Sustainability for the supply chain with Gefran

Posted 13 January 2022
Gefran sostenibilità fornitori

Gefran is accelerating the route to ESG compliance of the small/medium-sized local companies making up the Group’s supply chain. Promoting a culture of sustainability among these companies, which have fewer opportunities and resources to devote to this issue, is one of the goals of the Strategic Sustainability Plan presented by Gefran in November 2020.

To this end, the company organised Supplier Day 2021, a workshop during which Gefran’s management illustrated the guidelines of the Strategic Sustainability Plan, plus a series of projects and activities currently underway, to 40 such companies, as well as describing the methods available to them to adapt to ESG principles. Gefran undertakes to include ESG issues in all the supplier audits carried out as from January 2022. The goal is to offer local suppliers, on route towards compliance, the Group’s skills and experiences and to identify co-design and co-engineering initiatives to reduce the environmental and social impact of products and components. By 2025, similar initiatives will be developed for local suppliers in other countries where Gefran operates.

“Intense preparatory activities have been rewarded by the active and engaged participation of the suppliers present, particularly at such a critical time for the market, and this has convinced us of the wisdom of our choice – said Stefano Mazzola, Gefran’s Chief Procurement Officer -. We have decided to invest in the growth of our supply chain in terms of sustainability as we know full well the positive impact this will have on the competitiveness of our products and services and of the market as a whole. During the workshop we collected numerous ideas, also in design terms, and we are ready to start our training programme in 2022″.

Gefran commitment Strategic Sustainability Plan ESG supply chain A survey conducted among the suppliers during the workshop traced a snapshot of the situation today, also aimed to identify priority needs in terms of compliance. About half the respondents (48%) stated that they were familiar with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and 80% that they were interested in being helped by Gefran in their pursuit of environmental, social and economic sustainability goals. In the last year, 63% of respondents have implemented special initiatives to improve the environmental and/or social and/or economic impact of their business and 50% have already planned such initiatives for the next 12/24 months. Less than 20% have adopted overall social or environmental sustainability policies. Over 80% have never before been involved by client companies in sustainability-related initiatives or projects.

The results of the survey outline a strong sensitivity towards ESG issues, accompanied by a lack of an overall plan. Hence Gefran’s idea to work alongside its partners and help them overcome their lack of skills and know-how and develop a more structured path to sustainability. The workshop ended with the mutual commitment to collaborate in three areas: raising awareness on sustainable development, developing co-design and co-engineering initiatives to reduce environmental and social impact of products and components and, finally, facilitating the reduced environmental and social impact also of procuments, production and logistic processes, also within operating structures.

Overall, Gefran’s Strategic Sustainability Plan involves four main projects, establishing medium-term guidelines (three to five years) as well as commitments, investments and goals to be shared with the various categories of stakeholders. The four projects of the Strategic Plan are: talent development and guarantee of constant feedback; dissemination of the sustainability culture; sustainable innovation and obtaining new sustainability certifications.

The sustainable innovation project combines the goal of safeguarding the environment and natural ecosystems through corporate innovation, with a view to providing essential goods and services ensuring the achievement of social goals such as public health and environmental equity and justice. For Gefran, promoting the responsible use of energy resources, through reduction consumption and/or improved energy efficiency, requires the study and implementation of new technological solutions to be applied to its range of products.

Already today, 15% of Gefran’s portfolio is made up of products that stand out from the market for the sustainable innovation features they incorporate. The Group’s goal is for this figure to reach 50% by 2025. Gefran is committed to extending its current certifications to include internationally recognised standards on the protection of health and safety in the workplace, reduced environmental footprint, and corporate social responsibility. By 2023, the goal is to obtain the ISO14001, ISO45001 and SA8000 certifications and to integrate them, with ISO9001, into a Management System for the Group’s four Italian companies. The Plan also envisages extending these certifications abroad, and in particular to the United States and China by 2025.

In terms of the growth of its people, the main initiative launched involves the creation of kenFly (an evolution of the FLY Gefran Talent Academy), a digital platform that allows the 800 Gefran employees worldwide to train their skills and competencies, exchange experiences and know-how, and improve performance through an appraisal and feedback system.

Giovanna Franceschetti, Vice President of Gefran, stated: “This year we are continuing to pursue our commitment to achieving our sustainability goals, being fully aware of the great responsibility we entrepreneurs have towards the next generations and of the deep link that exists between competitiveness and sustainable business management. We have chosen four priority areas for our initiatives – employees, suppliers, certifications and innovation – and I am very proud of the results obtained so far”.

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