Our commitment to sustainability increases every year. In a planet that will have 9.5 billion inhabitants in 2050, where cultivated grounds and water resources are under pressure and atmospheric emissions do not seem to be decreasing, no one can seriously and responsibly feel exempted from the obligation to make an effort toward the universal effort to achieve sustainability, which becomes more and more current every year, as this was proposed by the United Nations Brundtland Committee which in 1987 declared that ‘sustainable development is the kind of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Pursuant to the integrated corporate policy and also in line with the ethics code of the European Paper industry, which is fully endorsed by Fedrigoni, we purchase only cellulose originating from planted forests according to standard and recognize forest sustainability models, in particular FSC®, in terms of traceability (Chain of Custody) and controlled origin of the wood (Controlled Wood). As a result in 2014, 68% of the paper produced by Fedrigoni was CoC-FSC® certified of the mixed type, while the remaining portion is classifiable as CW-FSC® (Controlled Wood). Other non-fibrous origin raw and ancillary materials, such as the mineral fillers, binders, colouring agents, etc. are carefully selected with account taken of their characteristics before, during and after their use to ensure the minimum possible environmental impact and greatest safety of the product, and just as importantly the safety and health of the workers who use them during the various production phases. Last but not least, water is rightfully considered the ‘second raw material’ of the paper industry after cellulose; through investments aiming at continuous technological innovation, Fedrigoni S.p.A. was able to decrease consumption considerably over time. Between 2002 in 2014, despite the fact that production increased by 54%, the average unit consumption of fresh water was reduced by 30%
For paper manufacturing, after pulp, water is such an essential element that it can realistically be equated with an actual raw material in this type of manufacturing. However, also in this case the paper industry is the victim of still another misconception, as it is labelled as a huge consumer of water, while in actuality consumption is indeed out of proportion and significantly higher given the finished product that is obtained in quite other sectors. For example: harvesting a kilo of corn implies a consumption of 900 litres of fresh water, compared to 4,900 litres required for producing a kilogram of pork meat.17 In 2014 Fedrigoni SpA confirmed its trend toward continued reduction of consumption in line with the level of cycle closure, using on the average 30 litres of fresh H2O for every kilo of paper manufactured when only 10 years ago 46 litres were consumed per kilo of paper. This result is even more significant when considering that the Group manufactures specialized papers where the production shifts and the consequent washing cycles are very frequent, the operating requirements for each type of paper are based on manufacturing conditions that often differ diametrically from each other and the production lots are smaller conversely to what occurs in the manufacturing of single product or commodities.
Electricity and heat are essential components in paper manufacturing, though the production thereof undoubtedly has a negative effect on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. To counter this issue, as early as the 1990s Fedrigoni SpA has been making significant investments to install co-generation plants running on natural gas at the group’s main paper facilities, while concurrently seeking every possible technological improvement to optimise its own energy efficiency. All this has taken place over and above our compliance with the obligations of European Directive 2003/87/EC and subsequent amendments (Emission Trading), which constitutes the European Union’s endorsement of the Kyoto Protocol principals. The results were not late in coming. Between 2002 and 2014, the Group decreased its own CO2 specific emissions by 30%, despite a 54% increase in paper manufacturing during the same period. Nitrogen oxides specific emissions (NOx) were almost cut by half (–48%).