At the first in-person 3SAward since 2018, Sofidel’s suppliers gathered in Lucca, Italy, to celebrate sustainable achievers and the business models of the future in an evening characterized by optimism and energy
‘Act Clean Now’ was the message of Sofidel’s fifth Suppliers Sustainability Awards (3SAward) ceremony, held this year in Lucca, Italy, at the historic Teatro del Giglio on 10 October 2023. The event’s tagline ‘Together for a better future’ celebrated the event’s honorees: Sofidel’s suppliers, a message further underlined by two impressive keynote speakers.
Providing comic relief, British presenter Tim Shaw was the event’s host, supported by Italian journalist Chiara Giallonardo and Sofidel’s own chief purchasing officer Andrea Piazzolla. The 2023 ceremony was the first in-person 3SAward since 2018 following 2021’s virtual event, but Bonsaininja, which collaborated with Sofidel to organize the awards show, ensured the night’s sustainability credentials were upheld by offsetting all carbon emissions generated that evening through a Climate Partners’ certified project for climate and ocean protection: for every ton of CO2 saved, 10 kg of plastic is collected in coastal regions before it enters the sea damaging sensitive marine ecosystems.
Building a future to be proud of
The ceremony began with a message from Sofidel CEO Luigi Lazzareschi, who was unable to attend the event in person but nevertheless emphasized the company’s commitment to sustainability goals throughout the supply chain in his pre-recorded address.
For Sofidel, Lazzareschi stated, the 3SAward is ‘more than just a tradition’: “it’s about building a community with a shared purpose that can really help change the world,” he said.
After all, at the heart of the event was celebrating Sofidel’s hard-working suppliers. Lazzareschi reminded the audience that the word ‘economy’ comes from the ancient Greek words for home (òikos) and management (nemein). This is why tackling climate change at a local level is seriously important.
“The future isn’t just something that inevitably happens,” Lazzareschi reminded attendees. “The future is something we build every day with energy and passion and a sense of responsibility and courage.”
Lazzareschi was followed on stage by Andrea Piazzolla who delineated Sofidel’s priorities with regards to sustainability moving forward. “Good intentions are not enough,” he asserted. “We need expertise, we need knowledge, we need to share solutions and continuous learning. These paradigms are at the base of the 3SAward.”
“The real activist is not the person who points at the river and says it’s dirty,” he continued. “It’s the person who cleans up the river.”
The winners revealed
It was then time to award the suppliers, chosen according to their scores on Sofidel’s ‘TenP Paper’ platform – the prequalification system of Sofidel’s suppliers based on the Ten Principles of the Global Compact of the United Nations which assesses the environmental, social, and economic sustainability performance its suppliers. The winners were as follows:
- Best Supplier – Pulp Producer: Klabin
- Best Supplier – Procurement and Purchasing: Bischof + Klein
- Best Supplier – Logistics and Service: LKW WALTER
All those awarded noted the importance of their partnership with Sofidel and the shared values that guide their ongoing collaboration.
Keynote speakers on companies and commitments
The 3SAward also heard from renowned futurologist and business consultant Peter Fisk, who in his keynote speech advised attendees to focus on their “handprints rather than their footprints”. Fisk argued that, rather than focusing on reducing their impact and striving for net zero, businesses should instead aspire to be ‘net-positive’ with a real purpose at the heart of their enterprise.
“Purpose becomes your engine to be more profitable,” explained Fisk. “If you can get it right, the more sustainable companies become the most profitable companies.”
Aside from focusing on how businesses can focus on giving the most to consumers, Fisk emphasized the importance of cross-collaboration, a value at the heart of the 3SAward ceremony and Sofidel’s desire to honor its suppliers.
“The future is what we do,” concluded Fisk, a message which recurred in Chiara Giallonardo’s interview with biologist and founder of non-profit Amazônia Onlus, Emanuela Evangelista. Supported by various companies and non-profits, including Sofidel, Evangelista has been working in the remotest parts of the Amazon rainforest for 25 years in an effort to conserve it for the future.
Returning to Luigi Lazzareschi’s opening speech, Evangelista noted that ‘economy’ and ‘ecology’ both share the same Greek prefix, òikos, despite often being regarded as mutually exclusive values. “Global challenges require everyone’s participation,” she said. “We need to be united. We need to work together.”
Consistent sustainability commitments
The evening concluded with the presentation of a new award, the Risk Management Pioneer for Climate Change. Andrea Piazzolla, in introducing the award, explained that it was being inaugurated this year to honor the supplier who has presented the best risk-management model in the face of climate change and who has done the most to implement mitigation processes on the basis of the most probable environmental developments.
The award went to Henkel, honored at every 3SAward but one, illustrating the consistency of their sustainability commitments.
The ceremony concluded with a final speech from Piazzolla, who reminded the audience of his previous definition of activism: “We are the cleaner of the river, so let’s keep this commitment going. We are [moving] in the right direction. Let’s see if we can build some more projects together in order to get a better, sustainable industry.”
For more information on Sofidel’s commitment to ‘Act Clean Now’ visit this link.