OVS has used The Natural Step's Sustainability Life Cycle Assessment to scientifically analyse its overall impact in order to make effective changes in all areas, not just those related to product development.
"We have created an innovative programme guided by sustainability principles, which touches all bases: from corporate culture to design and product, from materials to the supply chain, and from logistics to sales outlets," states Stefano Beraldo, CEO of OVS SpA.
Environmental Management System
To guarantee a management of the company dynamics with a direct impact on the environment, OVS has implemented a management system in line with ISO 14001:2015.
The life cycle of a piece of packaging is continued after its initial use, thereby creating additional value and reducing waste.
The secondary packaging used by our logistics team is reused several times in the distribution process and has been designed to reduce paper waste during production.
During 2019, our RIUTILIZZAMI Programme allowed us to reuse:
- 2.903.808 boxes from suppliers, equal to 95% of those received
This permitted OVS to limit the number of new boxes purchased saving approximately 2,000 tonnes of paper.
We have also launched a wooden pallet reconditioning process at our Pontenure warehouse. Our employees repair damaged pallets, which ultimately prevents them from being thrown away.
We also make sure to properly dispose of clothes hangers. In fact, we have stopped sending them to our customers, so that they can be reused in store. Broken or unusable clothes hangers are sent to be recycled thanks to our partnership with a supplier that uses them to create new hangers. In 2019, we recycled about 223,000 tonnes of plastic hangers.
Energy, Emissions and Water
We are committed to only using renewable energy and eliminating waste throughout all company departments and eliminate or offset all direct and indirect emissions by 2040.
100% OF THE ENERGY THAT WE USE IN OUR HEADQUARTERS AND IN ALL OUR STORES IN ITALY IS ALREADY CERTIFIED RENEWABLE and, compared to 2016, we have reduced our Scope 1 and 2 emissions by more than 85%.
Unfortunately, the use of renewable energy in our supply chain is not widespread yet. Indeed, we estimate that on total of more than 45,000,000 Gj of energy consumed by our suppliers, less than 2% comes from renewable sources (reworked from HIGG FEM 2019 on a sample of suppliers equal to 80% of production).
In order to better understand the sources of emissions and define the most effective strategies for reducing the company's carbon footprint, we took part in a project in collaboration with the Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection to certify the evaluation of the green house gas inventory according to ISO 14064:2018.
For more information see Carbon Footprint page.
Over the course of 2019, the overall Carbon Footprint of OVS decreased by 6%.
In 2020, we used the tools provided by the Science Based Target Initiative to identify a reduction strategy that could lead us to achieve the goal of at least a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2040.
Here are the results according to ISO 14064-1 alongside the GHG protocol in Scope 1. 2. 3.
|ISO 14064-1 Impact Category||tCO2e||GHG Protocol Category||tCO2e||tCO2e|
|Cat. 1 - Direct GHG Emissions||9,853||Scope 1||9,853||8,783|
|Cat. 2 - Indirect Emissions from Imported Energy||6,258||Scope 2||6,258||24,545|
|Cat. 3 - Indirect Emissions from Transport||57,292||Scope 3||370,156||375,967|
|Cat. 4 - Indirect Emissions from Products Used||312.864|
In relation to category 4, it should be noted that the production of raw materials accounts for 144,660.42 tCO2e and production processes for 95,811.45 tCO2e.
The direct use of water by OVS is very limited, as we do not directly manage production activities. However, we have launched a staff awareness program that includes communication material specifically designed and placed in areas where most water is consumed (snack areas, bathrooms, ...). In its first year of application, the campaign has made it possible to reduce water consumption by 23% compared to the previous year.
On the other hand, with regard to the water used in our supply chain, we have estimated the consumption generated in the year by applying the ReCipe2016 calculation method, which amount to approximately 63 million m3 (of which 98% in the production of raw materials and 2% in manufacturing processes).
Such an amount of water, while consistent with industry data, requires special attention and prioritization of initiatives for its reduction. For this reason, in identifying actions in response to risks, we analyze quantitative and qualitative impacts through the tools made available by the World Resources Institute (Overall Water Risk - www.wri.org).
WE HAVE DEVELOPED AND APPLIED AN AGREEMENT REGARDING STORE CONSTRUCTION AND MANAGEMENT IN ORDER TO REDUCE OUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
When fitting our stores we favour more sustainable materials, such as FSC-certified wood and recycled metal.
WE CONTROL CONSUMPTION VIA A CENTRALISED SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS US TO REDUCE MANAGERIAL INEFFICIENCIES AND WASTE
We installed a centralised system that controls energy consumption and costs, so that we can monitor usage in each of our stores on a daily basis. In fact, we have developed a web-based platform that can track hourly energy consumption, comparing stats with the previous year and thus detecting if there are any unusual spikes in energy consumption.
The ease and speed with which we are able to analyse data means that we can quickly report any issues to the store in question, allowing the manager or maintenance technician to intervene where necessary.
WE HAVE INSTALLED LED LIGHTING SYSTEMS IN ALL OF OUR NEW STORES, RESULTING IN A 30% REDUCTION IN ENERGY CONSUMPTION THROUGHOUT MOST OF THE CURRENT SALES NETWORK
Installing LED lighting results in more efficient energy conversion into light compared to traditional lighting systems. LED lighting also prevents heat from being released into the surrounding area, thus reducing the need for additional air conditioning costs. Replacing light bulbs with LEDs in our new stores has resulted in an overall saving of 9,600 tons of CO2, that’s equivalent to the emissions generated by travelling the world about 1,200 times by car.
WE ACTIVELY INVOLVE STORE MANAGERS WITH INCENTIVES THAT RAISE AWARENESS ON ENERGY SAVING
A key factor in our energy saving programme’s success was empowering and actively involving in-store teams by: sharing best practices, providing store managers with specific training, creating incentives and commitment recognition initiatives and sending a quarterly email on energy consumption trends at each store, as well as a list of changes that have been made.
We have launched an initiative to raise staff awareness on environmental issues at our head office, as well as an operational changes plan that lists actions that have already produced results, such as the following:
EMPLOYEE CAR POOLING, TO INCREASE LIFT SHARING WHEN TRAVELLING TO AND FROM WORK
By adopting the JoJob car-pooling platform, we have saved 120,000 km, thus reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 10 tonnes, which is the same as planting a woodland of almost 200 trees.
WE HAVE DISTRIBUTED CARBON-NEUTRAL STEEL WATER BOTTLES TO ALL EMPLOYEES AND HAVE ALSO INSTALLED MICROFILTERED WATER DISTRIBUTORS TO HELP REDUCE THE CONSUMPTION OF PLASTIC BOTTLES
The steel bottles in question come from 24Bottles, an Italian design brand founded in 2013 with the aim of reducing the impact of single-use plastic bottles on the planet and our lives. The ecological impact of producing water bottles, packaging and transport is compensated, then offset through reforestation projects in Italy and abroad.
OUR ISLAND NETWORK HAS BEEN EQUIPPED FOR SEPARATING AND RECYCLING WASTE PRODUCED BY OVS
We are aware of the role that we can have in taking care of a more sustainable future for the environment.
Shops are our window onto a better world, built on respect for the environment and care for the people around us.