ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIAL GOVERNANCE PROJECT
ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIAL GOVERNANCE
‘ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIAL GOVERNANCE’(ESG), indicates the criteria and logics that govern corporate strategies and investments, aimed at achieving a positive impact on the environment and society, implementing forms of corporate governance inspired by ethical criteria.
This topic is particularly important to Casa Optima who in January 2022, set up a group taskforce to implement and enhance it, coordinated by Alessio Broggi - Group HSE Manager.
Let’s start from the beginning: what is the ESG project?
It’s a project within our Group that integrates all sustainable policies recognized as environmental, social and governance criteria, establishing specific measurable indicators (KPI).
Environmental criteria consider how a company contributes towards environmental challenges (for example waste management, levels of pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, the correct use of renewable energy) and its performance in this regard.
Social criteria analyse the way in which the company treats people (human capital management, diversity and equal opportunities, work conditions, health, and safety), whilst governance criteria evaluate the way in which a company is administered (the strategy and the fiscal practices, business ethics, the independence of the board of directors).
In the ESG program that we have designed for Casa Optima we wanted to create a unique impact, with projects and objectives that can be measured from start to finish and that can be shared with all the employees.
If before, the companies moved individually, we now form a team that has the task of ensuring that all the initiatives have a single guide, and all projects go in the same direction for all the brands and companies of the Group.
Who is the team dedicated to the ESG project formed by?
In particular, we have identified 7 thematic areas in which we intend to deepen our group approach:
· The choice to use electric and hybrid cars for most company car rentals.
· The elimination of all plastic bottles, which will be replaced with water dispensers/ purifiers, thus encouraging the use of reusable water bottles.
· Obtaining the so-called “Green certificates,” which attest that all the energy we purchase, comes from 100% renewable resources.
· The differentiation of all plastic waste produced by the factories, with dedicated disposal and higher % of waste recovery by the disposal company.
· The identification and choice of investments intended to reduce external energy consumption, such as: revamping of photovoltaic systems, replacement of neon lighting with LED lighting systems, the installation of economizers on steam production installations.
· More “sustainable” packaging, by using recyclable packs for our finished products, with a high % of recovery.
· The project “Retention and gender equality,” which aims to promote the same opportunities for all employees of the company regardless of their gender.
To achieve these objectives, specific work groups have been set up, each with a person of reference who will conduct the tasks of the project together with me.
Within the taskforce we nearly always fine plant managers, various function managers, representatives of the Legal office, HSE, Marketing and Finance, but also technicians and office workers.
What pleased me most, were the requests received to take part from people who are not directly involved, such as corporate functions. Every two months the taskforces meet to evaluate the progress of the projects, whilst I as the ESG representative have the task of aligning the Board twice a year, with the objective of creating the annual sustainability report, an essential part of the document that takes the name of “Sustainability Balance.”
What makes this project so important for our group?
At Casa Optima we believe that nowadays it’s fundamental to understand what is meant when it comes to sustainability.
The ESG investments were created precisely to help in the development of companies which, in addition to their ‘characteristic’ business activity, they are also committed to social and environmental change.
In recent years the ESG rating has become increasingly important because it represents an index that allows (also) investors to have a greater and deeper understanding of the sustainability of a company, made up of a series of factors that make it possible to express an assessment concerning the risk and performance profile of an investment - in terms of company impact - in relation to the type of market in which it operates, to the initiatives and strategies that distinguish it.
Finally, we must always bear in mind that for the first time, the United Nations has also developed a sustainable development plan with 17 objectives which must be implemented globally by 2030 by all member countries. This means that every country in the world is called upon to contribute towards tackling these great challenges jointly.
How will it affect the life of the group?
Initially the major step will be to involve the employees. There are concrete activities that concern the employees personally and that will have an impact on everyone’s work, for example the correct differentiation of waste, energy saving, the use of water thermoses. Consequently, it’s particularly important that the message is conveyed and received in the right way: we are going in this direction because there is a real need to do so, and we can all contribute in our own small way. All functions must be educated with measurable and understandable projects from start to finish. Every person must be informed and must participate in contributing towards the success of these sustainable practices.
What do you expect from this project?
I expect the maximum commitment from all the components of the taskforce because we are investing in activities that will lead our group to a progressive reduction of waste, energy, and costs. Everything that we develop from now on, whether they be installations or products, will necessarily have to consider the ESG policies, which are increasingly an integral part of companies like ours.
Finally, I would like to thank Mirja Weidner, ESG Director of Charterhouse Capital Partners, and Donata Sabbatini, Group Quality Manager, for the constant support and the valuable collaboration in the implementation of the entire Casa Optima ESG plan.