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Declaration of intent: sustainability 2021

Rieusset has been investing efforts in achieving a socially responsible work management with regard to the environment for years. On this occasion Jordi López, General Manager of the company, makes a declaration of sustainable intent for this year 2021.

1. As general manager of Rieusset, and according to your criteria, how important is social and environmental commitment in a company?

Basic! From a social viewpoint, companies must become more involved in the development of the environment so that they not only employ a group of people, but also participate in social projects as broad as those that range from the integration of personnel with difficulties in the workplace to involvement in local projects such as caring for forests or rivers. From an environmental perspective, because we are running out of opportunities to maintain the planet as we know it.

It should be noted that in order to show this level of commitment, the GEROSA Group has been carrying out the Sustainability Balance for two years. And we are proud to have done this because starting next year, this will be one more mandatory document for companies, just like financial balances.

2. Given the different environmental actions that can be carried out in an organization (saving energy, reducing CO2 emissions, recycling, etc.), which ones has Rieusset already responded to and why?

Paraphrasing Saladin in the film Kingdom of Heaven when he answers Balian about what Jerusalem is worth and he responds with “Everything. Nothing” I would say “All of them. None of them.”

All of them because we have been working for some time on the reduction of consumption of electricity, gas, water, nitrogen, etc., on the reduction of CO2 emissions, on the reduction of microns in the materials, on favoring the use of monomaterials among our customers, on the use of recycled materials, on solvent recovery, on returning packaging to our suppliers, etc.

None of them because more can always be done in all those actions that we know and because we frequently surprise ourselves with new possibilities that we had not taken into consideration.

In any case, I have to say that in order to know where we are we evaluate ourselves with different platforms, either to satisfy customer requirements or due to our own initiative. Among these, we have used the platforms ECOVADIS, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and SEDEX.

3. And in 2021, with regard to sustainability, what objectives is the company committed to?

For this year 2021, with regard to environmental issues we want to focus mainly on three areas. On one hand, on waste recovery. Secondly, on the life cycle analysis of our products, and lastly, on the influence we can have on our suppliers so that they act in this same line of work.

With regard to social issues, we are going to increase collaboration with entities in our local environment, we are going to promote our healthy business program and we are going to carry out the action plan that leads us to guarantee full equality.

All this framed within a project of communication with our stakeholders regarding our commitment to sustainability beyond what we identify in our Sustainability Balance.

4. Undoubtedly, with all this, a special dedication to environmental aspects is contemplated. What is the reason for this involvement? 

As I said earlier, we have a planet to take care of, and any contribution made by each one of us is necessary for this task. Additionally, even if we didn’t have this commitment as persons, there is a market that requires it and as a company we must get involved so as not to be left out of the game.

5. What business perspective does working on sustainable aspects provide in the medium and/or long term?

The possibility of becoming a strategic partner for our customers. Being a benchmark in the sector where we are positioned as a company that offers solutions to customers’ problems and needs. All this without forgetting that we are in a very competitive market where costs must be very tightly controlled in order to deliver the profitability that our shareholders expect.

6. Do you consider that environmental responsibility contributes to the profitability of companies? And to their success in the sector?

Personally, I think that working on our environmental responsibilities cannot be said to be closely linked to the word profitability. Although society in general and consumers and customers in particular ask us for this environmental responsibility, most of them are not willing to pay what it entails. The great challenge of sustainability is to have a sustainable product, manufactured in a sustainable process and complying with the increasingly restrictive laws at a competitive price.

7. For many, the word sustainability associated with an organization constitutes a great competitive advantage. For you, do companies associate themselves with this concept in order to achieve this advantage or out of a sense of awareness?

Obviously, we all seek to obtain competitive advantages in order to offer our clients what our competitors cannot, and with this, obtain good results. In the case of sustainability, I think that, although we all see an opportunity to respond to this market demand, I think that we must also do so with a high level of awareness.

Let me stress what I said in the previous question. We cannot avoid our responsibility, not as a company nor as an individual, and the challenge of sustainability is that of being able to respond to the needs of our customers and to those of the planet.

8. In order to create a sustainable culture within an organization, the role of the employees is a key piece. How is this commitment communicated to all Rieusset employees? And what is their answer?

I must admit that this is a weak point in our sustainability project to date. We have worked hard to carry out a multitude of projects focused on sustainability where we have obtained great success, but we have not done our internal communication work well. As we have said before, this is one of the commitments that we plan to develop in 2021. Of course, we will not do it only from the perspective of communication but also from one of participation. We have said that we have carried out many actions but we know that there are many still to be done. We trust that the participation of the employees will be one of the tools to increase our level of activity.

9. No one should be left behind on the road to sustainable transformation. In a phrase, where is Rieusset? What footprint is it leaving?

Sustainability is a long-distance race in which it is not as important to be first as not to stop. Rieusset is in the race, and thanks to both our commitment and that of the GEROSA Group, sustainable transformation will be a reality. We are working on it.

Rieusset
rieusset@gerosagroup.com