On World Water Day, Sofidel, world leading Italian hygiene and household tissue manufacturer, known for the Regina brand in particular, presented its new three-year partnership with WaterAid at the Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation in Milan. This international non-profit association works to ensure access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services in some of the world’s poorest countries. Sofidel proposed an opportunity for reflection and in-depth consideration of water resources, curated by the Feltrinelli Foundation.
The meeting, entitled “Water Factor: hygiene, environment ethics, economy”, saw contributions from experts in various fields who addressed the theme of “water resources”, analysing the multi-faceted impact that water has on our lives: from the natural balances of the planet to health and well-being and consequences for business. Among the speakers were Laura Achene, of the Italian National Institute of Health, Silvio De Girolamo, Chief Audit Executive & CSR Officer of the Autogrill Group, Alessandra Goria, economist, and Antonio Massarutto, Associate Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Udine.
Sofidel, which has always worked to limit the consumption of water in its production processes, through this new partnership is committing to a more general task of raising awareness among its stakeholders and supporting projects that aim to ensure access to water and the availability of better toilets, sanitation and levels of hygiene, in the developing countries where the organisation operates.
The problem of water today still affects 2.4 billion people worldwide, while more than 650 million people worldwide don’t have access to sources of clean water, causing the spread of otherwise avoidable diseases. WaterAid – which since 1981 has brought drinking water to 25 million people and sanitation and hygiene to 24 million people in 37 countries – estimates that approximately 900 children each day die due to diseases that can be linked to a lack of drinking water and sanitation.
“Our Group’s sustainable growth strategy is completely in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations set for 2030. In concrete terms, for us this means acting firstly to limit the environmental footprint of our products and then working towards responsible water management, starting from our plants,” declared Luigi Lazzareschi, CEO of the Sofidel Group. “The partnership undertaken today supplements and reinforces our commitment in this area, and is another way to play, aware of the importance of this resource in terms of well-being and hygiene, a responsible role with respect to an issue of global interest, together with a highly appreciated NGO, such as WaterAid.”
As far as the Integrated 2016 Accounts are concerned, Sofidel has once more, from an environmental point of view, improved on all the main parameters that monitor the environmental footprint of the Group’s production. The carbon intensity – quantity of CO2 emitted per kg of paper produced – has been further reduced: −19.1% with respect to the base figures of 2009 (compared to the −17.8% of 2015). The average water consumption has also been further reduced, 7.0 l/kg in 2016 (with respect to 7.3 l/kg in 2015) compared to a sector benchmark of 15–25 l/kg. Finally, the percentage of procurement of cellulose certified by independent third parties with forestry certification schemes has reached 100% (it was 99.97% in 2015).