How to build a sustainable supply chain

Published on Tuesday, 22 October 2019

The Confindustria-sponsored “Filtering sustainability down the supply chain” round table event took place in the Pininfarina Hall at the organisation’s national headquarters in Rome on October 17. Its central theme is also becoming increasingly pivotal and challenging for Italian industry as a whole: how sustainability and social responsibility have become competitive factors and how they need to be applied throughout the value chain.

In the course of the event, several key players from Italy’s industrial sector shared their experiences in conversation with one of their trusted supply chain partners in front of the audience.

“A sustainable partnership focuses first and foremost on human relationships, on one-to-one communication and discussion,” explained President of Philip Morris Italy Eugenio Sidoli, who presented with Alberto Mantovanelli, owner of a farm from which the US company sources tobacco. Also present were Pasquale Frega, MD of Novartis Italy, who spoke about his company’s partnership with Grafiche Pizzi, and Marco Colatarci, President of Solvay Italy, who was joined by Luca Rampoldi, General Manager of Cattaneo Impianti. The first panel discussion was ended by Giovanni Teodorani Fabbri, General Manager of FaterSMART, and Armido Marana, General Manager of Ecozema, who described their circular economy journey. 

Enel opened the second panel discussion which was dedicated to large Italian businesses and their supply chains. “Sustainability and ethical responsibility are the core values of our strategy and our culture,” explained Alda Paola Baldi, Head of Procurement Italy, who was flanked by Roberto Grassi, CEO of Alfredo Grassi SPA, a textile company that was awarded its first “Oeko-tex® standard 100” non-toxicity certification for the uniforms worn by Enel technicians. 

The sector’s involvement extends also to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid down in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which our Group has integrated into its business model: “We are looking for companies that are on the same page as us when it comes to these goals,” Baldi added. “And for that reason, we are working constantly with our suppliers to share our culture of sustainability to help us grow together.” When it comes to purchasing strategy, we have introduced types of incentives which reward businesses that comply with specific requirements relating to the protection of human rights, environmental policies, training activities and safety standards. “We are challenging: we ask our partners to invest in this direction because we will not compromise on these requirements. In exchange, however, we will always listen to them and offer them on-going support.”

Roberto Grassi spoke about how his business’s long-term relationship with our Group kick-started an evolutionary process within the manufacturing company. “We feel more like Enel’s partners than its suppliers. Indeed, this partnership hasn’t just enabled us to grow but also to pass on that influence in our turn to all the other businesses we work with.”

The second panel was also addressed by Marco Zoff, CEO of Leonardo Global Solutions, with Michele Frisoli, CEO of the Manta Group; Giuseppe Pasini, President of Feralpi Holding, with Gianluca Gamba, technical director of DI.MA., and Paolo Malvaldi, head of marketing at Sammontana, with Michela Fraizzoli, Quality Manager at Cartotecnica Veneta.

Cross-sector influences and collaboration are vital elements in creating a virtuous circle of good practices to drive a process of continual growth. Because, as Rossana Revello, president of the Confindustria’s Corporate Social Responsibility Technical Group, pointed out in her concluding statement: “Without sustainability, there can be no growth.” 

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