Earth Day 2022: Salvatori continues to strive towards a greener future
Earth Day 2022: spotlight on sustainability
Today is Earth Day, when all around the world we place the spotlight on the importance of looking after our precious planet. It goes without saying that sustainability is one of the most pressing themes of our times and we believe that it goes beyond one day a year, as something that should be inherent in the way we all go about our lives, day after day. That said, however, assigning a day in the calendar to refocus on the environment can only be a positive initiative. It also serves as a fixed date to take stock of where we are, so we thought it was the perfect moment to touch upon the progress we as a company are making in terms of sustainability.
We are proud to be able to say that we embraced the concept of sustainability many years ago, when it was still a relatively uncommon phenomenon in Italy. It is fair to say that it is a part of our DNA and we strive to intertwine it throughout our activities on numerous levels. We constantly look at ways to make our working tools and processes more environmentally-friendly, we develop “green” products that respect the materials our planet has gifted us and we also seek out transport and packaging solutions that drastically reduce waste.
By adopting such an approach, we benefit not only in terms of knowing we are doing all we can to safeguard the environment, but also from the fact that it pushes us to new heights in our quest to come up with innovative materials that set us apart from the rest of the market.
Today we’re focusing on the many measures we have adopted in our day-to-day activities, but these go back many decades. The first step towards zero waste took place as far back as the Seventies when Alfredo Salvatori, the father of our current CEO Gabriele invented a system that recycled the water used in cutting and working stone. This marked an important passage because besides the obvious advantage of reducing waste of a precious natural resource, it also meant a considerable reduction in the quantity of dust that made its way into the local waterways and ecosystem.
The machines that cut stone and give shape to our textured finishes require a continuous flow of water to prevent overheating and to protect the stone’s surface. We share this detail because it perhaps helps explain just how important water is to the way we work, and the subsequent impact that recycling it has on both our business and the environment.
There are a myriad of ways each of us, whether in a private or professional capacity, can contribute to protecting the planet. Some of them may have more impact than others, but by acting together, we can make a difference. This is just the beginning of a long journey towards zero waste, but we have also looked for other ways to make a difference, outside our machinery and stone working processes.
One such initiative was to almost entirely digitalise our documents. That may not sound particularly drastic, but in the design world, glossy catalogues have long been the standard way to show off your products so it was a relatively daring move to forgo them. We have also adopted a digital signature system for the many contracts signed in the course of our business, and apart from the reduction in paper usage, it has the added advantage of making client and supplier exchanges faster and more intuitive.
Of course, even with the best will in the world,__ we still occasionally need to use good old-fashioned paper__, but in such cases we always choose FSC-branded options so that we know the product comes from sustainably-managed sources.
Another small but important change we made a few years ago was to eliminate plastic bottles, glasses and cups from our premises, implementing instead returnable glass bottles or our own individual water bottles.
The returnable bottle system is relatively new to Italy and we are extremely happy to be among the early proponents of it. Empty bottles are returned to the outlet or company that supplies our water, incentivising companies and individuals to use glass instead of plastic, while also reducing bottling and packaging costs.
We have shared just a handful of the measures we have adopted at Salvatori in our quest to create a more sustainable business model. We are not resting on our laurels, however, and continue to look for new solutions, often pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone and thinking outside the box. It isn’t always easy, and it definitely requires patience. To use a famous quote, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but like so many wonderful places, things or results, the toil is definitely worth the effort!