catering service, we decided to intervene also in the school one, finding an important side in Renault. At the local level, then, we have been able to count on the support and support of the Union of Industrialists of Naples.
2) What technological innovations have you introduced for greater protection of the environment?
We are the first company in Italy that will use electric vans to transport meals to all schools served. This will immediately lead to a significant reduction in the environmental impact of school meals on the air quality of our city. THE electric vehicles they perform very similarly to the diesel engines used up to now, but they are completely ecological and make no noise. The goal of our project, in fact, is to completely replace EP's vehicle fleet with electric vehicles over the next few years. Alongside this, we have also introduced some ecological innovations in the hospital dining area. All these innovations not only guarantee compliance with ministerial directives, but go further, to make a decisive contribution to environment protection.
3) How much have you invested and with what results?
L'agreement with Renault provides for the delivery of 30 Kangoo ZE (i.e. zero emissions, 100% electric vans) in 3 years. EP spa wished to invest a million euros in total, including vehicle management costs (installation of charging stations, batteries, etc.), without asking for any kind of public funding. In short, it is a truly private investment, but the results of which affect the quality of life of all of us, thanks to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in the air of Naples.
4) How did you introduce reusable tableware into the hospital service and with what result?
We started by introducing, some time ago, a personalized trolley, thanks to which the patient is served a tray brought from the kitchen in a cold-hot regime, with a hot side that keeps the product at 65 ° and another at 4-6 °. For some months, then, we have been working on the introduction of aluminum trays with polycarbonate tableware, steel cutlery, biodegradable glasses: this has already brought a reduction on the normal cycle of waste of about 5 and a half million trays per year, a particularly significant result here in Campania. In addition, we have installed a water filtering system capable of providing a quality product with zero impact, reducing the consumption of plastic.
5) What makes disposable replacement difficult? What is your goal?
First of all, there are performance limits: plastic has a lower weight and a higher resistance than other products, especially as regards cutlery. Furthermore, in order to be able to really replace the disposable dishes, it is necessary to prepare rooms with adequate washing equipment. In this case we are also attnti to the detergents used, preferring those 90% biodegradable. We are also promoting new materials - moving from plastic to ceramic and, lastly, polycarbonate - for the new tenders, but we also need the support and attention to these issues from local administrations, thus encouraging the farewell to disposable materials.
6) What role did Renault play in the project?
Renault is our technical partner and has decided to support our initiative by providing us with 30 Kangoo ZEs over the next three years. The French company has long been focusing on sustainable mobility and low-emission vehicles, so the agreement was practically immediate. No collective catering company had ever thought of using electric vehicles for deliveries, and consequently no car manufacturer had provided a fleet for this purpose. In short, we are pioneers in their respective sectors.
7) What are the advantages for the city of eco-friendly catering?
The new vans will make it possible to completely reduce the environmental impact of the delivery of meals in the city, reducing emissions of carbon dioxide in the air by over 46 quintals. Naples will be the first city in Italy to have a completely ecological transport system for school canteens. One of the most efficient commercial vehicles today produces around 140 g of CO2 per km: the new Kangoo Z.E. with which we have equipped ourselves reduce this figure to zero, with an undoubted advantage in environmental terms. Without also considering the elimination of noise pollution.