In 2015, Novamont achieved important results, not only in terms of research and development and the market, but also from the point of view of creating bioeconomy infrastructures around the country. These are key elements in a new industrial approach that is anchored to local areas but with effects that extend globally.
Using our proprietary technologies and internal engineering resources, together with the creation of strategic alliances, we are reconverting several industrial sites into unique plants making Italy, and Europe, leaders in the market of bioplastics whilst laying the foundations for important developments in the biochemical sector.
Thanks to the work of so many years, today, Novamont and the Group are acknowledged, nationally and internationally, as pioneers and champions of a bioeconomy model, intended as territorial regeneration. Our integrated biorefineries, which contain a high level of innovation, while respecting quality and local traditions, are proving to be able to provide solutions to local environmental problems, and to activate multiple supply chains starting from the agricultural sector.
By following this approach, in 2015, we made important progress in line with our policy of differentiation, based on growing integration of the production chain, and aimed at increasing the content of renewable material in bioplastics and at improving our environmental profile, while seeking to make the products “demonstrators” of new models of use and of consumption.
The role of agriculture has been, and still is, decisive in the success of this model. In particular, the creation of strategic partnerships, such as that with Coldiretti which was confirmed by the general agreement stipulated at the beginning of the year. Starting with integration with low environmental impact farming activities and reduced water consumption, we are developing supply chains that will create new production and revenue opportunities. This is particularly true for the areas of the country where there is marginal land or areas where production is being reorganized, thereby avoiding any change in the competition with food production. These are multi-product supply chains that will feed the biorefineries whilst at the same time supply edible protein substances for livestock, lignocellulose biomass for a widespread system of energy production and self-consumption by farmers, high value, active molecules for cosmetics and nutraceutics, and simple and compound sugars for the chemical supply chain and for food.
When it comes to the sectors further along the supply chain, 2015 confirmed our ability to form alliances with transformers, large-scale distribution, and important Italian and international brands. One example is the launch, together with Lavazza, of the first compostable capsule which is the result of years of research and development and of the application of the circular economy’s principle of zero waste, which says nothing is waste and everything goes back to being a resource.
In the last year, we have also continued developing the supply chains of non-bioplastic products. In the medium term these will make new alliances and diversifying considerably into other target sectors possible. These are products which, like bioplastics, “complete the circle”, by providing solutions to environmental and social challenges and transforming local problems into opportunities for change that are not to be missed. For example, of all of those products destined for use in ecologically sensitive areas and areas where there is a high risk of dispersion into the ecosystems, such as biolubricants, bioherbicides and cosmetic products.
All of this confirms that Novamont is a concrete example of the bioeconomy and circular economy, sectors on which Europe and Italy are wagering, to achieve the COP21 objectives and overcome the systemic crisis. Economic, environmental and social results are attracting growing attention from the authorities and the financial and industrial spheres, not only in Italy, but increasingly in Europe and worldwide, creating the foundations for further significant developments.
2015 was also the year in which the foundations were laid with Matrìca (a Joint Venture with Versalis S.p.A., created in the petrochemical plant of Porto Torres to start an integrated biorefinery that is highly innovative at an international level) and the plan to create the world’s first plant for the production of 1.4 bio-butanediol from renewable sources, in Veneto, to market bioplastics that have a high concentration of renewable raw materials, starting in the second half of 2016 and making greater diversification possible. During the year in support of our development projects, we also presented an important programme of investments as part of the Juncker Plan promoted by the European Union, which was selected by the Italian government and by EU authorities.
In line with our mission and calling for innovation and the creation of integrated sustainable models we continue to consider research and development as the driver of their growth , and invest considerable resources in them. The company’s work seeks to develop new intellectual property, which is considered the key element to ensure competitiveness, but also to create a genuine training centre for young graduates, research doctors and technicians, most of whom have subsequently become permanent members of the Group’s personnel.
We will continue on our course by investing in people and in the awareness that regeneration must be cultural before it can be industrial, environmental and social. In this sense by combining tradition and innovation the bioeconomy can be a unique opportunity to reconnect economy with society, to bring increasing value to territorial diversity and to the quality and origin of products.
Encouraging the transition from a product economy to a system economy. A cultural leap towards economic, environmental and social sustainability, which must involve the whole of society, and start by giving value to the territory and by fostering collaboration among the various players.
Developing biodegradable materials and products from renewable sources, by integrating chemistry and agriculture, setting up biorefineries that are integrated into the territory, and providing application solutions that guarantee an efficient use of resources throughout the life cycle, with social, economic and environmental advantages for the system.
TONNES OF MATER-BI PRODUCED
M IN COMPANY CAPITAL
On 31 December 2015, Novamont S.p.A. was owned 25% by Versalis and 75% by Mater-Bi S.p.A., whose shareholders are Banca Intesa, associated investors and other partners.
Mater-Bi is an innovative family of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics, that are manufactured using renewable raw materials of vegetable origin and fossil raw materials that are entirely biodegradable, in cases where there is still no equivalent of natural origin.
Mater-Bi, which is sold in the form of plastic granules, can be processed by normal production plants used for traditional plastics.
Shopping bags, bags for separated waste collection, food packaging.
Tubs and rigid containers for foods, compostable pots for nursery gardening.
Packaging. Loose fillers that have excellent shock-resistant properties.
Cotton buds, drinking straws, flexible pipes for agriculture.
injection moulded products
Disposable cutlery, pens, combs, toys.
Product certification is a procedure in which an independent third party formally guarantees that a product conforms to the requisites of a specific norm. The biodegradability and compostability of Mater-Bi are certified by several international bodies, who carry out period checks and surveillance.
OK COMPOST HOME
OK BIODEGRADABLE SOIL
BPI COMPOSTABLE LOGO
The process of involving the stakeholders is divided into three points:
Identifying the categories of stakeholder
The procedure was developed in 2014, using internal processes, involving the various company functions with questionnaires and focus groups. In 2015, the process was updated and a new class of stakeholder was identified: the Commercial and marketing function.
Defining the methods of involvement
For every category of stakeholder identified, different methods were chosen, to take account of individual characteristics and to facilitate the expression of each position.
Every year, an engagement plan is prepared and updated, and its effectiveness is monitored.
Commercial and marketing function
Media and press
Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations
Research and innovation
Waste management chain
The agricultural world
National and international organizations
Monitoring of the legislative panorama
SR presented at a large, public event
SR presented at a large, public event
Monitoring of press reviews
SR presented at a large, public event
Monitoring in the media
Parallel identification of priority aspects for stakeholders and for the company
Validation of the aspects identified and identification of materiality
Reviewing and improvement
The materiality threshold was set at 3.
All of the material aspects identified were grouped into 6 relevance classes:
Generation of value
Management of the work
Sustainability of the production chain
Laws and regulations
Transparency and communication
Safeguarding and giving value to the territory
Novamont S.p.A. was founded
Production of first biodegradable bag in MATER-BI, and the Green Pen in MATER-BI
First packaging in MATER-BI, with Ecolucart in the large-scale distribution
Launch of the green tyre, with Goodyear
Launch of Wave, an expanded plastic sheet in MATER-BI
Development of Origo-Bi technology
Launch of Pneo, an innovative bag in MATER-BI
“European Inventor of the Year” award
Foodservice products in MATER-BI at the London Olympics
Piana di Monte Verna acquisition
Wet waste collection with MATER-BI bags, in Milan
Launch of first prototypes of a new generation of bag at Ecomondo
MATER-BI in Unicoop, Florence
Lavazza Compostable Capsule
Foodservice products in MATER-BI for Eataly, at the Milan Expo
and corporate network
Our story is of a company that is constantly evolving, that is able to grow without losing flexibility (c’è un errore nel testo italiano, NdT) and a predisposition to change. To integrate industry and agriculture, in an increasingly concrete way, we select biologically-based, raw materials, that is, materials that are produced with alternative approaches to those of the traditional petrochemical industry. When this is not available, we support scientific research and promote the creation of new industrial businesses, to fulfil this need. The most significant examples of these are Matrìca and Mater-Biotech.
Still with the aim of evolving continuously and of responding to the opportunities that the market may offer, over the years we have set up other joint ventures and created other associated companies, in Europe and around the world. This Sustainability Report only covers Novamont S.p.A.
Novamont is a company that has a triple vocation: it is an industrial company, a research centre, and a training centre. Anyone who knows us, knows that innovation has always been one of our key values. This is why we have developed equipment and facilities, and have:
a flagship project for Europe
To demonstrate the technical, economic and environmental sustainability of a highly innovative biorefinery: this is the goal of First2Run, a flagship project for the European Commission, coordinated by Novamont, in collaboration with private partners and universities.
public and private in the same direction
Cluster Spring is an association that, in 2015, created a permanent roundtable that seeks to identify guidelines to share among public and private, concerning technological innovation in the biochemical sector, interregional collaboration and national development policies.
a 100% compostable capsule
In March 2015, the first Italian, 100% compostable capsule was launched; this project had involved us, together with Lavazza, in research that had lasted 5 years. The Lavazza capsule is made of Mater-Bi, is compatible with the Lavazza Minù machine, and can be collected with the wet waste and sent to an industrial composting plant, where the spent capsule and coffee are recycled together into compost.
We are continuously looking for highly specific skills, to grow and enhance in our technical and administrative areas. Our workgroup can, therefore, count on the continuous contribution made by new resources.
divided among the sites of Novara, Terni and Piana di Monte Verna.
of whom 3 as a result of the natural expiry of the contract, 6 as a result of voluntary resignation.
entries+exits/average personnel, considering recruitments and terminations, in relation to the average number of people making up the personnel in 2015.
exits/average personnel in the 2015 period
Training is one of the cornerstones of our work in the company. In addition to more general training programs, there are specific times dedicated to individual functions or areas of interest.
This is the ability of an organic substance, that is, one of vegetable or animal origin, to break down into simpler substances under the action of bacteria and of other microorganisms.
This is the ability of an organic, animal or vegetable material to decompose and turn into a mixture of substances, called compost, which is used in agronomy to fertilize and restructure the soil.
This process takes place in an environment with controlled humidity and temperature, in the presence of oxygen. The larger quantities of organic waste are treated in industrial plants, in which the composting processes reach temperatures of 70°C. When composting is done individually, as a small-scale gardening activity, it is called “domestic composting”, in which lower temperatures are reached.
COMPOST used in arable farming and nursery gardening increases the nutritional elements and biodiversity of the microflora.
DIGESTATE SLUDGE which is composted
BIOGAS for the production of ENERGY
During 2015, Novamont obtained ISCC Plus certification, which guarantees the sustainability of the raw material on the basis of the following criteria:
of the biomasses on land with low biodiversity
of human rights, of workers and of the right to land
of good farming practices, to protect the soil, the water and the air
Thermal energy from energy recovery
Renewable electrical energy
Saved thanks to the use of renewable sources
Company processes are managed with great attention and responsibility.
the site is certified for the standards ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007.
the site is certified for the standards ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007.
the site is certified for the standards ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007.
The document that you are reading is, for us, an important communication tool. We have published a report regularly since 2008, in accordance with international guidelines.
In 2015, we revised our coordinated image, choosing a new logo that identifies us in a strong and unequivocal way.
The company website, www.novamont.com, is one of the main channels for communication about our company and products.
On the main social networks, we have set up a constant and direct dialogue with our customers and the authorities.
And with our periodic newsletter, we inform internal stakeholders of the company’s activities and of what is new in the sector.
In 2015, we then launched the first comic strip in the series “The Adventures of Bia de Compostabilis”. “The mystery of the earth you can obtain from waste” is the first adventure of the character created by the Walt Disney illustrator Paolo Mottura. The comic strip, which was conceived as a teaching and information tool for schools and families, is published in two formats: it can be read in a printed version, or in a digital version.
For us, participating in trade fairs and public events is a way of directly communicating and promoting the company’s activities, and of presenting our products and their characteristics and repeating our strategic vision. The more significant events during the year included Expo 2015, SUQ, Fa’ La Cosa Giusta and Milano Recycle City, for which we supplied 9,200,000 products.
Our idea of sustainability forces us to have a view of reciprocal exchange with the environment we work in.
It is this principle that led to the project of the biorefinery integrated into the territory, which gave life to Matrìca, the joint venture, with Versalis, that came out of the reconversion of the petrochemical factory of Porto Torres, near Sassari. This is based on a close collaboration between industry, agriculture, the world of research and local authorities.
into consideration industrial areas that already exist, recovering sites that are otherwise abandoned and no longer competitive.
proprietary technologies that have a low impact, to create bioproducts.
marginal land suitable for the sustainable production of biomass from local long-term crops with low input, compatible with other farm productions for food purposes.
biomass in all of its components to get maximum value from it.
How we view sustainability involves a large group of players in different contexts. One example of this is the collaboration set up in 2015 with Caritas Diocesana in Novara, which led to “Riparto – Repartire lavorando l’orto” (Starting again, working the vegetable garden), a training programme that uses the growing of vegetable gardens as practice for rebuilding the dignity and identity of people that have met particular social difficulties.