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Many companies and organizations are aware that they aren’t operating in isolation, that they’re part of a bigger picture. The classic business goals can be achieved while also ensuring that we fulfil our social responsibility, defend values like equal opportunities and be committed to climate change.

When it comes to the Sustainability Development Goals, some may see them as a fad and even a way of making a living. For others, like here at Panespol, it’s a value that we should take on board and stand up for. There’s no doubt that the more commitment you have, the more effort you put in and the achievement is much greater and rewarding.

That’s what has happened to us at Panespol. We have adopted the strategic line of achieving the Sustainability Development Goals and in 2019 we started our own particular contribution towards improving this huge neighbourhood, the planet on which we all live. We have an obligation to leave our world in better shape for its future inhabitants.

There are many ways of testing this struggle, but one has emerged as a common global measurement: the carbon footprint.

The carbon footprint is a measure of the environmental impact of an individual, business or economic activity in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2). It’s calculated in tonnes of CO2 and refers to the amount of greenhouse gases emitted directly or indirectly during the production, consumption and transport of goods and services.

Any activity can be transformed to its equivalent in tonnes of CO2, so the total carbon footprint will be the sum of all those activities measured in terms of tonnes of CO2. For example, we can translate energy consumption when using fossil fuels like petrol, diesel or natural gas for heating, powering machinery and appliances, lighting or transport into gases emitted into the atmosphere.

Similarly, for food we can measure methane and CO2 emissions and calculate the carbon footprint of a good beef steak. The same goes for the use of transport methods such as cars, planes or ships, which generate CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases.

At Panespol we began our own crusade in 2019. It all starts with an awareness on the part of management that must guide the strength, commitment and resources needed. In fact, to date, every single one of the people we share our work with at Panespol is now involved in this goal, showing willingness to improve and pride in the great things being achieved.

The total carbon footprint in 2019 was 181.22 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. There aren’t really many points of reference in the market, but that didn’t matter, as we worked extremely hard to obtain our ISO 14000 certification, including recycled material in our panels and using naturally sourced fibres. These products are now protected by patent as they’re the result of a great deal of effort and investment to enable us to continue at the forefront of innovation and product development in our sector.

In 2020, the carbon footprint was 120.02 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. That’s almost a 34% reduction in just one year. It was great news, but then we had to deal with reduced production due to the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant that the challenge was the calculation for 2021, as this was considered to be a year that we could classify as “normal” in Panespol’s financial and productive lifespan.

A few weeks ago, the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition approved the 2021 carbon footprint, which stood at 144.45 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Although this was greater than the figure for 2020, it was still 20% lower than what we could consider to be our calculation base year of 2019.

We are totally committed to the environment and to reducing our carbon footprint. We have developed an advanced Climate Action Plan with which we have measuring our carbon footprint over the last 3 years and designing a roadmap that will allow us to reduce, and even neutralise, the impact generated by our commercial activity.

We’re pleased, not only because of our contribution but because we’re once again showing the leadership needed in our sector. But we aren’t complacent, so we want to make our commitment public and pledge that our activity will be a little more sustainable every year.

Juan Ramón Granell – Panespol General Manager

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