Luigi Lazzareschi, CEO of Sofidel, the tissue production group known for the Regina brand, received the 2017 Tuscan-American Award instituted by the association of the same name, in a ceremony held in the Salone dei Cinquecento in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.
The award ceremony was held as part of the Welcome Day, the event through which the Tuscan-American Association, city of Florence and Tuscany Region welcome the students of the approximately 50 American universities in Tuscany who spend a period studying in Italy each year. Among those present were the Deputy Mayor Cristina Giachi, Presidents of the Tuscan American Association, Andrea Davis and Federico Frediani, the Consul General of the United States in Florence Benjamin Wohlauer and Professor Nancy Thomson de Grummond.
The accolade was given to Luigi Lazzareschi “for his work both as the Italian Ambassador to the WWF, with Sofidel being the first Italian company to adhere to the WWF’s Climate Savers program, as well as for his significant contribution creating jobs in the US through Sofidel America”.
“I’m honoured to receive this award from our friends in the Tuscan-American Association. I’ve always had a deep connection with the United States, a country where I was able to deepen my knowledge and where I’ve always dreamed of being able to return as a businessman,” commented Luigi Lazzareschi. “That’s what we’ve done starting from 2012, with a growth strategy which in the first months of next year will lead us to the inauguration of a new integrated plant in Circleville, Ohio, destined to become the Group’s biggest and most modern production site.”
“It would be wonderful, one day,” added the CEO of the Sofidel group, “for some of the young people here today to work together with us in America.”
The Tuscan-American Award is given each year to two people, one Tuscan and one from America, who have contributed significantly to exchange and friendship between the two peoples. As for the American citizen, the 2017 award was given to Nancy Thomson de Grummond, Professor of Classics at Florida State University.
In its history, the award has been given to important representatives of the Tuscan cultural and managerial scene such as Andrea Bocelli, Wanda Ferragamo, Franco Zeffirelli and Karim Bitar, CEO of Eli Lilly Italia.
Sofidel is the sixth biggest household and hygiene tissue manufacturer in the world and second in Europe, has a presence in 13 European countries and in the USA and had a consolidated turnover of 1,842 million euros in 2016.
Sofidel has always employed sustainability as a strategic lever for development and growth, setting itself the goal of reducing its environmental impact to a minimum and maximising benefits for society. To date, the Group has reduced its direct CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by 19.1% and limited its use of water within production processes (7.0 l/kg against a benchmark of 15–25 l/kg) and procures 100% cellulose certified by independent third parties with forestry certification schemes (FSC®, FSC Controlled Wood, SFI®, PEFC™).
After establishing itself in Italy and Europe, Sofidel arrived in the United States in 2012, is now present in 7 states and boasts a production capacity of 200 thousand tonnes in the country. Circleville, in Ohio, represents the first greenfield investment in America. This is a highly automated integrated plant extending over a total surface of around 113 hectares. The converting lines will be activated in February 2018. The first tissue paper machine will start operating in spring, and the second by the summer.