Limitless Minds: People as the key to sustainability

Marco Marchetti, Industrial Sustainability Director at Ferrero

Defining sustainability risks

“You can’t just look at sustainability from the planet’s point of view. You always have to involve the people.” 

To Marco Marchetti, Industrial Sustainability Director at Ferrero, protecting the Earth is clearly a people’s business. At the Innovation Days 2019, he gave fascinating insights about how a major company like Ferrero deals with the rising importance of sustainability. In order to find out which topics are the most important to the employees and to external stakeholders, they developed a materiality matrix. They managed to narrow it down to four topics of upmost importance: climate change, energy efficiency, water stewardship and circular economy. The next step: tackling them.

A man with a dream

“Our consumers will consider us not only as a producer of good quality products but also a producer that respects the environment.” – that is Marchetti’s vision for the future. An ambitious goal but Ferrero is taking a lot of action to achieve it. For example, to contribute to the minimisation of climate change they installed as many renewable-energy generation plants at their sites as possible. On top of that, they are going to activate the transition to electrical heating systems instead of gas.

Another important point was overall energy efficiency. Ferrero started to map all their actions to see which generated the highest CO2 reduction and, of course, to prioritise them based on importance. When it comes to reducing water consumption, they try to tackle the sites that are high risk first, i.e. those that run the danger of restricting the water supply of the surrounding environment. By taking well measured steps, they have balanced their water consumption. In the long term, they aim to reduce water consumption by 30%. Regarding circular economy, they are following the usual approach of re-using, recycling, recovering and disposing - with a goal of reaching a zero-waste landfill in a few years.

Creating a sustainability network

How can you guarantee that all of these measures are being used at every plant? To ensure that, Ferrero has a very interesting approach that underlines its people-focused way of handling sustainability: every site has a team that monitors behaviour regarding the four topics and reports directly to the plant manager. On a broader scale, they have created a global Ferrero sustainability network that detects the key points that need to be optimised throughout their 27 plants.

“Every person can make a difference but the power of many can make an impact.” – with these words, Marchetti perfectly nails down their people-driven way of thinking.

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