Change begins with us. For that reason, our choices have always been guided by a commitment to a form of sustainable development that safeguards our standards of quality and safety. Everyone who works in our group shares these values, and they shape our decisions every day.
We operate our manufacturing activities with respect for the environment. This begins with monitoring how we use raw materials, our consumption of energy and water and our emissions, as well as keeping a close eye on how we dispose of our waste and our energy efficiency. We have built our factories far away from protected locations and sites with high levels of biodiversity, and we have implemented systems and processes that protect the environment, the local area and the ecosystem. Our production plants mainly employ electric energy, steam and natural gas for cooling processes and heating and we are continuously looking at ways of reducing our consumption. Today, one third of the energy needed to power our factories comes from biomass. To produce paper, tempera paints, play doughs and chalks, we use water. We constantly monitor our consumption of this important resource using automated systems that can limit its use to the absolute minimum.
In our factories we carefully select our raw materials and we promote the use of those that come from renewable sources with a low environmental impact. This includes wood, the main material in our company’s production processes, used for pencils, crayons and fibres for making paper; plastic, used for pens, highlighters and many accessories and containers; and starch, used for papers and modelling clays.
As a means of ensuring the environmentally sensitive development of our products, we have introduced internal procedures to promote eco-friendly solutions, reduce our packaging and continuously improve the performance of our products to increase their lifespan and reduce waste further. We have always used wood from well-managed and sustainable forests for our pencils, crayons and paper. The process is certified from the raw material – timber – through to the finished product. In addition, for some years we have been researching the use of bioplastics and have succeeded in using bio-based plastic* in production processes – this material is derived from sugar cane, a completely renewable source. 2019 saw the production of our first bio-based plastic products.
The production of bio-based plastics contributes to a reduction in CO2 emissions, one of the main greenhouse gases.
We have begun with our new durable containers for schools, Giotto school packs, tubs and the Giotto be-bé new egg-shaped toy-container, made entirely from 100% recyclable bio-plastics, which are already being produced and distributed. This significant step forward paves the way for new applications for this material and its increased use in line with its suitability for the Group’s products.
*The renewable component or bio-based content in our products is scientifically proven and can be measured using the percentage of the 14C isotope, which is not present in petroleum plastics. The standard test method for this is ASTM 6866 which “determines the bio-based content of solid, liquid and gaseous samples using radiocarbon analysis”.
We have always invested in the quality of our products to improve their performance and safety. Product longevity and performance help reduce waste. Here are some examples: our colouring pens write for longer because their nibs are hardwearing and do not deform, and the inks we use do not dry out even if the pens are left without their lids on for several days; our pencils and crayons are made with solid, concentrated lead which immediately transfers colour onto paper, while also lasting for a long time; our glue sticks are compact and transfer the right amount of glue onto paper; our tempera paints have a concentrated and rich colour with small quantities offering excellent performance; and our pens, highlighters and markers store a substantial amount of ink and have a long writing life.
The choice of materials for packaging is another key part of a sustainable future. That’s why we are reducing our packaging and seeking eco-friendly solutions for our products.
We favour the use of cardboard, preferably recycled, for the packaging of the majority of our colouring and drawing products.
We have gradually reduced plastic packaging to the absolute minimum necessary to ensure the product is not damaged. Where possible, we also use alternative materials and eco-friendly solutions such as 70% recycled R-PET blister packaging.
From 2020 we will also begin converting our plastic bottle production, used for Giotto tempera colours and liquid glues, into bottles made in Bio-PET from plant sources – a new milestone in the journey towards a sustainable future.