Biz & SDGs Experience

Sofidel’s commitment to responsible manufacturing

SDGs Coverage
Year of Publication of the Experience: 2017


The Sofidel Group is committed to be responsible for its corporate management by directing all the activities and decision-making processes, being in line with the sustainable development objectives shared by the whole Group. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary (2016) and in order to promote the ethical and responsible management of the supply chain, the Group assigned its first “SOFIDEL SUPPLIERS SUSTAINABILITY AWARD” to the most sustainable Suppliers considered fundamental business partners for the achievement of its own strategy.

The Experience

Sofidel’s sustainable growth strategy develops according to the efforts of “building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for the people and Planet Earth”; in line with the UN 17 SDGs.

Specifically, Sofidel intends to pursue the following goals: SDG3, SDG6, SDG7, SDG12, SDG13.

To this end, Sofidel implements restrictive policies to manage environmental impacts and to maximize social benefits along the value creation process: from the supply chain, to manufacturing processes, products and logistics.

In line with this commitment, when implementing its strategy, Sofidel paid careful attention to Responsible Consumption and Production (Goal 12) aiming at “doing more and better with less. A philosophy perfectly in line with the “Less is more” company strategy which encompasses the Group’s effort in giving more in terms of values, products and services, reducing consumption, waste and negative impacts on the environment and people’s lives. A strategy that can only be achieved through a systematic and synergic approach with the actors in the supply chain.

In 2014 Sofidel defined a structured sustainable purchasing system (also in line with ISO 20400), based on a risk assessment process of sustainability issues all along the supply chain, and pursuing the final aim of establishing a network of enduring relationships with the suppliers, based on trust and shared values. The key and strategic concept at its base is that the establishment of viable collaborations with the partners allows Sofidel to find more efficient solutions and to generate more value for the entire value chain.

Coherently, Sofidel strengthens the process of engagement with suppliers by adopting the “TenP – Sustainable Supply Chain Self-Assessment Platform” - created and promoted by the Global Compact Network Italy Foundation, of which the Group is a “Promoting Founding” member. The TenP platformis one of the pillars of Sofidel Supply Chain Sustainability management practice and it is based on a questionnaire inspired from the United Nations Global Compact Ten Principles and the most relevant international agreements, conventions and standards. The tool aims to increase the ability of self-evaluation of the suppliers’ sustainability performance, and to identify challenges and common solutions to enhance sustainability within the value chain.
A risk analysis regarding sustainability in Sofidel Group’s supply chain is then necessary to rationalize and optimize the monitoring of suppliers operated through the TenP platform. It also lays the foundation for the construction of a more sustainable system of vendor rating, including supporting future commitments on sustainable procurement and sustainability management of Sofidel supply chain.

Accordingly to the defined procedure:

  1. The categories of goods and services purchased are divided into risk classes based on exposure to:
    - environmental risks linked to the use and disposal of good / service;
    - risks for workers (suppliers’ ones) related to the production of good / service;
    - risks for workers (Group’s ones) related to the use of the good / service;
    - bad business practices’ risks connected to the production of good / service;
    - bad business practices’ risks connected to the use of the good / service.
  2. Different elements affecting risk exposure are then taken into consideration: related to various phases of the product’s life cycle, from raw material extraction to production, distribution, use and disposal.
  3. According to the types of risk, potential negative impacts that could be generated by a failure in monitoring suppliers’ performances are classified based on “negative impacts on”:
    - productive management (eg. Non efficient management of resources);
    - the stated commitments of Sofidel and on sustainability indicators monitored by the GRI;
    - the reputation of Sofidel brands (directly related to the product and consumed by the end user);- the reputation of Sofidel Group (related to the production process and perceived by customers and the end consumer).
  4. The TenP platform, with its self-assessment system, allows and gives priority to the monitoring of the two main target groups of suppliers:
    - Suppliers that, given the value of the business transitions with Sofidel, can have significant impacts in Classes 1 and 2 above;
    - Suppliers that can affect Classes 3 and 4.
  5. Once observed the level of strategic purchase and risk of exposure, different actions of monitoring and different outcomes are identified, according to the results obtained by each monitored supplier.

Table 1 below offers a synthetized prospect of the Sofidel management practice, distinguished in the 4 principal methodological phases.

Table 1

Purchasing and
processes mapping



Suppliers Involvement

Analysis and classification of purchased goods and services
Suppliers classification
Identification of environmental and social impacts
Creation of risk-opportunities matrices

Definition of priorities for intervention (based on feasibility, opportunities, sustainability goals)
Elaboration of Sustainable Purchases Policy

Manual of sustainable purchases
Sustainability criteria and specifications according to product categories
Monitoring system
Suppliers questionnaire

Focus group for each product sector
Suppliers training

With a glance towards continuous improvement. According to CEO Luigi Lazzareschi: “Sofidel has to promote this culture among national and international partners, because it is confident that the construction of a positive future, for companies as well as for people and the entire world, necessarily goes through a widespread and shared commitment, represented by the necessity to take on, each one in its field and according to its role, new and wider responsibilities”.

Therefore, in 2016 the Sofidel Group launched the first edition of “SOFIDEL SUPPLIERS SUSTAINABILITY AWARD“(3SAward), which saw the attendance of more than 300 companies from a variety countries. The 3SAward is a yearly acknowledgment whose purpose is to promote best practices and improvement actions on social, environmental, labour and anti-corruption issues carried out by national and international Sofidel Group Suppliers. Moreover, it pursues the overarching objective to positively contribute to raise awareness about the sustainable development of the tissue sector as a whole.

The requirement for companies to take part in the award is the fulfillment of the TenP questionnaire.

In particular, the “Sofidel 3SAward” assigns three awards: two of them according to the score achieved on the TenP platform (“The Best Supplier”, “The Best Improver”) and the third focused on businesses having carried out particularly effective social and/or environmental sustainable initiatives.

By 2020, the Sofidel Group will – through the TenP platform – pre-qualify 100% of its supply chain, based on the degree of risk and the type of suppliers involved (1.800 suppliers). Furthermore, this work will enable Sofidel to optimize the monitoring of its suppliers by developing specific actions for continuous improvement of the sustainability performance of the entities in the supply chain.

The Italian SOFIDEL GROUP, a privately held company owned by the Stefani and Lazzareschi families, is one of the leading European manufacturers of paper for hygienic and domestic use. It was founded nearly 50 years ago (1966)and today operates in 13 countries: Italy, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Croatia, Germany, Poland, Romania, Greece, Turkey and the USA. It has over 5,200 employees. With an aggregate turnover of 1,771 million Euros (31 December, 2014), Sofidel is the second largest manufacturer of tissue paper in Europe. Its flagship brand, “Regina”, is present in all the major markets. Other owned brands are Softis, Le Trèfle, Sopalin, Nouvelle, Thirst Pockets, KittenSoft, Nalys, Cosynel, Yumy, Soft & Easy, Volare, Onda, Lycke, Papernet, Heavenly Soft and Confidence. Sofidel is also a member of both the international WWF Climate Savers program and UN Global Compact
«The construction of a positive future, for companies as well as for people and the entire world, necessarily goes through a widespread and shared commitment.»
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