Pixartprinting, leading company for printing services in Europe, chose EKOenergy

Pixartprinting is an Italian company specialising in the online provision of personalised printing services. In 2018, they joined the Be ForGreen Be Sustainable community becoming a consumer who uses 100% renewable, traceable and EKOenergy-ecolabelled energy. Through this, Pixartprinting has contributed to the avoidance of 3,581 tonnes of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere each year, actively reducing their environmental impact and bringing many other people closer to consuming natural energy.

We interviewed Alessio Piazzetta, Chief Manufacturing Officer at Pixartprinting, to better understand the path that led them to choose EKOenergy-ecolabelled electricity, energy produced sustainably from renewable sources.

Why did you choose to consume renewable EKOenergy-labelled electricity?
For Pixartprinting being sustainable means making choices that reduce the impact of our production on the environment, that are secure for our collaborators, and that guarantee the service quality we offer to our clients. The way of doing business that we have adopted promotes and follows sustainable models. These models are designed for us, for people working with us, for the environment, and for the whole community that has approved and accompanied our growth. Thanks to this approach, we decided to consume the energy produced from renewable sources and to choose ForGreen, a reliable and resolute partner that could accompany us along this path.

Apart from your energy choice, what other ‘sustainable’ choices are you pursuing or planning to pursue?
The main product we manufacture is paper, and that is why we decided to use almost exclusively FSC® papers (Forest Stewardship Council®). FSC® certifies the origin of our papers from a management of forests and communities, according to strict environmental, social and economic standards, and allows for total control of the entire supply chain. We also decided to minimise the impact of our waste production: 83% of waste material from our production is, in fact, recycled. Paper, cardboard and plastics are carefully controlled before flowing into the recycling chain. Every year we strive to minimise waste materials that are not included in these categories in order to raise the recycling rate even further and become as sustainable as possible. Every week, we carry out 1100 checks on fumes and wastewater in our production facilities and go beyond what the law requires as we feel that never letting our guard down is important.
Finally, our offices are equipped with drinking water dispensers to discourage the use of plastic bottles and our coffee dispensers only provide recyclable glasses and spoons. All these may seem like small things, yet they actually impact on the daily habits of some 900 people who work with us.

How do you think sustainability can help a company position itself on the market?
Sustainability in a company should be seen as a ‘choice’. It is a way that, once adopted, leads to a path that continues over time. Consumers know that the environment is a heritage of great value and that a collective awareness is needed to preserve it. For this reason, they tend to prefer a company that actively intervenes to have as little impact as possible on the environment. The ‘social’ role of a company, which is also reflected in the protection of the environment, therefore becomes a distinctive element in the market, and one that is destined to take on ever greater importance.

Your company is present in 15 countries in Europe. Have you had the opportunity to assess how the importance of sustainability and environmental protection is perceived in Italy and abroad?
The feeling is that Northern European countries are more sensitive and attentive to issues related to environmental sustainability compared to countries in the Mediterranean area, such as Italy, France and Spain. Here, it seems the construction of an awareness is a relatively recent process and certainly still in progress. There are many customers who write to us and call asking for information about the disposal of non-paper products or about the composition of materials. Yet the few hundred requests we get per year are probably not enough to produce statistics in a wide audience like ours. It is a fact, however, that in recent years we have seen a significant increase in requests on these issues.

Have you already identified a strategy for communicating your sustainability choices to your customers?
Yes, we will use the usual channels, such as social media, industry newspapers, and communications to our customer database. But, since sustainability is an important commitment and value for us, we have dedicated a large section of our website to the sharing of information on the value and significance of Sustainability for Pixartprinting. We inform our customers, not only about certifications that attest to our daily commitment to reduce the impact of our business on the environment, but also about the many initiatives we put in place to improve the quality of our working environment. In fact, at Pixartprinting we have embraced a 360° concept of sustainability that is not only environmental, but also social and economic. For example, we are constantly working to spread a culture of safety through the implementation of rules and procedures that help us to reduce and prevent the risks related to health and safety at work. We have also built a Code of Conduct that guides us in promoting a corporate culture characterised by the values of Integrity and Responsibility; meaning that we select, hire, train, pay, and manage our employees without any discrimination. This Code of Conduct ensures that our employees can enjoy equal and fair treatment regardless of gender, age, nationality, religion, ethnicity or political, philosophical or sexual orientation.

Within your production chain is the ‘green’ topic also shared and supported amongst internal workers and suppliers?
There is a good level of awareness in the company, among production operators, in the offices and also among our suppliers. In fact, we ask our suppliers, before being accredited, to prove adequate guarantees in terms of quality and sustainability. However, much more can and must be done and we strongly believe in the value of the actions that, as market leaders, we can put in place to raise awareness among the wide range of stakeholders who revolve around a complex business such as Pixartprinting.

What are the most important messages you want to convey with this choice?
There is a quote from Al Gore, who in 2007 won the Nobel Peace Prize for his commitment to building and disseminating greater knowledge about climate change, that we feel belongs to us and that we would like to guide our actions and choices: ”We can solve the climate crisis. It will be difficult, of course; but if we choose to solve it, I have no doubt that we can do it and we will do it. Moreover, we must rejoice at the thought that our generation has a rare privilege, the prerogative of a few: the opportunity to engage in a historic mission, which deserves our best efforts. We should be proud to live in an age where what we do now will determine the future of human civilization.”

We thank Alessio Piazzetta and ForGreen for this inspiring interview and for sharing a belief in the same values we stand by. We encourage more companies to follow Pixartprinting’s example and use renewable energy to accelerate the energy transition.
For more information about EKOenergy, please contact us or write to us at info@ekoenergy.org.

Read the original interview in Italian on ForGreen’s website.
Translation by Manuela Mastrangelo.

Published on 13 March 2020