Sofidel’s eco-friendly initiatives

29 December 2017

Sofidel protects the environment through strategic partnerships and sustainability awards.

Italian company Sofidel is one of the principal producers of tissue paper for hygienic and domestic uses globally. Founded in 1966, the company is particularly well known in Italy for the Regina brand. Its operations cover 13 countries – including the US – and the group has more than 5,500 employees.

Sofidel’s annual production capacity reaches more than one million tons, and this resulted in the company having a €1.842-billion turnover in 2016.

Corporate social responsibility

Sofidel believes that companies have the responsibility to play a fundamental role in the production and distribution of goods and services, as well as guaranteeing long-term social and environmental advantages for stakeholders at all stages in the supply chain.

The company, therefore, places strategic importance on sustainability for growth and development, including reducing its environmental impact. Sofidel’s philosophy is ‘less is more’ and it strictly adheres to this. In addition, it also has three fundamental concepts to abide by: keeping environmental impact to a minimum at all levels, from sourcing to production, logistics and office waste; reducing waste in all forms throughout every operation; and promoting responsible consumption.

Sofidel focuses on creating products that have a limited impact on the environment, while increasing efficiency by using fewer materials.

The company highlighted its commitment to environmental and social sustainability by being the first Italian manufacturer, and tissue sector company in the world, to join WWF’s Climate Savers programme, which has ambitious objectives to transform market-leading businesses into low-carbon economy pioneers. By 2020, Sofidel has pledged to reduce its direct CO2 emissions per ton of paper to 23%. This decrease is equivalent to the emissions released by 10,000 lorries that travel 10,000km every year for a decade. The company also aims to chip 13% off its indirect emissions that are caused by third parties in the supply chain, and to cover 8% of its annual fuel consumption by using renewable sources.

Sofidel has already reduced direct CO2 emissions by 19.1% thanks to investments in energy efficiency that are for cogeneration plants and renewable energy sources. A key part of this plan is sourcing pulp that has been certified by independent third parties with forest-certification schemes, including the Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. The group is also safeguarding water resources by limiting its usage; the amount of water that enters its production processes is distinctly lower than the industry benchmark, coming in at 7L compared with 15–25L.

Awarding stand-out suppliers

This focus on excellence in environmental efficiency and sustainability is also supported by the Sofidel Suppliers Sustainability Awards, which praise the group’s most eco-friendly suppliers. “Promoting sustainable and responsible growth also means raising awareness and promoting the involvement of our partners so we can do more and do it better,” states Luigi Lazzareschi, CEO of the company. “We’re convinced that building a sustainable future involves a widespread shared commitment, and a need to assume, each within their area and according to their role, new and broader responsibilities.”

In 2017, the Best Supplier awards went to Suzano Pulp and Paper for pulp production, and Valmet for procurement and purchasing, as well as logistics expert Kuehne + Nagel, marketing and sales specialist Vizeum. Best Improver awards were given to pulp producers Zellstoff Rosenthal and Windsor Engineering (Hull) for procurement and purchasing, as well as LKW WALTER, which was recognised for its logistics services. In the Best Sustainable Project category, the winners were Fibria and Skymark Packaging for the large enterprises subcategory, while Dasara Trasporti and Groupe SGP won the SMEs prizes.

Sofidel is mindful that sustainable development can only be achieved through cooperation and support. As well as the group’s collaboration with WWF, other key strategic partnerships have been formed with WaterAid, UN Global Compact, Sodalitas Foundation, the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work, and the Fondazione Giuseppe Lazzareschi (Giuseppe Lazzareschi Foundation).

The company has also established other collaborations through its own brands and products. The Nicky range has partnered with the Woodland Trust in the UK and the Telethon Foundation in Italy, as well as the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation in Naas, Ireland. Papernet has paired with international humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières, and Cosynel has an alliance with SOS Children’s Villages in Belgium.

The Sofidel Suppliers Sustainability Awards celebrate environmentally friendly third parties.

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