One of the key elements that make up Co.ind’s goals, and therefore its Mission, is environmental sustainability and ways to contribute to it.
Together with the Group’s social commitment actions, environmental sustainability is a fundamental part of the sensitive and socially supportive spirit that has inspired it since its founding. In all these years the company has focused as much as possible on every aspect of its production processes, to see what it can do to reduce its environmental impact.
Co.ind and Energy Efficiency
One of the steps that the Group takes to be more environmentally sustainable regards increasing the efficiency of its air conditioning systems, so that the less energy is consumed, the more efficient the system becomes. Co.ind tries, in its own plants, to make the best possible use of energy, focusing on both energy saving and the reduction of CO2 emissions.
Energy efficiency is also achieved by renewing the roofs of various departments and offices: the Group has fitted these with coatings that allow heat to be retained in winter and which in the summer shield the sunlight to reduce overheating the rooms below.
Renewable Energy in Co.ind Plants
Co.ind purchases environmentally friendly energy, i.e. produced via renewable sources such as photovoltaic, hydroelectric, geothermal, and wind power, thus reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
As well as this, the company produces reduced amounts of thermal energy, which is then reused in production processes. The processes are anyway optimised by eliminating, for example, obsolete cooling machines to reduce the need for water.
Our certifications testify to Co.ind’s sensibility and green commitment: ISO 14001: 2004 Certification – which specifies the requirements of the environmental management system (EMS) – is adopted in all our production plants. With this, Co.ind undertakes to minimise the environmental impact of its processes, products and services.
The FairTrade and UTZ Certified certifications which Co.ind has obtained focus on the rights of growers and workers present in coffee-growing countries: they guarantee the Group’s commitment to negotiating fair and socially just prices.
These certifications are an integral part of the environmental sustainability plan pursued by Co.ind.
The Group is also a Fairtrade partner and bases its principles on those that underpin fair trade social practises, aimed at achieving more dignified salaries and lifestyles for coffee producers and growers. This testifies to the Group’s passionate commitment to company sustainability.
Co.ind’s commitment to Fairtrade principles is reflected in its paying a fair price to producers and growers, so that they can lead a dignified life and receive sufficient profit margins to make investments. What constitutes a fair price is established through dialogue between the parties involved, which must take the local context into account for it to be considered as acceptable.
With a view to applying the same principles, the company is open to pre-financing purchases requested by workers and producers, to avoid them getting into debt with money-lenders. On top of all this, the Group does its best to establish long-term commercial relations, in order to offer greater financial stability to producers and their workers.
UTZ certification testifies to the Group’s commitment to socially and environmentally responsible production. This certification also ensures product traceability, and shows information on the origin of its raw materials.
By joining this “programme”, farmers commit themselves to compliance with specific codes of conduct, which results in greater quality as well as sustainability.
The CCPB is Italy’s Consortium for Checking Organic Products. Co.ind is monitored by this body, as it supervises companies which market biological products, scrupulously checking whether they comply with specific standards: standards relating to services provided, products supplied, business processes and equipment used.
Sustainable Packaging: Co.ind’s commitment
Co.ind also actively engages in carrying out packaging activities with less polluting impact. Our Group’s environmental activities include its efforts aiming to reduce the weight of packaging for liquids and to boost the use of compostable materials: the latter issue has led to us producing a line of biodegradable capsules.
These can be safely disposed in rubbish wet bins, since they are made of organic molecules, the same used for biodegradable shopping bags.
For example, the Co.ind line created for Coop (named Tintoretto) is completely compostable, while also containing organic and fair trade coffee… making it a triply sustainable line!
Co.ind is a big recycling fan: its secondary packaging materials are over 50% recycled. In 2000 the Group was awarded the prestigious Packaging Oscar by the Italian Packaging Institute, in a contest which every year gives this prize to the best packaging concepts designed in Italy or sold in Italy.
That particular Co.ind environmental award was obtained for its design for an adhesive tape to replace the plastic wraparound on coffee multipack products. This simple but inspired idea has saved many tons of packaging every year, with obvious benefits for the environment.
Reuse of waste, and donations
Humanitarian sustainability also exists, hand in hand with sensitivity: for many years now, Co.ind has promoted the donation of non-marketable food to charitable organisations and associations. This makes it possible to avoid tons of food turning into rubbish and being wasted: food donations not only feed the needy, they avoid the need for extra food production.
Another kind of donation, backed by Co.ind and contributing to recycling’s environmental benefits, involves the cession of vegetal waste to other companies (e.g. unused vegetal material from coffee manufacturing). The companies that receive this waste can burn it in digesters or special combustion plants, using cogeneration techniques, to obtain both electricity and heat.
Coop Beyond Kyoto Award – 2017
One official recognition of Co.ind’s commitment to environmental sustainability was the “Coop beyond Kyoto” award, received in 2017, for eco-sustainability merit among Coop brand suppliers.
This project, launched in 2005, has made it possible, through the virtuous actions of all Coop suppliers, to avoid the creation of over 300 tons of carbon dioxide: an expression of support for the Kyoto Protocol for reducing harmful gas emissions and energy consumption.
The project, initially called “Coop for Kyoto”, in 2005 became “Coop beyond Kyoto”: the goal is no longer only drastic reduction of greenhouse gases, it now covers a broader spectrum of issues including wasted resources, water consumption and the use of environmental certifications.
The companies involved in this “competition project” had to tackle topics including management of energy, eco-packaging, the battle against wasting processed raw materials, sustainable water management and much more.
Co.ind distinguished itself in those fields of which it is proudest, related to its particular sensitivity to issues such as social commitment and sustainability.
The Importance of Environmental Sustainability
The ever-growing attention and openness towards environmental issues shown by many companies reflects increasing market demand for eco-sustainable consumption.
For most people, today, it is increasingly important to buy from companies that show environmental responsibility and clearly demonstrate commitment to reducing their ecological impact through concrete actions.
A farsighted company makes more responsible choices, increasing its investments in energy efficiency, quality resources, waste reduction and minimising its packaging’s environmental impact. Those who implement these priorities are rewarded by their results, as Co.ind’s example shows.