Posted on 06 May 2015
Sofidel enhances its commitment to the environment
Sofidel has new targets for 2020 defined with WWF Climate Savers. In addition to reducing specific direct emissions, the Group also identified objectives concerning indirect emissions, increased use of renewable energy and new awareness activities
Sofidel Group (known in Italy mainly for its Regina brand) is re-launching its commitment to the environment by broadening its agreement with WWF’s Climate Savers, based on the voluntary definition of substantial reduction plans for carbon dioxide emissions through the implementation of innovative strategies and technologies.
The only Italian company and still the only tissue paper company in the world (paper for hygiene and household purposes) to join the programme, Sofidel already succeeded in lowering its absolute emissions by 11.1% between 2008 and 2012, investing more than 25 million Euros. This amounts to 186 thousand tonnes of CO2 – more or less the equivalent of the amount produced in Italy by 150,000 four-person families per year for electrical consumption.
Over the same period, also thanks to new acquisitions in Europe and America, the Group’s production capacity has increased by more than 45%.
Sofidel and WWF Climate Savers continue their joint effort concerning climate and energy and, in view of the important changes that the company has undergone since the partnership began in 2008, they are defining and broadening new reduction objectives, updating them to the new size of the company.
The new package of objectives includes:
• a reduction in specific direct and indirect emissions (from production processes and acquisition of electrical energy) and other indirect emissions (from production and transport of raw materials and packaging).
• an increased use of renewable energy.
• acting as a “change agent”, i.e. taking an active role in promoting themes of low carbon economy to create awareness and influence stakeholders in the industrial sector.
By the end of 2020, Sofidel is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions for each tonne of paper produced by 23% compared with 2009 levels – which has been selected as the base year for the initiative. In terms of comparison, this means avoiding the emission of approximately 900,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the emissions of a fleet of 10,000 HGVs travelling 10,000 km per year for 10 years.
This reduction objective will be achieved through an investment plan aimed at increasing the energy efficiency of the processes, the combined production of electrical energy and steam energy and 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 facilities.
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.
Other indirect emissions
Sofidel has not limited itself to analyse the greenhouse gas emissions generated by its activities, but it has also identified opportunities to reduce emissions released by third parties that operate along its value chain.
By the end of 2020, the greenhouse gas emissions deriving from the activities of suppliers, packaging, and transport of raw materials and final products, will be reduced by 13% for each tonne of paper 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.
It is a commitment that covers all bases, therefore, in observance of the continuous pursuit for improvement, by constantly monitoring technological evolutions and increasingly involving suppliers and customers for a joint action against climate changes.
“For Sofidel, relaunching our commitment with WWF through the Climate Savers programme is an important instrument to further improve our environmental performance,” says Luigi Lazzareschi, Sofidel CEO. “It is our way to implement the idea of extended company accountability that obliges us to not only develop the quality of our products but also raise the standards of our production and distribution processes, with the aim of limiting environmental impact and acting as promoters of change”.
“For 8 years, WWF Climate Savers and Sofidel have been working together on strategic issues for the paper sector, to improve the policies on the climate and forest resources, and encourage the implementation of sustainable practices,” says Gianfranco Bologna, Scientific Director of WWF Italy.
“The objective is to show how environmental sustainability and innovation, opportunity for development and competitivity can go hand in hand, when guided by a vision for the future of the planet that differs from the current scenario. The continuation of the collaboration, which entails positive exchanges of know-how and expertise, offers us the possibility of implementing new actions to reduce the impact on the environment, create awareness and involve the production chain. This has special relevance in this crucial year of commitments that the international community will be taking on, in occasion of the 21st Meeting of the Parties which will be held in Paris next December. This programme greatly involves both Sofidel and WWF Climate Savers, who are aware that good practices can be promoted and shared within the entire sector”.
Sofidel renews its commitment to promoting the themes of Green Economy, especially by involving its own procurement chain as well as the one of its industrial sector (tissue paper production), nationally and internationally:
• to promote choices that support an economy with lower environment and carbon impacts, in collaboration with trade associations
• to actively involve suppliers in projects for the improvement of environmental and energy performance.
In partnership with WWF Climate Savers, Sofidel will bring its experience to national and international events dedicated to the challenges of the climate and sustainability, with the objective of creating awareness among opinion leaders and policy makers. Moreover, they will continue their joint efforts of creating awareness and providing environmental education among employees and the public at large.
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