In 2016, the year it celebrated its 50th anniversary, Sofidel took on an important commitment in the area of its ownbrand products; all the Group’s Brand products now carry the FSC® label, a guarantee of sustainable forestry management from both an environmental and a social point of view. This commitment is supported by the raw materials procurement policy, which has directed purchases towards certificated cellulose for years.
The partnership with FSC® was also strengthened with the Sofidel Group’s entry into the Economic Chamber of FSC® International and FSC® Italy.
Also in 2018, fulfilling the commitment it has made, Sofidel has constantly increased production of products with an ecological trademark (FSC®, PEFC™, Ecolabel, Swan Label, Blue Angel), due both to the demand from customers, who are proving to be increasingly sensitive to environmental issues, and due to the media pressure that Sofidel exerts daily through its communication and dissemination tools. In 2018, the Group produced articles with at least one ecological trademark totalling about 650,000 tonnes, an increase of over 100% compared to 2014. This growth confirmed the company’s commitment to the choice of raw materials that not only have a certified forestry origin but that are able to guarantee production processes with lower environmental impact, with an eye to lifecycle improvement.
The issue of the circular economy is considered an important driver in EU product policies, but also in the selection criteria of distribution companies and consumers. Sofidel has decided to invest in its products both to reduce the amount of packaging and to introduce materials with greater recyclability and renewability. During 2018, many products were developed with paper packaging, instead of traditional plastics, without a cardboard core or with compostable packaging. The launch of these solutions is expected in 2019 with appropriate media coverage.
Institutionally, Sofidel co-operates in an important European Commission pilot project for the development of product rules for the paper sector in the context of the Community Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) tool. For this project, Sofidel offered to take part in the ‘Drafting Group’, i.e. the limited number of organisations which contribute to the drafting of the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR).
Once the documents have been produced, revised and accepted by the relevant authority, they will standardise the method for calculating the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies for the semi-finished product in the paper industry. In addition, they will guarantee users downstream the possibility of finding the most virtuous producer from an environmental point of view to ensure the end-user has a more sustainable product. Sofidel has also agreed to try out the new method developed on one of its products. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2019.