LESS IS MORE: THE SOFIDEL APPROACH APPLIED TO ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES.
The principle that Less is More, which inspires all the activities of the Sofidel Group, finds its natural expression in the environmental field. Indeed, the paper manufacturing process, requires a lot of energy, which has an impact on some of the planet’s fundamental resources: forests, the atmosphere and water. This is why the Group is committed to reducing its environmental impact through innovative strategies and technologies to limit C02 emissions and preserve forestry resources by applying rigorous procurement policies and a more efficient use of water.
WWF CLIMATE SAVERS: SOFIDEL AND FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE
Sofidel is the first Italian company and the first one worldwide in the tissue sector to have joined WWF's international Climate Savers program in 2008, based on the voluntary definition of sizeable plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by adopting innovative strategies and technologies. Between 2008 and 2012, Sofidel reduced its absolute emissions by 11%, whereas between 2009 and 2017, specific emissions dropped by 21,1%. Sofidel is also the only non-listed Italian company featured in the CDP Italy Climate Change Report, which provides a way to measure, transmit, manage and share information about the environmental performance of companies to hundreds of institutional investors. Between 2013 and 2016, the Group's rating was higher than the average of participating companies.
NEW SOFIDEL – WWF CLIMATE SAVERS' GOALS FOR 2020
Direct emissions reduction. By the end of 2020 Sofidel is committed to reducing the direct greenhouse gas emissions for each tonne of paper produced by 23% in comparison to the numbers of 2009 - which has been selected as the standard-setting year for the initiative. In terms of comparison, this means avoiding the emission of approximately 900K tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the emissions of a fleet of 10K HGVs travelling 10K km a year for 10 years. The reduction objective will be achieved through an investment plan aimed at increasing the energy efficiency of the processes, at the combined production of electrical energy and steam energy and at the use of renewable energies. Among the most recent operational investments, or the ones that are currently being brought to completion: a biomass plant installed in France (Frouard) and three cogeneration plants, one of which is already operational in the United States (Haines City, Florida) and two about to be installed in Italy. Over coming years, ISO 50001 energy certification will also be implemented in all plants.
Indirect emissions reduction Sofidel has not limited itself to analysing the greenhouse gas emissions generated directly by its activities, but the company has also identified opportunities to reduce emissions caused by third parties along its value chain: by the end of 2020, the greenhouse gas emissions deriving from the activities of suppliers, packaging, the transport of raw materials and final products, will be reduced by 13% for each tonne of paper that is produced, in comparison to the figures of 2010. The objective will be achieved by involving the main suppliers and performing a close analysis of the emissions associated to materials and services that will be replaced or improved in the future.
Increase in renewable sources In view of this investment plan, by the end of 2020, it is estimated that 8% of the amount of fuels consumed annually will be covered by renewable sources, an important figure for a company working in such a high energy-consuming sector as the paper industry.
TO PRODUCE PAPER, SOFIDEL RESPECTS FORESTRY RESOURCE
To produce paper, Sofidel mainly uses virgin pulp from trees. To do this, it needs to ensure the natural life of forests is protected from wild and indiscriminate exploitation. The awareness of the role that forests have in protecting the environment worldwide and maintain and expand biodiversity led the Sofidel Group to adopt a specific policy to purchase fibrous raw materials:
1. Sofidel condemns illegal cutting practices, the conversion of natural forests into plantations and works to ensure all its suppliers prove the origin of all the wood used to produce the virgin pulp; 2. Sofidel does its best to ensure it does not purchase raw materials from protected areas or areas where there are social conflicts by checking if there are any; 3. Sofidel believes in sustainable forest management systems that comply with acknowledged, credible standards based on independent third-party verification; 4. Sofidel encourages its suppliers to certify the origin of its forestry resources and favours suppliers who can provide good forestry management certification.
By operating with these principles, in 2016 Sofidel further consolidated its commitment to reduce the risk of procurement from controversial or illegal sources. In 2017 the total percentage of certified virgin fibre with forestry preservation chain schemes (FSC®, FSC Controlled Wood, e PEFC™ and SFI®) was 100%. In 2015, the percentage was 99.97%. In October 2017, the Group has signed up the Vancouver Declaration, launched in the Canadian city at the General Assembly of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) – one of the most widespread and respected forestry certification schemes in the world. The Declaration affirms the fundamental role performed by the business world in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals indicated in the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
A GROWING FOREST CAN MAKE A LOT OF NOISE
It is not always true that a growing forest makes less noise than a falling tree. Sofidel believes that preserving and maintaining forests is a commitment always worth speaking of to increase the awareness that no creation of corporate value can come without a responsible action towards the environment we live in. Therefore, from 2014 the Group took part in the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) Global Forest Report related to the risk associated with using raw materials from forests. The company achieved an “A-” on a scale ranging from A to F, a result which, again this year, placed it above the sector average.
SAVING AND RECYCLING WATER
Making paper is a process that involves the use of considerable amounts of one of the planet's most precious resources: water. Knowing the importance of the role of protecting water resources to guarantee not only everyone's life, but also its business, Sofidel implemented policies for a more efficient use of water and to recycle waste water. Since 2012 it has been running a specific project to reduce water consumption that involves all production plants, with priority assigned to drought-sensitive areas or where large amounts of water are drawn for manufacturing or agricultural purposes or for drinking water procurement purposes. Investment in technology and methods to manage the reduction of direct water consumption for its activities, both in sensitive areas (Italy, Spain, Greece) and in areas with plenty of water, have produced significant results. In 2017 the specific average consumption for Sofidel's operations was 7.1* litres of water per kg of paper produced. *Sector benchmark: 15-25 litres/kg.
SOFIDEL'S PARTNERS AND INSTITUTIONAL CAMPAIGNS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY.
Sofidel’s sustainability policies are also implemented with widespread action to raise awareness and transmit information. Indeed, pursuing the goal of environmental sustainability also involves raising awareness about cultural and social issues related to people’s mindset and Sofidel is committed to doing this at various levels. Discover our institutional campaigns
Values, choices, results, objectives...with the integrated budget of the Sofidel paper group, each stakeholder can personally assess the economic, social and environmental value of the daily work of more than 6000 people. Because transparency is also a question of sustainability.
An anniversary is not only an opportunity to look over one's history and the results achieved over time, with due pride, but it is also a precious chance to re-confirm values, set new objectives and look to the future with optimism and trust.
Sofidel believes that businesses should play a vital role not only in terms of production and distribution of goods and services, but also in guaranteeing social and environmental benefits that are broader and longer lasting along the entire chain of value creation.
This is why sustainability is a cornerstone and building block to Sofidel's modus operandi.
The Sofidel paper group was the first Italian company and the first in the global tissue industry to join the international project whereby the WWF proposes large companies to voluntarily adopt schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, through innovative strategies and technologies that allow them to take on the role of leaders in reducing CO2 emissions in their industry.