The Sofrigam group is committed to the environment
Ensuring the continuity of the supply chain throughout the world
Every year, around the world :
- One third of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, 1.3 billion tonnes of food.
- 20% of heat-sensitive pharmaceuticals are damaged during transport, resulting in financial losses of €35 billion.
- Food waste alone emits 4.4 gigatonnes of CO2.
The scale of loss and waste in the pharmaceutical and food sectors is colossal. But beyond the financial losses, waste has a heavy impact on the environment.
The purpose of the Sofrigam group is precisely to limit these losses of food and pharmaceutical products by maintaining the cold chain throughout transport thanks to :
- so-called passive transport solutions such as the isothermal packaging designed by Sofrigam on its production site in northern France
- active transport solutions, such as Coldway Technologies' refrigerated transport containers, a self-contained thermal energy production technology that generates on-board cold without noise pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.
The reason for this is not only economic but also social: to ensure the continuity of the supply chain for heat-sensitive products throughout the world.
To become the reference for CSR actions in the refrigeration sector
The company has been committed to the environment for many years:
- It has been ISO 14001 certified since 2011,
- Its production site in Arras benefits rom an HQE building, whos polyurethane panel insulation limits thermal amplitudes and therefore the excessive use of heating in winter and air conditioning in summer,
- 10% of its electricity comes from a wind turbine,
- It has implemented a waste reduction policy, a packaging recovery and reclycing programme and a rational use of machinery,
- It has undertaken concrete actions in favour of biodiversity, such as the installation of beehives and fruit trees on the sites.
The company is now going further in its environmental and social commitment: since January 2020 the group has been supported in the deployment of its CSR strategy by Greenflex, an environmental strategy consulting firm.
Sofrigam's ambition? To become the reference in the cold chain sector for CSR actions.
Initiating an environmental and societal transition
Aware of the impact of its activity on the environment, the objective of this CSR approach is to limit the environmental footprint of the group's activity, as far as possible, in its practices and processes, as well as in the company's daily life.
Greenflex carried out a complete environmental study divided into 5 areas of analysis :
- Environmental assessment of cold chain packaging solutions,
- The study of clients' environmental commitments,
- Solutions for managing isothermal packaging after use,
- Possible labels and certifications,
- Stakeholder diagnosis for urban logistics.
This study reveals that :
- The environmental impact of Sofrigam isothermal and refrigerated packaging is 15% lower than that of similar packaging available on the market,
- The polyurethane building reuse programme saves 70 times the energy used to produce it and 130 times the CO2 emitted to produce it.
- Sofrigam's actions in favour of the environment make it eligible for 10 environmental labels, including the United Nations Global Compact, ratified in July 2021,
- 80% of the Sofrigam group's clients are committed to reducing their environmental footprint and expect the same commitment from their suppliers.
The infographic below presents the results of the Greenflex study:
Integrating CSR issues into the group's strategy
These encouraging results are encouraging the company to go further in its environmental and social approach. Among the actions undertaken to limit the group's environmental impact in the long term :
- The development of an environmental strategy,
- The drafting of a responsible purchasing charter for the sourcing of its suppliers and the acquisition of consumables,
- The use of eco-responsible raw materials such as cardboard and paper certified from sustainably managed forests
- Conducting an energy audit of its facilities.
The cold chain and transport are essential sectors
As was amply demonstrated during the Covid-19 health crisis, the cold chain has an essential role to play in the fields of research, health, pharmaceuticals, agri-food or even logistics and transport.
Controlling the temperature of heat-sensitive products from production to delivery to the patient or consumer is vital.
The term "chain" takes on its full meaning here: no link must be missing if the integrity and conformity of the products is to be maintained from end to end.
But transporting products in a cold chain has a strong impact on the environment :
- Transport is one of the most polluting sectors [--> see this Coldway Technologies article on the environmental impact of transport],
- the cold would use about 20% of the total electricity consumed in the world.
This is why the Sofrigam group is committed to improving its environmental footprint and that of its clients.
The Sofrigam Group's cold chain management solutions are designed to offer the best technologies available to reduce energy consumption, limit costs and improve the quality of shipments with the overall objective of protecting both the products transported in the cold chain and the environment.