Inspiration for a greener tanning industry from the Arzignano tanning district.

greenLIFE companies’ approach towards CSR

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GreenLIFE is an example of the successful collaboration among companies based in the Arzignano tanning district to improve the sustainability of the entire leather manufacturing process. Alongside the technical outcomes of from the research activities (see the Layman’s report), the project also had the merit of having the partners collaborate with a common goal and mission.

But the environment is not the only area for which these companies engage. Here is a story of some of the projects in the interest of the community with direct actions from a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and company welfare perspective. From individual projects to those that involve multiple companies, they show that the search for corporate sustainability is not limited to the environmental factor alone, but with dynamism and an attentive eye to the well-being of the community, it also affects social aspects.

For example, Acque del Chiampo provides a fund every year to support social and cultural activities that aim to make people reflect on the importance of water as a resource and its defence, care, and conscious use.

All the greenLIFE’s partners are particularly involved on the school side, and specifically in higher education. They foresee the insertion of internships in schoolwork alternation projects every year. In this way, they give young people the chance to experience what a career in the fields of chemistry for leather (Ikem), biotechnology (Ilsa) and tannery ( Gruppo Mastrotto, Dani)  means, with articulated and developed study and work programs in order to acquire important skills and develop the ability to operate within a company. The internship students are paid for their commitment and their contribution to the project, which is designed specifically for each student.

Often, companies  donate cutting-edge technical equipment that allows schools to carry out research projects directly from the classrooms. On this regard, Ilsa donated an autoclave  (an equipmen used to sterilize tools and materials necessary for experimentation), to the G. Galilei Institute in Arzignano. Or directly sums of money, such as the 40,000 euros donated at the end of last year by a pool of entrepreneurs including Gruppo Mastrotto and Dani at the CFP Fontana di Chiampo for its technological renewal. In other cases, the company experts are “loaned” to do training, as in the case of the recently established course for future, “Green Leather Manager”, which saw a good percentage of teachers coming in from different companies.

In the large series of initiatives called “Gruppo Mastrotto ti da’ valore” (literally: gives you value) there is also a project dedicated to school education which provides scholarships for the children of company employees who, through a call for tenders and a selection, are given to students who the more they stood out during the school year.

This is one of the many activities under the common name of  “People, Next Level”, a series of initiatives that Gruppo Mastrotto dedicates to its employees, including the creation of a corporate welfare system. Another important project was an initiative of social and work inclusion for disabled people. With the support of social cooperatives, a department was set up with a level of productivity that made it sustainable over time, dedicated to the assembly of leather samples. For many of the people hired, it helped them realising the dream of pursuing personal autonomy.

The local health service is supported on several fronts. In this regard, Gruppo Mastrotto includes various initiatives for the purchase of advanced medical equipment. For example, the recent donation of a special 3D camera for minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery for the Arzignano Hospital. But also the support for the construction of a new hall in the pediatric oncology department of the San Bortolo Hospital in Vicenza, equipped with a sophisticated air pressure control system that allows young patients to live a comfortable situation even during illness. Or the donation of the Mammotome to the senology unit of the Hospital of Montecchio Maggiore: a device for breast biopsies for a more rapid and less invasive procedure.

Sometimes, instead, there are solidarity initiatives in which the collaboration and commitment of all the companies in the district are requested. With this spirit, Conceria Dani has repeatedly espoused a cause, providing a new ultrasound machine for the Arzignano hospital and a minibus for disabled transport for a local social cooperative, inviting local entrepreneurs to contribute. Thus, when the government does not contribute, private companies are engages and, in both cases, have been provided the necessary sums.

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