537650 EC B79 C 43 FF A266 7 A0 CBB2 B3896 1 201 a

The Value of a Choice

Palm Spa

2. Zero Hunger 7. Affordable and Clean Energy 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 13. Climate Action 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Overview

Palm is an artisan company engaged in woodworking, founded in the 1960s by Guido Barzoni, the father of the current entrepreneurial generation in charge. Its approach can be summarized with the concepts of eco-design and eco-planning that aims at obtaining economic savings as well as environmental protection. In other words, they aim to design and optimize the weight and volume of the packaging with the same performance by using less raw material and, consequently, reduce the transported tare.

Always attentive to the environmental impact of its production activity, Palm mainly uses raw materials - fir and pine wood - from Northern European countries. Recently, several national forest owners have been orienting forest management towards the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council: non-governmental organization that has as its purpose the correct forest management and traceability of its derived products) and PEFC (Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification: certification organization for sustainable forest management). This orientation has allowed Palm to increase its use of autochthonous wood harvested locally. Hence the company has engaged with the "0 km Pallet" project, which led the company to be the leader of an initiative for the local planting of poplars. This project aims to promote the development of the local economy and agriculture, and reduce the environmental impacts of transporting wood over long distances.

Authors

Andrea Bertoni

Andrea Bertoni

Giulio Gerundo

Giulio Gerundo

Matteo Baraldi

Matteo Baraldi

Riccardo Agnellotti

Riccardo Agnellotti

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

The commitment of Palm Spa in every phase of the production process, the attention in the choice of raw material, and the respect for the environment and for the people with whom it collaborates, has recently led the company to be the leader of an initiative for the local planting of poplars, called 0 km pallet. The project's aim is to promote the development of the economy and agriculture of the territory and reduce the environmental impacts of transporting wood over long distances.

Among Palm's many initiatives promoted in recent years, Palm undertook the experience of drawing up the first Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report based on the three-year period 2004-2006. The reasons for this voluntary choice, which were very challenging for a small business, were different and always linked to the idea of ​​adding further stages to the Palm journey. Their reasons were to understand and evaluate their activities and their negative and positive impacts in an organic way, and inform and report the stakeholders voluntary environmental, social, and economic commitments, from energy consumption to relations with the territory.

Palm has been BCorp certified since November 2017. The BCorp movement reflects the mission on which the company was founded, and reflects its operating principles, namely respect for the environment, transparent dialogue with its stakeholders inside and outside the company and commitment to the community and the territory. Through its business, the company is committed to making a difference: taking care of its environmental and social impact, safeguarding people and the planet, and meeting the highest standards of transparency, performance and responsibility. Among the company's projects:

1. Integrated bio-sawmill in the territory with a sustainable short chain, based on the concept of waste elimination and the production of local employment, in which all the actors of society are involved.

2. Good wood for good food, a systemic innovation project, which takes up the themes of sustainability of the agri-food chain to turn the spotlight on wooden packaging and in particular on the entire poplar wood supply chain. The expected result is to enhance a territory starting from a circular economy system based on the poplar wood supply chain - defined by FAO as the raw material of the 21st century.

3. Casalasco Viadanese Organic Agricultural District, of which Palm is also a founding member, is a network of certified organic companies that have come together to meet the needs of the environment and the economy for good (healthy), clean (which respects the environment) and fair (fair price).

The Value of a Choice

Inspiration

What has pushed Barzoni to innovate is his interest in protecting the environment. All the wood used in the production comes from certified suppliers for greater guarantees of eco-sustainability and legality: "we have no intention of feeding anti-ecological or illegal markets" he quotes.

Palm is an artisan company engaged in woodworking, founded in the 1960s by Guido Barzoni, father of the current entrepreneurial generation in charge. He was inspired by his family and believes that a company in a small country can contribute to the logistic approach and climate changing.

Overall impact

In 2015 Palm Spa became particularly concerned about eco-design, but this is the only one of the goals achieved by the company. The impact that the company with its innovations concern many different key point of CSR:

1) Defeat the hunger; “the food waste today can lead to hunger in the world tomorrow.” Palm created a smart green pallet with a technology which make the pallet a traceable device able to minimize waste food in the supply chain.

2) Green energy; Since 2007 in their product process the electricity used come from renewable energy

3) Zero waste; waste wood is created in many types of woodworking tasks, even when the machines are modern, efficient, and designed to keep unnecessary cuts and by-products to a minimum

4) Zero-emission; the goal is to reduce carbon footprint by 37.6%.

5) Zero deforestation; consist in the exclusive use of wood from certified forests FSC and PEFC.

6) Good occupation and economic growth. A plan which promotes and supports the develop of production activities with the creation of decent employment, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. Furthermore, Palm Work & Project Coop. Soc. is an Onlus which was born to stimulate and improve new generations and people with disabilities.

7) Partnership for goals. Revitalize the partnership for a sustainable develop. A key point is the involvement of client, suppliers, project collaborators and partners in sustainable goals create a model of active participation.


Business benefit

Palm Spa became one of the major exporters of pallets in the country, thanks to its CSR approach. This innovation benefits not only the business (each type of load is associated with the least expensive pallet with the same certified performance), but also the environment (respect for the environment comes from the calibration of weights and volumes of materials used, in relation to the type of load), and safety (the load identifies the certified nominal capacity which is a tool to prevent damage to goods and tools. Knowing the capacity means preventing accidents to people during logistical, manual, automatic operations).

Social and environmental benefit

Using a sustainable green pallet, Palm contributes to reduce the waste of resources in the production and logistic process. One way they want to make a difference is by pressuring rivals in the wood packaging sector to help draft a sustainability report that sets benchmarks and allows companies to insert their experience.

Palm intends to organize several multi-stakeholder focus groups in order to have an EPD of the pallet. The company aims at energy certification of packaging as an educational tool to promote a zero CO2 forest-enterprise-sector-consumer approach.

Palm Spa analyzes the pallet life cycle by method of the LCA to assess the consumption of raw materials, energy involved in the production, and assess where the pallet will end up once used. This evaluation allows a continuous improvement of the product, developing all the factors that decrease the environmental impact, and in particular the CO2 emissions as established by Kyoto’s protocol.

Soon, the company plans to separate and compact the plastic (shrink-shrinkable and polyethylene) through an internal process equipped with a dedicated press. They choose for the withdrawals to be by the same company (ISO certified 14000) that is serving a neighboring holding, and intentionally synchronizing withdrawals in a way to avoid unnecessary movements of trucks (optimization of CO2 emissions).

Interview

Primo Barzoni, Founder

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Palm Spa

Palm Spa

Mantova, Lombardia, IT

Business Website: http://www.palm.it/Benvenuto.aspx

Year Founded: 1960

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Palm Spa is a benefit company that deals with the production of environmentally sustainable pallets. It is an ideal company to represent the Italian Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) given its strong code of ethics and its strong values of sustainability. The company helps to transport goods with packaging of the highest quality, and does so with values, by introducing social, environmental, and economic sustainability criteria in the design and production of wooden pallets. Palm has revolutionized the pallet industry in Italy and has created a transparent model of "tree-to-pallet" production based on innovation, ecological, and social responsibility. Greenpallet is not only a pallet but also is a tool that aims to help other industries reduce their environmental impact.