SUSTAINABILITY AS A MARKETING TOOL
Multi-site company from Northern Italy, engaged for several years in the field of regeneration, disposal and sales of plastic packaging.
We have begun collaboration, as often happens, arriving just at the right time: the customer has some specific evaluations expiring and our offer was more than competitive.
This is how a relationship of collaboration, which is now consolidated, began. The data collection phase and measurements necessary for the first activities made it possible for us to become familiar with their production cycle and their vocation: to regenerate. A significant part of their activity consists in fact in the regeneration of plastic packaging. During a site visit we met the owners and, by speaking with them, we were able to understand how important the sustainability was and how much they were sensitive to marketing and communication processes. "What instruments can you offer us to clearly and effectively transmit the sustainability of our regenerated products?" was a customer request.
The environment and energy reference people, along with the sales manager, sat down at the same table in order to tackle this new challenge. Our significant experience related to sustainability, matured throughout the years, has allowed us to quickly identify the best solution: The product Carbon Footprint (measured in terms of CO2eq). The plastic packaging regeneration activity, as with many other regeneration activities, is characterised by the drastic CO2 reduction of the regenerated product compared to the new one. In order to calculate the Carbon Footprint of a regenerated product, one must not consider raw materials production, but exclusively the impact tied to the regeneration process. We can therefore propose to the company an instrument that responds to expressed requirements: Carbon Footprint calculation and certification of the regenerated packaging material. As often occurs, the customer did not know this instrument and it was our responsibility to convince the customer of the numerous advantages it has, configuring it as an environmental indicator for synthesis, simplicity, clearness and incisiveness.
At a marketing level, the Carbon Footprint makes it possible to measure and monitor the environmental performance of a product, supporting the strengthening of the company's image by demonstrating the commitment to reduce its environmental impact, giving its product a green image (an aspect that stakeholders are very sensitive to today), benchmarking with competitors and finally making production and organisational processes more efficient (purchasing, production, logistics, etc.) and increasing its competitiveness.
The customer was enthusiastic and requested an estimate of Carbon Footprint values for the regenerated product compared to the new one. The difference is significant and the customer decided to proceed. This starts our data collection and calculation activities. Not all data is easy to obtain and it is necessary to assist the customer with quick and targeted training to be able to extract significant information in terms of the carbon measurement.
The result is good, the certification entity certifies it and the satisfied customer can finally start to take advantage of this communication and marketing tool.
The product Carbon Footprint (calculated in conformity with technical specification ISO TS 14067), besides returning the synthetic figure expressed in CO2eq, also has a very interesting added value: it quantifies the environmental impact associated to individual phases of the products' life cycle. Our analysis has therefore made it possible to highlight what phases of the production cycle have a greater impact in terms of CO2 and where it was necessary to intervene thanks to a custom improvement plan that will keep the company busy for the next three years.
The study has also demonstrated how a carbon footprint reduction is directly translated into a rationalisation of the production cycle and results in a containment of company costs.
The carbon footprint calculation therefore represented the beginning of a sustainability process that will have multiple positive effects for our customer, which is evident both in terms of management optimisation and improvement of environmental performance, returning a certified green image that can be transmitted to the market.