Watch Elena Faccio, global creative, communications and CSR director for Sofidel, discuss the Sofidel4Talent initiative – part of the company’s continued commitment to improving forest procurement processes, nature conservation, biodiversity protection and sharing a strong culture of sustainability with young generations.
The Sofidel4Talent initiative, says Elena Faccio, global creative, communications and CSR director for Sofidel, “is a project we all love”. The company launched the initiative in Spring 2022 to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of its collaboration with WWF in Italy, she says. “We have a partnership with WWF that has been really useful for us and has helped us develop and grow responsibly and become aware of the challenges that we need to face as a humanity in the next years.”
The partnership, says Faccio, helped Sofidel to understand further “what kind of positive impact we can bring to the world.” More specifically, that meant focusing on biodiversity and “taking care of our roots”. In order to do that Sofidel wanted to launch a training program for young forestry professionals that “reinforced their capabilities” so, in the future they could take care of our forests. “This is good for everyone on Earth.”
You can watch the video interview with Sofidel’s Elena Faccio, here:
Theory meets practical knowledge
Under the patronage of Italy’s network of universities for sustainable development (RUS – Rete delle Università per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile), the three-day, free course is a fusion of theory and practical knowledge for the students. It offers an “immersive’ experience in nature,” says Faccio. “We wanted to address the mismatch that sometimes exists between university ‘knowledge’ and the world of work. We wanted to provide students and fresh university graduates with a good background and practical capabilities that could help them to find a job in the field of nature.”
The main impetus for this, says Faccio, was the ticking clock of climate change. “Our forests have an important role to play. Nevertheless, every year in the world we lose forests the size of Portugal. Deforestation causes carbon emissions, increases droughts, and leads to warmer local climates. So, we wanted to give our contribution to address this challenge.”
“Our forests have an important role to play… Deforestation causes carbon emissions, increases droughts, and leads to warmer local climates. So, we wanted to give our contribution to address this challenge”Elena Faccio, Sofidel
In Italy alone, where Sofidel is headquartered, one third of the country is covered by forest. But because of climate change, forests are becoming increasingly vulnerable. “So, in the future, there will be a huge need for professionals that are able of take care of our forests. This was the main goal of the project,” says Faccio.
The feedback from the students to this course, which launched earlier in 2022, has been incredibly positive, says Faccio. “They were really excited. The course took place in a beautiful place, at WWF’s Biodiversity Museum in Italy. It is at the center of a powerful, natural ecosystem, within the Alto Merse Reserve, in the province of Siena, Tuscany. But they were also excited for the content of the course and the training and because they were meeting field experts, WWF professionals and new friends that have the same passion for nature. There was a good energy and a great exchange of ideas.”
So, how might the course itself evolve in the future? “We believe that Sofidel4Talent has been a great experience and also a good way to support the young people. We are currently thinking about how we can develop the project next year. We would like to keep working on the theme of ‘green jobs’. Next year, we will probably further develop this to the theme of ‘energy’ and target young professionals and students in the field of renewable energies. Climate change is one of the major challenges and we think it’s very important to support young people that want to work towards decarbonization,” says Faccio.
“We believe that Sofidel4Talent has been a great experience and also a good way to support the young people”Elena Faccio, Sofidel
Sofidel’s continued commitment to improving the forest procurement process matters a great deal to the company, she adds. “This is really important for us. We want to have a supply chain that is sustainable from a social, environmental, and economical point of view. This commitment is really at the core of our activity. All the pulp that we use to make our products is 100% certified. Our goal is zero deforestation. We want to maintain and continue developing a supply chain that does not cause deforestation in any of its phases. It’s the main goal, for this reason, to protect the forests and safeguard biodiversity and we are therefore happy to support young people that are committed to taking care of nature in the future.”
For more information about the Sofidel4Talent initiative, visit: lanostracartamigliore.sofidel.com/sofidel4talent/