Rancilio Group explains its renewed commitment to sustainability

Rancilio Group

Rancilio Group explains its renewed commitment to sustainability with a new development model capable of balancing economic, financial, environmental, and social interests.

For Rancilio Group, sustainability is a responsibility which involves every part of the business worldwide.

To improve its environmental footprint and the services it offers the global coffee industry, the espresso machine manufacturer is targeting three key impact areas: environment, people, and governance.

Rancilio Group Marketing Manager Simona Sordelli says the company is integrating the principles of a circular economy into its daily business to help reduce its impact on the environment, and society.

“We are involving all our stakeholders in our plan towards sustainability and working to create innovative solutions throughout our value chain. In order to do so, we have started to follow the three principles of sustainability: reduce waste and emissions, reuse materials, and recycle resources,” says Sordelli.

Since 2020, Rancilio Group headquarters have been powered by 100 per cent renewable energy sources, using 70 per cent solar power, 10 per cent hydroelectric power, seven per cent wind power, and 13 per cent from other renewable energy sources.

“From 2022, Rancilio Group also offers modern charging stations for electric vehicles. Now, 25 per cent of our company cars are electric, and we aim to increase this value gradually in the next few years,” says Sordelli.

Inside the factory, more than 100 kilograms of spent coffee grounds extracted from field testing machines are used as natural fertiliser in the company garden.

“Coffee grounds are an excellent natural fertiliser. They contain essential nutrients for plant growth such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. This green corner grows with us and, thanks to the time we spend taking care of it, it gives us back seasonal fruit and vegetables every day. Thanks to this garden where nutrients are efficiently utilised and then returned to the cycle, we are able to significantly reduce waste disposal costs,” she says.

Sordelli says the company’s goal of a circular economy business comes from a strong desire to make its processes more efficient and environmentally friendly.

“We discovered that the real strength of these initiatives lies with synergies. It is the cooperation with companies which share our values and world view, that led to the realisation of concrete projects,” she says.

Rancilio Group is also pursuing three distinct areas involving health, education, and company identity, to further contribute to the wellbeing and development of its staff.

“This includes a look over their physical and mental wellbeing, their personal and professional growth, and to help build their strength and identity as part of a large, heterogeneous team,” Sordelli says.

To put its plan into action, Rancilio Group has partnered with health care fund Metasalute to offer supplementary services to the National Health Service.

A ‘speed date’ health and safety training day comprising of four different workshops has also been organised for staff. The event is organised in partnership with Aristea Legnano, a diagnostic medical institute in Lombardy, Italy, specialising in occupational medicine, environmental hygiene, safety, training, and quality.

“Our priority has always been safety. We take serious interest in our team’s working conditions and share ergonomics and safety guidelines periodically. Our team will be able to learn more about the importance of at-work wellbeing, healthy nutrition, individual behaviour in terms of safety, and teamwork,” Sordelli says.

To improve education, Rancilio Group has developed training centres where all employees are encouraged to expand their knowledge of products and technologies. This includes the Rancilio Training Centre to learn about Rancilio Group’s espresso machines and grinders, and an Egro Training Centre dedicated to Egro’s fully automatic coffee machines.

From September 2021 to August 2022, Sordelli says staff participated in 1320 hours of training. “We organise training courses to motivate professional growth and invest in social activities aimed at encouraging teamwork and mutual knowledge to create a healthy working environment,” she says.

“Considering the positive feedback received from past webinars, Rancilio Group’s goal for 2023 is to increase online training for the team and technicians to give more people access and to help limit carbon dioxide emissions even more.”

To improve company identity, Rancilio Group hosts a series of events to increase team building and sense of community within the Italian-based team, and those of its international workers. “Rancilio Day was organised with various teambuilding activities to encourage socialisation and mutual knowledge to strengthening our teams. The Rancilio Group Global Summit is also an annual meeting with Rancilio Group representatives from all our branches to share ideas, developments, and technologies,” Sordelli says.

To further improve Rancilio Group’s processes to ensure accountability and proper governance, the company utilises the Kaizen approach with “inspiring principles” to create customer value, target zero waste, follow the action, empower its people, and be transparent.

“The Japanese word Kaizen is the composition of kai (change, improvement) and zen (good, better). [It] means to change for the better. More precisely, Kaizen means slow and continuous improvement in personal, family, social and working life,” she says.

Putting the Kaizen approach into practice, Rancilio Group holds weekly meetings that bring together different department managers, operators, and all production channels to help increase empowerment, transparency, and better communication.

“We examine our past efforts and work to do better in the future,” Sordelli says.

Rancilio Group has also implemented a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study. It analyses the carbon footprint generated by the production of coffee machines to identify critical issues in terms of environmental impacts, and support future improvement strategies.

“In 2020 we carried out a product LCA on our Classe 5 USB. In 2023, we hope to expand this study further, as this will be pivotal to better understand our generated carbon footprint and outline our future sustainability strategies.”

Sordelli says having this long-term vision for investing in sustainability will eventually contribute to reliable company strategies and cost savings.

“To operate sustainably for us means creating resource-efficient products, meeting customers’ needs and caring for our environment. Our company and all our stakeholders can benefit from a more sustainable approach, as it responds to different needs and goals with one solution,” she says.

Rancilio Group hopes with time, every business will be able to see the environmental, technological, and economic potential of a sustainable approach through the company’s success story.

“We are very proud of the efforts done so far. We know we still have a long way to go, but we have now a better understanding of our future goals and challenges,” Sordelli says.

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This article was first published in the March/April 2023 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.

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