Barilla Group, rundown of over a decade of commitment to sustainability to give the world the joy of food for a better life
26 July 2022
Barilla has confirmed its commitment to ensure people have access to good, sustainable food with consistent improvements in its nutritional profile. The pasta and bakery products shop founded 145 years ago is now a family business that brings together 8,700 people, and a supply chain that shares its values and passion for quality. In 2021, the Barilla Group continued to invest in improving its pasta, sauces and bakery products (488 products reformulated and improved since 2010, 55 launched in 2021). The aim is to innovate and reduce the impact of production processes in terms of CO2eq emissions, energy and water consumption, to promote sustainable supply chains and to design packaging to be recyclable. Even more so, it has expressed its tangible proximity to communities, with donations of €12 million and around 2,700 tons of products. These are just a few of the highlights of the Barilla Group’s new sustainability report published today, July 26th, on barillagroup.com, providing the results achieved by the Parma-based company for the well-being of people, for the environment and for communities.
Underpinning this commitment is a new Purpose that encompasses in a few words the rationale for this way of doing business: “The joy of food for a better life”: a concept that transcends good food to refer to people’s happiness and holistic well-being, which begins most of all with “taste”. All the Barilla Group brands are contributing to this journey, offering not only foodstuffs, but also the joy that can be taken from good food, well-made with selected ingredients.
“We want to bring joy through the products we offer to consumers, through good food, conviviality, helping to improve the lives of those who choose our products and the world around us,” noted Claudio Colzani, CEO of the Barilla Group. “In the coming months, this journey will lead us to set clear, measurable objectives towards sustainable development. We will continue to invest in our supply chains, by introducing principles of regenerative agriculture, to further reduce our environmental impact in terms of CO2eq emissions and water consumption, and to produce recyclable packaging.”
LOW ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: 95% OF BARILLA PRODUCTS. CUTS IN CO2eq AND WATER CONSUMPTION
Barilla maintains a presence in over 100 countries, by means of its brands and 30 factories (15 in Italy and 15 elsewhere). In 2021, these sites produced over 2 million tons of food. The Sustainability Report tells us that the products and processes are increasingly innovative and environmentally friendly. Overall, since 2010 and per ton of finished product, greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 31% and water consumption by 18%. Transposing 2021 food production to the 2010 figures, the difference in terms of energy efficiency would be 128 million kg of CO2eq and 555,000 m3 of water. In just over 10 years, the investments made have resulted in cuts in emissions that would equate to seven car journeys between the Earth and the Sun and a quantity of water sufficient to fill 222 Olympic swimming pools.
Even more so, 64% of the electricity purchased comes from renewable sources with Certificates of Guarantee of Origin and over 91% of the waste produced has been sent for recycling and energy recovery.
Currently, 95% of Barilla Group products have a low environmental impact. A further move in this direction is the total neutralization of greenhouse gas emissions by the Wasa, GranCereale, Harrys and MulinoBianco brands. Mulino Bianco also only uses energy from renewable sources such as water, sun and wind, while trigeneration systems in pasta factories – to produce their own electricity, heat and cooling – are already in operation at the plants in Parma and Marcianise (Caserta province) and are under construction at Muggia (Trieste province).
Barilla’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of packaging also continues despite a difficult year for the supply of raw materials in this field. In Italy, the Barilla Group has achieved 100% of packaging designed to be recyclable, 99.7% globally, and the Group only uses paper and cardboard from responsibly managed forests.
70% MORE STRATEGIC RAW MATERIALS PURCHASED RESPONSIBLY
2021 was a key year for the development of Barilla’s sustainable agriculture projects. The total of strategic raw materials (durum wheat, common wheat, rye, tomatoes, basil, cocoa and vegetable oils) purchased responsibly is 70%, with an 11% increase to follow the 19% in 2020, confirming that sustainable supply chains are also the most resilient. 10,000 companies are involved in sustainable agriculture projects, which guarantee the quality of the raw materials purchased by Barilla and enable farmers to plan their work with greater confidence. The three standards for the sustainable cultivation of durum wheat and common wheat (the Ten Commandments for Sustainable Cultivation of Quality Durum Wheat, Carta del Mulino and Harrys Charter) were added to in 2021 by the Carta del Basilico (‘Basil Charter’), which guarantees social and environmental sustainability, resulting in an Italian and ISCC PLUS-certified supply chain of a key ingredient in Barilla ready-made sauces and pesto.
Like basil, tomatoes are also grown near the manufacturing sites where possible, to minimize the time between product harvesting and processing. Support for local agriculture also affects pasta, in which Barilla is a world leader in sales. 90% of durum wheat, the key ingredient in all the Group’s pasta brands, is purchased on the local market, and 47% via cultivation contracts.
68PRODUCTS LAUNCHED OR REFORMULATED IN 2021. A NEW RANGE OF “PASTA AL BRONZO” IN 2022
Barilla puts around 600 products on tables all over the world. Since 2010, it has reformulated the nutritional values of 488 products, reducing fat, saturated fat, salt and/or sugar content and increasing fiber content. Palm oil-free since 2016, last year the company launched onto the market 55 new products that explain its way of doing business: products with no added sugar, rich in fiber, wholewheat, based on legumes or in single-serve packs. A few months ago, the new “Al Bronzo-Lavorazione Grezza” (‘bronze-die rough-cut’) pasta was also launched in Italy, inspired by traditional drawing methods and based on a mixture of fine, 100% Italian grains. Even more so, the new "Barilla Pesto" range, with a 100% recyclable jar and basil from sustainable agriculture, Parmigiano Reggiano PDO and other distinctively Italian ingredients.
SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITIES WHERE THE BARILLA GROUP OPERATES
Sustainability at Barilla is also about paying attention to people and local communities. The Barilla Group has confirmed its tangible commitment by implementing a series of solidarity initiatives in the various countries where it operates. A total of €12 million has been invested and around 2,700 tons of products have been donated, to improve access to food for more and more people, to enhance inclusion and to support local development.
INTERNATIONAL AWARDS FOR COMMITMENT TO D&I
In 2021, Barilla was also the first Italian company to win the “Catalyst Award”, for its efforts to enhance women’s leadership in the workplace and increase the inclusion of all Barilla employees worldwide. To date, 40% of Barilla executives and managers are women, and since 2020, the Group has achieved gender pay equality for all its employees worldwide. Women and men are paid equally for the same roles and duties.
It was also one of the first Italian companies to set itself various inclusion goals, such as the formalization of flexible working at all its sites. It was the first company in Italy to meet the UN standards of conduct against LGBTI+ discrimination in the workplace.
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