Dian fossey

Internal Innovation to be Externally Sustainable

Cosmoproject

6. Clean Water and Sanitation 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 15. Life on Land

Overview

First of all, they use within their R&D laboratory, the process of de-ionized water, which is a premium raw material that affects positively both the quality of the final product, and the consumption that is minimum, thanks to the controlled temperature, UV lamps and a microbiological filter. There is a 1.200 square meters installation of solar panels on all the roofs of the headquarters’ buildings, in order to provide enough energy to reach carbon neutrality for the environment. Moreover, the Cosmozone 4000 is another example of an innovative equipment, that produces stabilized ionized oil which is then used in the production of cosmetics. This raw material has multiple properties, such as antiviral and antibacterial, as well as helping the immune system to re-epithelize.

The implementation of such an innovative machinery and technological instruments, are strictly related to SDG Number 9, "Industry Innovation and Infrastructures", as they have also been considered as a benchmark for all the companies operating in their industry. Their leading role in innovating and investing in R&D allowed the corporation to achieve premium results in the long term, while at the same time remaining sustainable and impacting positively on the environment.

Authors

Francesco Assiemi

Francesco Assiemi

Lara Tramparulo

Lara Tramparulo

Tommaso Guasti

Tommaso Guasti

elisa zappavigna

elisa zappavigna

Simon Pirhofer

Simon Pirhofer

School

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

Professor

Riccardo Torelli

Riccardo Torelli

Innovation

Facing the challenge of clean water, general waste of resources and pollution of the environment, Cosmoproject focused on establishing themselves as sustainability pioneers and perfecting the production process. In this way they are able to reduce emissions caused by the production process to a minimum and through UV lamps, a microbiological filter and the controlled temperature they minimize the waste and pollution of water.

Social responsibility is another important aspect in Cosmoproject’s philosophy; they provide the surrounding lakes with depurated water, regenerated after the production process. With this sustainable technology they help numerous species of animals and additionally conserve the beautiful areas for the local communities. These innovative strategies comply with the Sustainable Development Goal number 6 of "Clean water and Sanitation".

In the words of the founder, CEO and Chairman, Dr. Primo Tortini: “Sustainability is not important, it is essential. In the last years, we have always given more and more importance not only to environmental sustainability, but also to social sustainability, as we always wanted to be perceived as a company that is appreciative towards all stakeholders. We want to guarantee high levels of the employee’s welfare, as well as social, cultural, and physical wellbeing. We are constantly trying to address all the expectations and needs of our workers and of our customers, guaranteeing that our suppliers too, respect and keep their standards high in relationship to the quality of raw materials and their sustainability traits. If a supplier does not share our vision and core principles, we remove ourselves from the collaboration, as for us, the entire chain should share the same best practices and ideas, especially in the modern world where climate change is a growing issue”.

Internal Innovation to be Externally Sustainable

Inspiration

The innovation’s primary objective is to be responsible towards all the stakeholders of the company, of which the environment is one. The company aims to balance the superior quality of their goods, that are sold worldwide to multinational groups such as Beiersdorf, LVMH, H&M, Unilever, and many others, with the respect for the environment in which they operate. The Chairman, Dr. Tortini, explained how his desire was, years ago, to be sustainable in the long term. His vision brought his company to invest great resources in this field, and the long-term effect is that Cosmoproject is now a market leader with outstanding levels of sustainability. Within their supply chain, they try to reduce waste as much as possible by introducing some intermediate activities that give a second life to all those packaging products that otherwise would represent waste. For example, all the metallic containers of the liquids are compacted with a hydraulic mass press, and then shipped to the railway corporations. Another example regards the wooden pallets used to ship their goods, obtained from production wasted materials; all the plastic bottles melted within the company to obtain useful material for production.

In particular, Dr. Tortini points out that “we want to be actors in the future, a sustainable leading company and a benchmark for the whole market. In Cosmoproject we have 21 engineers that cooperate and work, on a daily basis, on the innovation and the sustainability concepts such as a campaign to eliminate all the plastic bottles in favor of re-usable aluminum bottles. For this campaign, the organization is also developing a system that purifies water and makes it circulate in pipes that conduct it to the distributors. All of this is of course done internally with our own resources."

The infrastructures and machinery purchased by the company to sustain such activities is something of which the founder and all the stakeholders are collaborating, and enthusiastic about, as they manage to carry out practices that reduce carbon emissions and give a second life to all the waste in the production process. Regarding these operations, Cosmoproject is addressing the specific needs linked to the SDG number 12, "Responsible consumption and production"

Another source of inspiration for the founder Tortini is connected to a project that he has always considered as fundamental, which corresponds to the Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund International. This organization, thanks to the pioneer vision of Diane Fossey, aims at protecting the last 800 Mountain Gorillas, which are considered an endangered species. The Fund in the last decades has provided to increase the quality of the gorillas' lives, allowing them to survive by sustaining and cleaning their environment. Tortini has always considered this campaign as something very compelling, and his support was crucial to sustain the Fund's operations. His admiration for Diane Fossey is endless, and in his words "our kind cousins deserve so much attention and help, as we are the evolution of this species that is in need of our support". This charitable campaign constitutes for Cosmoproject another way in which they are responding to the needs of the Sustainable Development Goal number 15, "Life on Land".

Overall impact

As in the words of the founder Mr. Tortini, it is essential to be crucial actors in the future. This is a successful mentality in the entrepreneurial dimension, however being innovative and pioneers is sometimes risky and can possibly lead to external threats. The benefits connected to the different CSR projects are numerous, and they usually increase not only their social and public reputation, but also economic performance, allowing the company to achieve higher profits in the long run. In particular, the tri-generation process and the photovoltaic implant allow the company to recover electricity and heating for a total of almost ten thousand euros per year. While saving money, they also respond to the expectations raised by SDG "Industry Innovation and Infrastructure".

Furthermore, it is crucial to report how the green transition of Cosmoproject led them to obtain the Ecovadis certificate, which attracted multiple new customers, looking for a corporation that respected sustainable standards. This is an example of how all the actors within a supply chain need to be sustainable and green-oriented, in order to create a group of companies that collaborate and share the same values for what concerns the green transition. The result is in the end the production of a premium-quality product that throughout the whole production process, has always been eco-sustainable.

Business benefit

Innovation is a crucial dimension in the mentality of Mr. Tortini, that during the years tried to implement CSR strategies not only to reduce the carbon footprint and waste in the environment, but also to increase the economic performance of the company.

Among the different activities that Cosmoproject carries out, we would mention first of all the very practical campaigning powered by the founder, which corresponds to the hiring of some workers with the task of cleaning the streets of the town in which the company is based. After obtaining the local institution's permission, he decided to pursue his desire of operating in a clean environment. This was expensive at the beginning, but then the company was awarded with a prize from the municipality, that allowed the company to increase further their social reputation, already very positive. For this reason, we would consider this activity as one of those that is linked to the Sustainable Development Goal number 15, "Life on Land".

Another consequence of the innovative activities implemented by the company corresponds to the saving of almost 10,000€ each year thanks to the photovoltaic and tri-generation machinery, that internally generate electricity and heating.

It is also crucial to mention the impact on the community, in particular on the large group of workers: the founder always wanted to reduce the carbon footprint of all his stakeholders, and for this reason he established a system of public transport, that "collected" his workers from 4 strategic points in the near towns and rode them to work. This reduced environmental pollution and helped the workers to reduce their personal transportation expenditure as this activity was entirely financed by the CEO.

To conclude, it is crucial to point out that all the activities related to CSR and the SDGs are not only good for the environment, but they also influence positively the corporation. First of all, as we already said the implementation of such innovative technology allows the company to save money within the production chain, for example thanks to saving pallets, liquid containers and plastic bottles. Then, we must not forget the positive impact on the social reputation that all these sustainable practices have, as is witnessed by the recognitions that Cosmoproject has obtained both from the municipality and from the Region. Lastly, we believe that these core values, shared between all the stakeholders, also improve the quality of life for all the people involved in the business: being a successful company in the market while at the same time helping and supporting the community and the environment, is something of which all the actors are proud of.

Social and environmental benefit

In recent years clean water has emerged as a precious good, mainly due to population growth, climate change and also the air and water pollution caused by various companies. Because of the importance of fresh water for the human population and also for the animals which are powerlessly exposed to the actions of humans, Dr. Tortini and his Cosmoproject made it one of their priorities to fight against pollution and waste of clean water, trying to save the environment.

After the production process, Cosmoproject always had huge amounts of water that was dispersed in the environment: Tortini believed that they had the possibility of doing something useful and good for the environment, so he financed the installation of pipes and a depuration machinery system, in order to obtain pure water after the production process. Then, they installed a chain of pipes to connect the company headquarters to a near lake and all the pure water that is depurated after being used within the production, is dispersed in this lake. The evidence of the quality of water are the fish and plants present in this lake. The "Clean water and Sanitation" SDG is thus addressed.

As a consequence of the innovative and sustainable campaigns implemented in the business and that are positive for the environment, Cosmoproject obtained multiple certifications, such as ECOVADIS and ISO 22716, as well as COSMOS.

As we already highlighted, Cosmoproject is responding to different needs of both the community and the environment. Especially, regarding the four SDGs that we evoked, they are a leading company that is looked at as a benchmark both in its industry and worldwide.

Interview

Primo Tortini, Founder, Director, CEO

Photo of interviewee

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Cosmoproject

Cosmoproject

Parma (PR), ITALY, IT

Business Website: http://www.cosmoproject.it/

Year Founded: 1993

Number of Employees: 51 to 200

COSMOPROJECT is a technology-based company, operating in Parma, Italy. It is a leading firm in the ideation and realization of skin care, medical, and make-up products. It is a landmark for both the companies operating in the cosmetic sector and the private labels. They produce and sell worldwide a multiple range of goods, starting from discounted cosmetics to premium price skin care and pharmaceutical. They are pioneers in the sustainability of their production chain, as is witnessed by the fishing fauna living in the near lake that they fill with depurated water after the production process.