Gefran's 2021 was characterised by outstanding economic results which are even more impressive if we consider that they were achieved at a time of great uncertainty due to procurement difficulties and the persistence of the health emergency.
Results which do not only reflect the recovery that began at the end of 2020. In fact, an analysis of the impact of the pandemic shows that, in addition to recording higher increases in productivity, companies with sustainable development policies have reacted better to the shock and taken better advantage
of the opportunities presented by the recovery. We are proud to say that Gefran falls into this category.
Our commitment to sustainability, which has characterized various management and development areas over the years, was formalised in November 2020 in a Strategic Plan which we intend to share.
The Plan has identified four projects in three essential sustainable development areas (people, environment and local area) through which Gefran intends to contribute to achieving some of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Four concrete projects linked to our processes: sustainable innovation; updating of certification; the growth of our people; promoting the culture of sustainability among our suppliers, who represent the cornerstone of our competitive strategy.
For each of these projects we have established medium-term guidelines (three to five years), as well as commitments, investments and goals to be shared with the various categories
1) The sustainable innovation project makes the principles of the protection of the environment and natural ecosystems part of the Gefran innovation approach. For Gefran, the responsible use of energy resources, aimed at the reduction and/or improved efficiency of consumption, necessitates the study and application of new technology solutions to its range of products. This explains our commitment to investing in innovation and the development of quality solutions and services, updating our expertise to facilitate the evolution of processes for a more efficient and effective organisation; Industry 4.0 has
been the driving force for the development of products with characteristics consistent with this commitment. Already today, 15% of the products in our portfolio stand out on the market for their sustainable innovation features. The goal is to reach 50% by 2025.
2) Gefran is committed to extending its current certification to include internationally recognised standards in the area of workplace health and safety, the reduction of its environmental footprint, and corporate social responsibility. By 2023, the goal is to obtain the ISO14001, ISO45001 and SA8000 certifications and to integrate them, with ISO9001, in a Management System for the Group’s four Italian companies. The Plan also envisages extending these certifications to the Group’s international companies, and in particular to the United States and China by 2025.
3) The Group’s commitment to the growth of its people continued over the last year with the creation of kenFly (an evolution of the FLY Gefran Talent Academy), a digital platform that allows the 800 Gefran employees worldwide to hone their skills and competencies, exchange experiences and knowledge,
and improve their performances through an appraisal and feedback system.
4) The promotion of the culture of sustainability among suppliers led to the first Supplier Day (25 November), an in-person event reserved for small and medium-sized companies operating in the vicinity of the Group's production facilities. We aim to accompany our suppliers on the journey towards a broader concept of sustainability, making Gefran’s skills and experiences available to them and identifying co-design and co-engineering initiatives to reduce the environmental and social impact of products and components.
Our commitment is also a response to an international trend that impacts all the players in the production system. The most recent expression of this trend, in 2021, was the adoption by the European Commission of a package of measures to guide investors towards companies in EU countries that carry out useful activities to tackle the climate emergency. Sustainability is therefore increasingly a means for accessing the financial resources necessary for business development.
The leadership provided by larger companies on the road towards the sustainability of the production system is of fundamental importance. Gefran believes that this leading role must help to ensure that all players in the system are able to adapt, leaving no one behind.
Numerous companies participated in Supplier Day and accepted the challenge, validating our approach aimed at: increasing the level of attention focused on sustainability issues; encouraging greater levels of commitment; sharing knowledge, skills, ideas and projects. We believe that all of this will improve the competitiveness of the entire system. The event highlighted how small and medium-sized enterprises are also becoming increasingly aware of what is at stake: sustainability is not a slogan but an essential condition for facing the future, as well as an opportunity for development. The meeting with other companies generated lots of positive energy which we must now channel towards concrete objectives.