PORCARI, Italy, May 6, 2015 (Press Release) -Sofidel Group enhances its commitment to the environment by broadening its agreement with WWF under the Climate Savers international programme, 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, between 2008 and 2012 Sofidel already succeeded in lowering its absolute emissions by 11.1% (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), investing more than 25 million Euros.
Over the same years, also thanks to new acquisitions in Europe and America, the Group's production capacity has increased by more than 45%.
Sofidel and WWF 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.
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 level - 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.
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.
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.
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 the WWF through the Climate Savers programme is an important instrument to further improve our environmental performance." - declares 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 and Sofidel have been working together on strategic issues for the paper sector, to improve the policies of impact on the climate and forest resources, and encourage the implementation of sustainable practices." - declares Gianfranco Bologna, Scientific Director of the WWF - "The objective is to show how environmental sustainability and innovation and 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 21stMeeting of the Parties which will be held in Paris next December. This programme greatly involves both Sofidel and WWF, who are aware that good practices can be promoted and shared within the entire sector".
The Sofidel Group is a world leader in the manufacture of paper for hygienic and domestic use. Founded in 1966, the Group has subsidiaries in 13 countries - Italy, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Belgium, France, Croatia, Germany, Poland, Romania, Greece, Turkey and the USA - with more than 5,200 employees. With a consolidated turnover of 1,771 million Euros (2014), Sofidel is the second ranking group in Europe in terms of production capacity in the tissue sector (1,050,000 tonnes per annum).
"Regina", its most well-known brand, is present in all target markets.
Other brands include: Softis, Le Trèfle, Sopalin, Inversoft, Nouvelle Soft, Thirst Pockets, KittenSoft, Nalys, Cosynel, Yumy, Soft & Easy, Volare, Onda, Lycke, Nicky, Papernet, Heavenly Choice, Heavenly Soft and Confidence.
Sofidel is the first and still the only company in the tissue sector to become a member of the WWF Climate Savers international programme.
Forest resource and water resource procurement
The commitment to reduce CO2 emissions is part of a broader commitment for sustainability which, in terms of environment, also requires the Group to be active in the responsible procurement of raw materials (cellulose) and in limiting the use of water in the production cycle. Over the years, Sofidel, which also works with WWF Italy on the theme of sustainable forest management, has established its own commitment regarding certified sources: today, 99.7% of the cellulose comes from certified or controlled sources, according to the main Chain of Custody schemes (FSC; PEFC; FSC-CW, SFI).
What is the climate savers programme?
Since 1999, the WWF Climate Savers programme has been urging large companies to voluntarily implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the development of innovative strategies and technologies which help these companies take on a leading role in reducing CO2 emissions in a specific sector. The objective of the programme is to inspire research and the development of innovative solutions in climate and energy, and encourage companies to become change agents within their sphere of influence.
The programme currently involves 29 international companies including Catalyst (Canada), Johnson & Johnson (USA), Lego (Denmark), National Geographic (US), Sofidel (Italy), Sony (Japan), The Coca Cola Company (USA), Volvo (Sweden), Yingli Solar (China).
Over the years, the companies that have joined the Climate Savers programme have saved 100 millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions, overall, equal to double the emissions produced in Switzerland every year. By the end of 2020 it may be possible to achieve an overall reduction of more than 350 million tonnes, a figure equal to the annual emissions produced by Spain (Source: Ecofys report 2012 "The carbon impact of WWF's Climate Savers programme").
In addition to reducing their own impact on the environment, the company partners have established a better position to prevent carbon related risks and acquire new opportunities with a view for medium-long term business strategies, at the same time.