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Our continuous commitment to reporting on Valagro’s sustainability

For around 40 years, Valagro has been working to put science at the service of nature with one goal: to help farmers get the best out of their production by optimising the use of resources and production inputs.
This goal cannot be achieved without an underlying consistency that unites not only the solutions we offer to the global market, but also our production processes and corporate culture.
The Sustainability Report is a useful tool that helps us to illustrate, year after year, our consistent and constant commitment to sustainability; it is an act of responsibility towards the wider community in which we operate and with which we hope to nurture a culture that is increasingly environmentally-friendly and attentive to the needs of the collective.

The data shown below refer to Valagro SpA's environmental, economic and corporate results.

The Valagro Group in Numbers


Our Environmental impact

Introduction

In order to correctly interpret the indicators relating to the business impact of Valagro SpA's activities, we must consider the relationship between these indicators and the value of production.

The significant increase in production recorded in the three-year period 2015–2017 was achieved alongside a reduction in environmental impact indicators, as shown below.

This fact nicely summarises the effectiveness of the many interventions implemented over this period to favour the sustainability of processes and products.


Highlights

Total waste

The amount of waste produced – disposed of and recycled – is recognised as one of the main indicators to be taken into account when assessing the sustainability of a company.

Values reported here include all the waste fractions generated within the Atessa plant.

Compared with 2016, waste production fell by 4%, a significant amount – especially if viewed in light of the parallel increase in production value.

Metal emissions

With regard to the reduction of atmospheric emissions, 2017 also shows a positive trend, as reported in the EMAS 2017 Environmental Statement regarding emissions considered significant (dust, metals and volatile organic compounds caused by production) and non-significant (caused by combustion plants and the chemical laboratory).

Ongoing initiatives to improve systems for the treatment of atmospheric emissions have contributed to a significant reduction in emissions, even against a backdrop of increased production.

This result has also been made possible by the careful selection of raw materials to avoid any negative externalities upstream.

VOC II - VOC III - VOC IV

As regards the emissions of volatile organic compounds (phenol, isobutyl alcohol and isobutyl acetate), it is worth noting that the value of substances belonging to class IV (isobutyl acetate) is higher than values ​​seen in other classes, which are strongly influenced by the type of products produced.

It should be noted that overall, in relation to the increase in production, the quantity of VOCs emitted decreased in comparison to 2016. Furthermore, the values always remained well below those permitted by law.

Diesel Consumption

A significant contribution to our reduced emissions derives from the reduced consumption of diesel fuel to supply the vehicles used for internal logistics.

The company continues to replace diesel-powered forklifts with electric ones, a technology that has a smaller impact in terms of emissions and also requires less maintenance.

Since 2016, many forklifts have already been replaced, and about 50% of the total fleet today is made up of electric vehicles.

Consumption of Thermic Energy

In the chemical industry, heat is an indicator of the technological level of production plants.

The reduction in heat consumption demonstrates the joint efforts of the entire company to move towards the creation of “low carbon products”, i.e. products based on sustainable raw materials resulting from high-level research and able to guarantee results with positive environmental externalities.

In 2017, a 10% decrease in the consumption of thermal energy was recorded compared with 2016: clear proof of the effectiveness of this initiative. 

Total of water withdrawal

At a global level, the scarcity of fresh water and the falling quality of water in general (seawater, rainwater and groundwater) are considered to be problems of major importance on a par with climate change.

Valagro considers water an essential asset and its focus on limiting water waste is demonstrated by the data related to the significant reduction in water withdrawal (shown in the graph).


In the spotlight: our GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

The Earth's climate is changing, and the main cause of this change is the release of so-called greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitric oxide and ozone).

At an international level, the issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the subject of great debate: in 2017, alarm bells were sounded by the Global Carbon Budget Report, which denounced the dangerous increase in carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions that could jeopardise the objective of limiting climate change as established by the Paris agreements and reiterated by the Bonn Climate Change Conference (COP 23) and the World Economic Forum.

Within this highly complex framework, Italy appears to stand out: in the period from 1995 to 2015, greenhouse gas emissions in Italy decreased by almost 20 percentage points, according to Istat's "SDG Report 2018. Statistical information for the 2030 Agenda in Italy". With a value of 7.3 tonnes per capita, Italy sits below the European average for greenhouse gas emissions (8.8 tonnes).

In line with this focus on the negative effects of climate change, Valagro has implemented a series of initiatives over the years aimed at limiting the emission of greenhouse gases, as shown by the values ​​linked to the production of its solutions, which are well below the values ​​declared for other consumer products.

0.17 tonnes of CO₂ / tonne of product

= 170 kg / 1000 kg of product

Reduction in CO₂ emissions

LED system


Among the initiatives that have contributed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and in particular to the containment of CO₂ emissions, the wholesale replacement of traditional lamps with LED lamps throughout the factory in 2017 is worthy of note.
These lamps, which are equally powerful, have brought about estimated savings of around 170,000 kWh/year, which equates to a reduction of 60 tonnes of CO₂/year.

Cogeneration plant


The effort to reduce the company’s emissions has been further reinforced by the construction of the cogeneration plant.
Producing both electricity and heat simultaneously, the cogeneration plant has allowed us to reduce our usage of electricity from the Terna grid.
When the plant reaches full capacity, it will consume approximately 360,000 smc/year. This level of consumption will result in a reduction in atmospheric emissions of approximately 315,000 kg of CO₂ per year, deriving from energy produced in-house by the company.

In total, a saving of

375 thousand kg/year

Data for the calculation:
1 kWh of electricity produced by Enel = 0.352 kg CO₂
1mc of methane combustion = 1.81 kg CO₂
Delta gas consumption +50 smc/h
day of operation TG 300
h day of operation TG 24


and our ENERGY INTENSITY

Energy intensity – understood as the amount of energy used to make one kg of product – is a crucial factor for corporate sustainability.  Limiting energy intensity by achieving higher levels of efficiency is an important driver for the reduction of climate-changing emissions.  Today, in order to remain competitive, companies are called on to rethink their products and services, taking into account the entire life cycle so that they have less impact during their manufacturing and eventual use. To do so, companies must review their value chain, starting with the efficiency of the supply chain and incorporating better management of all resources.

0.63 MWh / tonne of product


Special Projects

the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) project

Innovation for Valagro also means applying research and development to the creation of increasingly efficient and therefore sustainable processes and products. It means analysing how product production stages are structured in order to evaluate their impact and understanding which improvement actions to implement in order to fully align with the quest for sustainability at every level of the company. With this in mind, in 2017 Valagro launched the EPD project, which aims to study the life cycle of all its nutritional solutions for agriculture.

The International EPD® System is a global programme for environmental declarations based on ISO 14025 and EN 15804. The Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a document that communicates verified, transparent and comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impact of products.

The methodology used is that of Life Cycle Assessment, a complete and exhaustive energy and environmental analysis of production processes that reduces inefficiencies, with significant benefits that are not only environmental but also financial.

This assessment will cover all Valagro products produced in the Atessa plant and will lead to Valagro obtaining the certification in line with the EPD standard for the biostimulant line.

To date, 70 biostimulant and water-soluble products have been subjected to the assessment mentioned above. The project is expected to be completed by 2020.


Our Added Value

Added Value summarises the company's ability to produce wealth to then distribute it to the various stakeholders.

Its fundamental components are the Economic Value Generated from ordinary company management and then the distribution in terms of Economic Value Distributed and Economic Value Retained.

The portion of Economic Value Distributed is divided among the main stakeholders: Suppliers, Employees, Partners - Shareholders, Central Administration, Community and the environment. On the other hand, the Economic Value Retained relates to value adjustments, anticipated and deferred taxes, provisions to reserves and profit for the year.

 
 
2015 2016 2017
Generated
80,075,689
85,898,210

99,179,769

Distributed
68,569,677
74,382,712

93,275,647

Retained
11,506,011
11,515,497

5,904,121

Economic value of Valagro SpA in millions €

Revenue by Geographic Area

Emea: € 51,074

+18% vs 2016

   
Americas: € 20,975

+3% vs 2016

   
Asia Pacific: € 20,893

+26% vs 2016

Thousands of Euros

Geographic Area Incidence on Total Revenues (%)


Valagro People

From a human resources standpoint, an area which has traditionally always been a key facet of the Sustainability Report, 2017 saw the completion of several strategic initiatives designed to maximize the potential of our staff and help them grow within the organization: the Group Performance Management System (GPMS), initially implemented in 2016, was completed in January 2017 with the inclusion of our Indian subsidiary in the system.
The main objective of the GPMS is to help employees to achieve an excellent level of performance, promoting constructive, ongoing dialogue between managers and personnel. In addition, the GPMS tool also allows employees to measure the level of proficiency and skill achieved each year by way of targets updated on an annual basis.

The implementation of the GPMS is closely tied to the formation of Career path, as the results taken from the GPMS are the basis used to define each employee's professional growth. This innovation was launched in 2017, with staff from our headquarters being the first to trial it. The Career path outline the potential development routes that employees can follow within the organization.
Every year, each employee's current position is evaluated by their Direct Manager with support from HR. The results are shared with the employee in order to define and implement a plan that will allow them to reinforce the skills they need to successfully tackle the challenges of the future. With its Career path, Valagro aims to support the professional growth of its employees by making the most of their skills and encouraging them to express their individual potential and motivation.


Valagro Research and Development

At Valagro, research and development activities are translated into innovation to tackle the challenges of modern agriculture, with the aim of ensuring food security, productivity and the quality of crops around the world, in light of the environmental problems directly linked to the increasing global population and the reduction of arable land.

In 2017, a new organisation was launched within the Global R&D Department. This connects four main platforms (Plant Physiology, Microbials, Agronomy and Chemical Lab) between themselves and with other platforms, namely:
-
the Valagro @PlantLab joint laboratory at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa;
- the JointLab Valagro @PHENOlab in Metaponto;
- the SRIBIO subsidiary in India;
-
the Plant Pathology Lab at the Valagro headquarters;
-
the Quality Lab, to guarantee the quality of products and processes.

The number of prototypes issued by the Chem Lab

Increase in production of prototypes released over the years

The G4 GRI guidelines

Starting with the 2016 edition of the Sustainability Report, we have embarked on a journey of progressive compliance with the international standards set out by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This innovation is an integral part of our commitment to sharing and transparency, because it provides us with objective support that helps us better relate to the whole community, which is the purpose of this report the G4 GRI guidelines help us to communicate the impact of our business activities from a social, environmental and economic point of view.

We chose this standard because of our desire to equip ourselves with an internationally recognised tool that had the specific characteristics of comparability, accuracy, clarity, timeliness and reliability.
To highlight this journey, this publication includes indicators provided by our various business departments, expressly specified based on the availability of information required by the standard.