10 Barilla sustainability stories
8 June 2017
A “green” company that invests to support quality agriculture relying on sustainable durum wheat farming contracts. A company that rewards diversity as a value and offers support to people in need. Barilla is also a key promoter of the Mediterranean lifestyle, from field to fork
Here are 10 things to know about Barilla’s sustainability.
“Sustainable” menus in company canteens, to make Barilla employees the first ambassadors of the Mediterranean Diet in the World. Innovative methods of cultivating durum wheat to help farmers make a product that is better for people and the Planet. Hybrid or electric company cars to reduce the environmental impact as much as possible. And more: healthy eating educational projects that have become case histories in Italy. Not to mention those employees who, during natural disasters, take on the role of Civil Protection volunteers. “Good for You, Good for the Planet”, the corporate purpose of the Barilla Group, is all this and much more: a commitment to the wellbeing of people and the Planet. We want to tell it with 10 stories of sustainability.
IN THE PARMA HQ: ITALY’S LARGEST “HYBRID CARS” RECHARGE PARK IN ITALY
Let’s start with engines, electric ones though. An environment-friendly company car fleet. In the Pedrignano headquarters (near Parma), the Barilla Group has just completely renewed the company car fleet with 83 new hybrid vehicles, with thermal and electric integrated engine. The new models allow reduction in CO2 polluting emission by almost 40%, in line with the company mission. To “charge up” the vehicles as many as 31 recharge points have been installed, and this makes it the largest such station in Italy, with a considerable advantage in terms of the environmental impact: a comparison of the 83 cars before and after has shown a reduction of about 165 tons of CO2 emissions per year. This is equivalent of what can be absorbed in a year by more than 8,000 trees.
SAUCES PLANT NEAR PARMA: WHERE SUSTAINABILITY IS A MUST
This is the kingdom of the Italian quality tomato for pasta sauces. From here, 100,000,000 jars of sauce leave in the direction of tables around the world. In 2017, construction started to double the plant, with an investment of 50 million euros. The factory in Rubbiano (in the hills close to Parma) is state-of-the-art for its sustainability features. CO2 emissions and water consumption are respectively 32% and 63% less compared to similar plants and the expansion was a further step ahead in this direction. Rubbiano is also a virtuous case history for employment. A progressive employment plan has been lined up and by 2023 it will bring to about 90 the number of employees. The plan is also set to create a perfect gender balance with the objective of having 50% women in the workforce by 2020, completely in line with the strategy Diversity & Inclusion that Barilla is carrying out.
BARILLA REMOVES PALM OIL FROM ALL ITS BAKERY PRODUCTS.
Barilla invested about 40 million euros in 2016 to improve its products’ nutritional profile. It reformulated 150 recipes, reducing by more than 4,350 tons the amount of saturated fats. In particular, Barilla replaced palm oil in all bakery products with vegetable oils containing less saturated fat content in line with the mission "Good for you Good for the planet". Today, the Barilla product portfolio uses more than 30 different types of vegetable oils, including, in particular, sunflower oil, that grants a significant improvement of the products’ nutritional profile and better crunchiness. The range of Barilla’s products in 2016 was enriched by 17 new whole grain products or with more whole grain ingredients, in the brioches, soft breads, pasta, biscuits and rusk categories. In general, since 2010 Barilla reformulated about 360 products.
“LOOK FOR YOURSELF”: A TRANSPARENT JOURNEY THROUGH THE BARILLA SAUCES SUPPLY CHAIN
Nowadays, some people believe that sauces bought in a store are not quality products. To counter that misconception, Barilla created the online campaign “Guarda tu stesso” (Italian for “Look for yourself”): a virtual journey to discover Barilla’s sauces and pesto, to show the care and attention paid to each phase, from field to fork. Through this journey, people can discover that 100% of basil used for pesto and tomatoes used for sauces are Italian – in many cases suppliers are within a 100 km range from the factory. The tomatoes are harvested in Northern Italy, in the provinces of Parma, Piacenza and Cremona. This guarantees less CO2 emissions and secures fresher ingredients for a product “Good for You and Good for the Planet”. The campaign in Italy was developed in collaboration with two partners: National Geographic and Google. Using Google Maps’ Street View the users can take a virtual stroll in the tomato and basil fields of a Barilla partner farm and also visit the Rubbiano production plant.
NEW THREE-YEAR CULTIVATION CONTRACTS: +40% SUSTAINIBLE DURUM WHEAT BY 2019
To re-launch the Italian pasta supply chain, Barilla activated for the period 2017-2019 new durum wheat cultivation contracts and committed to purchase as much as 900,000 tons of durum wheat from Italian farmers. A revolutionary contract that, besides guaranteeing farmers more profits (on average 25% higher than with standard contracts), gives Barilla the certainty to have excellent quality and even more sustainable durum wheat. The agreement provides for a 40% increase of the volumes purchased by Barilla, as part of the "sustainable durum wheat" project: the 197,000 tons of 2016 will become 280,000 tons in 2019 (see attached release).
GRANODURO.NET: INNOVATION AT FARMERS’ SERVICE
Sustainable durum wheat cultivation is the result of a project born in 2009 and created in collaboration with Horta, a spin-off of the University of Piacenza. It originates from the discovery that more than 50% of the environmental impact of producing one kilo of pasta is due to durum wheat cultivation. Hence the choice to optimize cultivation techniques by providing two innovative tools for farmers. First of all, the website granoduro.net: through data collected from dedicated meteorological stations and weather forecasts, it provides advice for the correct cultivation of each field. Then the Barilla decalogue for sustainable cultivation of durum wheat: 10 rules to follow to obtain a lower environmental impact and promote business along the whole supply chain. Thanks to these, CO2 emissions dropped by about 35% and benefits to farmers increased as they obtained greater production yields (up to 20%) and less production costs (up to 30%). With positive impact on net profit per hectare, which in the last three years was on average higher by about 20% compared to a conventional system. Until today, as many as 2400 farms in four Italian macro-areas have taken advantage of this opportunity: the Lombardy and Veneto plains, the Emilia Romagna Region, Central Italy (Tuscany, Marche, Abruzzo) and Southern Italy (Puglia, Basilicata, Campania).
WHEN SUSTAINABILITY BEGINS AT THE (COMPANY’S) TABLE
Barilla’s engagement on sustainability touches also the company’s canteen. The name is “Sì.mediterraneo”, a healthy eating education project and guideline for the canteens of the Barilla Group employees created in cooperation with the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine of the Federico II University of Naples. Menus sustainable for the environment and nutritionally balanced to increase awareness on the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. Barilla employees will be able to see right on the menus not only the calories content of the foods they eat, but also the environmental impact associated with their choice. As of today 7,300 employees in 15 countries have been involved in the project. With excellent results from the beginning of the program just in the canteens in Parma consumption of whole grain pasta has doubled and consumption of whole grain bread increased by 40%. Fruits and vegetables consumption also improved.
THANKS TO “GIOCAMPUS”: -25% OVERWEIGHT CHILDREN IN THE LAST 10 YEARS
Sustainability also means the wellbeing of future generations. That is why Barilla promotes, together with local authorities, “Giocampus,” an innovative project focused on teaching kids to eat and exercise well. Since 2002, about 35,000 children from 5 to 14 years of age, benefited from this program in Parma. With encouraging results, to say the least. In the last 10 years, the percentage of overweight children among those who joined the project decreased from 15.5% to 11.7% (-25%). In the same period of time, the number of children who skipped breakfast diminished from 22% to 8% and those who watched television while having breakfast lowered from 18% to 9%. Fruit consumption during the first main meal of the day has actually increased by +120%.
BARILLA JOINS INCLUDEED.COM: THE COMMUNITY ABOUT INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE
Barilla is one of the 100 companies that in 2017 joined the Swiss startup project Includeed.com: the first online platform where job seekers and those who are already employed can write a review (anonymously) on a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. A kind of virtual guide of the best workplaces, or better yet, places where it is easier to ‘work well’, enjoy equal opportunity and feel appreciated. The platform was created after a research study revealed that 90% of businesses communicate their commitment to diversity, but actually worldwide 61% of workers say they experience discrimination in the workplace based on gender, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation. These values represent a key factor in Barilla’s way of doing business: the company’s corporate strategy document, the “Barilla Lighthouse" identifies diversity as a fundamental corporate goal.
GOOD FOR COMMUNITIES: A MOBILE KITCHEN AND 100 “BARILLA ANGELS” READY TO ACT
Deliver a “hot meal”, promptly, to locations affected by natural disasters. This is the objective of the Mobile Emergency Unit set up by Barilla together with Parma’s Civil Protection Agency. Made up of a mobile kitchen truck - that can distribute up to 500 hot meals per hour – it is active just four hours after an emergency call. The goal is to guarantee, during emergencies, the preparation and distribution of food within the first 72 hours. So-called “Barilla Angels”, the company’s employees, were involved in a training course to become Civil Defence basic volunteers and contribute, when needed, to the operations of the Unit. As of today, almost 100 people are trained. The Mobile column project was strongly supported by the Barilla Family who, since the floods in Piedmont in 1994, actively collaborates with the Italian Civil Protection agency.
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