Piaggio seeks to minimise the environmental impact of its industrial activities by carefully defining the product planning process and the technological manufacturing cycle, and by using the best technologies and the most modern production methods.
Piaggio has organised its processes and activities through a management system which focuses on Quality, the Environment and the Health and Safety of Workers, with a view to providing a model of sustainable development that not only guarantees lasting success, but also ensures that the expectations of stakeholders are met (including investors, shareholders, partners, suppliers, the social community and public administration).
Environmental sustainability - understood as the ability to protect and safeguard natural resources, combined with the capacity of the ecosystem to absorb the direct and indirect impacts generated by manufacturing activities - is among the key focal points of Group Policy, as expressed by the company's senior management team. This concept provides the basis for the environmental certification (ISO 14001) process that has already been launched (or is being continued) at the various production sites, and is an essential point of reference for every Group company, wherever they may operate.
The Group has been committed for years now to identifying, reducing, eliminating and/or keeping the environmental impact of our activities and products under control through strict compliance with applicable requirements and the improvement of processes and behaviours.
Specifically, Piaggio seeks to minimise the environmental impact of its industrial activities by carefully defining the product design, the manufacturing technological cycle and by using the best technology and the most modern production methods. Pursuing these objectives generates continual improvement in environmental performance, not only in production but also throughout the product life cycle.
Quantitative data on the mitigation of the environmental impact resulting from the Group's operations are reported on in the sections below.
With these objectives in mind, initiatives and goals for the future focus on the following areas:
- maintaining environmental certification awarded to all production sites;
- reducing energy consumption;
- reducing emissions of CO2 and other pollutants;
- conserving water resources;
- waste handling and recovery;
- absence of soil contamination;
- environmental spending and investments.
The aim of the Group is to optimise plant management and minimise energy waste. Energy is procured through leading energy companies whose production is mainly from renewable sources, while energy for the company operating in Holland is sourced entirely from renewable sources. Although the structure of the company's production sites has been designed to run on fossil fuels, Piaggio is engaged in optimising the management of existing sites to cut consumption. Specifically, when reconfiguring or restructuring plants, the Technology functions carry out evaluations and analysis with a view to introducing machinery and methods that minimise environmental impact. Having an extensive monitoring network of main energy carriers is important for achieving noticeable results, especially in more complex activities. In this regard, since 2016, the Pontedera site has adopted measures to reduce energy waste, with a smart metering system that can use, observe and compare in real time (with a delay of 3 hours) the consumption recorded by over 90 meters at the site; the technology applied has made it possible reduce consumption by over 17% in three years. Changes in consumption at other Italian sites, which are negligible in quantitative terms compared to the Pontedera site, are due to variations in production volumes and heating system management based on recorded outdoor temperatures.
Consumption and emissions for sites where vehicles and engines are produced are reported separately, below. Data from the Boston research centre, which began manufacturing a small lot of robots for goods' transport in December 2019, have been included in the scope of non-production companies, as the figures are negligible.
Piaggio Group energy consumption
13 Some values are based on estimates.
14 Data on the Mandello and Noale and Scorzè sites have been finalised for the first time, as the figures were not considered significant in the past.
The Group also operates through commercial companies (distributors and selling agencies) and research centres located on various reference markets. The energy use of these sites cannot always be recorded, as the sites are sometimes located at property which is not owned, where communal services are shared with other occupants. For 2019, their consumption of electricity was estimated to be equal to 883 thousand KWh. Of this amount, 41 thousand KWh is from certified renewable sources. Starting from this year, all sites have been monitored for consumption, referred to company vehicles and testing and development activities.
Fuel consumption for testing and company vehicles - 2019 15
15 Some values are based on estimates.
Piaggio Group Energy Consuption in GJ 16
Emissions of CO2 and other pollutants
Greenhouse gases (mainly CO2) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) released by solvents used in painting, are some of the most hazardous substances for air pollution generated by automotive operators.
Structural works (replacement of boilers and restructuring of distribution networks), carried out over time and already described in previous financial statements, show that changes made have been appropriate. In 2019, emissions were basically in line with figures for previous years, with a slight increase mainly related to the increase in production volumes in Vietnam.
Direct and indirect CO2 emissions of Piaggio Group production sites
17 CO2 emissions deriving from the combustion of methane, natural gas, diesel fuel and LPG used at plants.
18 The figure on direct emissions published last year in the table differs from that later certified by the certification body accredited by the National Competent Authority (ANC), which instead was equal to 10,373 tons.
19 Reported data are also based on processing using estimates.
CO2 emissions of the Piaggio Group (Equivalent Tons)
For sites located in Italy, the conversion criteria of the “Emission Trading” Directive (Directive 2003/87/EC) were used to determine gases with a greenhouse effect resulting from the use of diesel, fuel oil and methane.
With reference to CO2 emissions, the industrial plant at Pontedera comes under the sensitivity area classification of the “Emission Trading” directive (Directive 2003/87/EC) which implements the Kyoto Protocol. The site is classed as a “Group A” site, relative to companies releasing the lowest amount of CO2 indicated in the Directive. CO2 emissions are almost entirely due to the combustion of methane, marginally to the combustion of diesel fuel in back-up power generators and extremely small amounts from the combustion of VOCs in the painting postcombuster.
The monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions from the Pontedera plant are governed by a specific Group procedure, which is periodically audited in-company and annually audited by a certification body.
CO2 emissions at Piaggio's Pontedera site are certified by a certification body accredited by the National Competent Authority in March of each year.
The CO2 emissions from the use of company cars and from testing and development activities are reported below.
Direct CO2 emissions of Piaggio Group
Overall, direct emissions of the Group in 2019 were equal to 18,101 tons.
Other significant emissions at the production sites of the Piaggio Group19
In 2019, the reduction in VOC released by the Group's Indian and Vietnamese sites was significant.
Conserving water resources
Piaggio has always recognised the immense value of the natural resources it uses and has developed production processes designed to reduce water consumption. At the Pontedera site, water supply wells have inverters that can regulate system flow rates based on the amount of water required by the hydraulic loop.
Thanks to actions taken and a mindful approach, water use fell significantly at all production sites. As regards waste water, environmental respect is ensured with processes to treat and purify waste water. Below we report the destination of waste water produced, estimated to be equivalent to the amount of water supply used, for each production site:
- Pontedera: all industrial and most non-industrial waste water is conveyed to a chemical/physical purification plant outside the site. After biological treatment, the waste is discharged into an open channel. A small part of the waste-water coming from the toilets located in two areas of the factory, is directly discharged into the public sewer system;
- Noale: all buildings are connected to the public sewer system. The waste water is of a non-industrial origin only (from toilets and the site canteen);
- Scorzè: the plant is not served by the public sewer system, so waste water is biologically purified at the site and then conveyed to the local Rio Desolino canal;
- Mandello del Lario: the plant discharges a part of waste water directly into the public sewer system (non-industrial waste water, canteen waste water, etc.), while waters used in the cooling plants are discharged into the Torrente Valletta stream;
- Baramati: waste water is treated and used for irrigation purposes;
- Vinh Phuc: the site has a chemical/physical purification plant for waste from painting pre-treatment operations before it is conveyed to the public sewer systems, where all other site waste (non-industrial waste) is sent. The final destination is in the public sewer system.
- For Commercial companies, water use, which is only for toilet facilities and comes from the mains, coincides with waste water. The water use of these sites cannot always be recorded, as the sites are sometimes located at property which is not owned, where communal services are shared with other occupants. Use was estimated to be equal to 15,519 m3 in 2019.
New industrial drains, currently being built, will go into operation at Pontedera in 2020, to entirely separate waste, improving and optimising purification treatments.
Only the Baramati and Vinh Phuc sites re-use some of the water collected. Approximately 173,631 m3 of water were recycled and re-used by the Indian site in 2019, equal to 62.4% of the total amount drawn by the site. At the Vietnamese factory, waste water recovery amounted to 14,610 m3/y, equal to approximately 12.8%.
Water supplies of the Piaggio Group (m3)
Waste handling and recovering
Handling and recovering waste is a fundamental part of the Group's environmental policy. In this context, Italian sites consolidated their percentages of recovered waste in 2019, with the Mandello del Lario facility recovering nearly all waste produced. Lastly, it should be noted that the separation of hazardous from non-hazardous waste and the possibility of recovering waste is affected by local regulations. With the overall amount of waste produced going up considerably, the percentage of hazardous waste and its allocation in the last three years was basically stable. Based on an analysis per type, most of the waste produced was metal waste (iron, aluminium, turning material, etc.) and packaging material (cardboard, wood, etc.). For example at the Pontedera site, approximately 3,500 tons of packaging and 1,500 tons of metal are produced, with these two categories comprising nearly 80% of waste generated.
During 2019, the Italian sites of Pontedera, Noale and Scorzè started a project for the gradual phase-out of plastic in their canteens. Free beverage dispensing machines have been installed at these canteens, with free water and non-alcoholic beverages for users, dispensed in biodegradable cups that are now disposed of as biodegradable waste. This initiative, which will make it possible to eliminate 455,000 plastic bottles a year, has involved local waste collection companies, with an agreement made on the type of material for the cups, and cleaning companies, who have been informed on how to dispose of waste in the dedicated bins. Plus coloured bins have been put next to dispensing machines, for sorted waste collection. Lastly, electric hand-dryers have been installed at 2 units of the Pontedera site, in order to reduce paper use.
Avoiding soil contamination
In 2019, as in previous years, no spills or polluting events of significance occurred at any of Piaggio's sites. At the Mandello and Pontedera, decontamination initiatives are under way due to historic contaminations of the sites. These situations emerged during demolition work in Mandello and during environmental monitoring campaigns in Pontedera. In both cases, the pollutants found have not been used in the production sites for several decades, providing the historical nature of their origin. In accordance with legal obligations, the two situations have been reported to the relevant authorities and managed according to their instructions.
Environmental spending and investments
As proof of the Group's commitment to environmental sustainability, investments were made for the environment at Italian sites during 2019, above all for the start of the project to develop the new cataphoresis plant and the new industrial drains system.
The Group has consolidated its logistics model aimed at benefiting from the synergies among various distribution centres in Europe and identifying opportunities for optimisation, paying particular attention to service quality aspects. To optimise distribution the model calls for targeted management of departures and routes to travel. The procedure also disciplines:
- the vehicles and equipment used by logistics operators certified by Piaggio, in accordance with the relevant quality standards;
- the replacement of vehicles for internal shuttling with others equipped with systems to cut CO2 emissions;
- the packaging collection service to manage the pick-up of packaging from dealers and its disposal according to local regulations in force;
- the disposal and sorting of waste material (e.g., due to decontainerisation) and packaging substitution;
- printing only documents which are necessary.
To reduce transfer needs to a minimum the model requires manufactured vehicles to be stored at the distribution hub adjacent to the production site and that imports of vehicles manufactured overseas are stored at the distribution hub corresponding to the product type.
Thanks to centralised management of all logistics centres (Pontedera, Scorzè, Mandello):
- the number of trips needed to transfer stock between centres has been optimised;
- the use of electronic archives for storing shipment documents has been consolidated and paper copies reduced;
- printing of shipping documents to be sent to end customers has been minimised, and electronic documents are used whenever possible.
As part of vehicle distribution activities (for the contract valid for 2017-2019), the strategy to improve operating activities already underway continued. These activities led to an optimisation in vehicle distribution in 2019, by 1.73% for two-wheelers and 0.47% for commercial vehicles respectively, compared to 2018. As for the new vehicle distribution contract, stipulated for the 2020-2022 period, the planning of transport to directly managed markets was re-insourced. The utmost attention will be paid to distribution operations, in this scenario.
As part of activities to streamline the distribution warehouses at the Pontedera production hub, the crating process was reviewed, with vehicles only being crated during the dispatch stage. This has made it possible to combine the uncrated and crated vehicle warehouses, and since April 2019, all transit of crated vehicles to the external warehouse has been stopped, with this warehouse no longer used. The same crating strategy has also been adopted for scooters arriving from overseas (excluding units from India), thus reducing the transit necessary for these vehicles in Europe. Activities have started to have paperless transport documents as far as possible so that hard copy documents can be nearly entirely phased out.
The production centres in India and Vietnam also set up procedures aimed at minimising the number of trips for shipping produced vehicles and consumption of packing materials.