Lucart: the new frontiers of a sustainable mobility

Lucart Group’s CEO Massimo Pasquini illustrates the details of the Sustainable Mobility Project, championed and implemented by the company as a concrete action for the development of alternative and effective solutions to road transport.

Maria Amendolagine

A wareness of the social as well as economic role of companies and the desire to take steps to foster environmental protection and people’s health have spurred Lucart to commit itself to an ambitious project whose fruits can today be measured and that constitute an example of a best practice that other companies can draw inspiration from. The challenge started up by Lucart involved both its business partners and the institutions, revolutionizing the way transporting raw materials and finished goods is conceived. A project warmly welcomed by all the interlocutors who have flanked Lucart during the preliminary research and in implementing the various steps. Courage, tenacity, the desire to give a strong signal of breaking with the immobility of the past, and investments: this is the recipe for Lucart’s Sustainable Mobility plan that, when running at full regime, will translate into 2500 fewer road trips per year and in a 75% reduction of CO2 emissions based on the same amount of goods transported. Less traffic on the roads, a better quality of the air and a more protected environment mean a better quality of life and, in the hopes that the State will implement more far-sighted policies, lower rail fees for companies. Here is how Dr. Pasquini explains the contents of the project:

Q: How was the idea for Lucart’s innovative Sustainable Mobility Project born?

Lucart has always looked for logistic solutions capable of protecting the environment. In Italy, however, national policies tend to favor road transport, often making other solutions impractical both technically and economically. To overcome this limitation, we decided to review the entire goods management cycle, considering not only outbound finished products but also inbound raw materials.

Q: How is the project articulated?

What are the materials and goods that are moved through rail and through which junctions? The trains are loaded with the cellulose coming via seafreight at the port of Livorno and unloaded at our facilities in Borgo a Mozzano. Here they are re-loaded with finished product directed to the south of Italy.

Q: What challenges and difficulties in creating and then implementing this project did you face?

Mainly, it involved relating and planning with our suppliers, who have become true partners capable of ensuring also long-term sustainable solutions. With them, we imagined the type of trains suitable to our needs, the best routes and necessary cost optimizations.

Q: What external agencies and interlocutors did Lucart call into the project and how long did it take to perfect all the details?

Two Lucart suppliers and partners participated in the project: TopRail contributed to developing a logistics project and then supplied the rail transportation service; CILP manages the warehouses where the cellulose arrives via seafreight. The project also required the involvement of Trenitalia to define the railway routes. The first tests began in 2014; full implementation of the different phases took almost a year because the project is so innovative and connected to the triangulation between outbound finished products and inbound raw materials that had to be studied and tested.

Q: In terms of environmental sustainability, what results have you already obtained from the new plan and what do you expect for the coming years?

The junction at the Borgo a Mozzano facility is already operational. In the last few years we have incremented the use of wagons substantially, from 89 in 2011 to 657 in 2014 and today, since we can finally use them to transport the raw material, too, we will obtain a strong reduction in road traffic, with about 2500 less trucks per year and a 75% reduction in di CO2 emissions at the same quantity of goods transported. A great step forward in the fight against climate change and the emission of greenhouse gases! Without forgetting that the problems caused by road transport will decrease substantially. If then – like we hope – we will be able to reopen the junction at Lucart’s facility in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, too – where we produce a large portion of our Tenderly products – there will be even greater advantages for the community and for the companies in the area because we will remove up to 7000 trucks. Q: Collaboration with the institutions is one of the foundational steps in the development of transport policies more attentive to the environment: do you feel that the Lucart project can be a trendsetter also for other Tuscan and Italian companies in general? We certainly hope so! Today in Italy, choosing the rail instead of the road does not constitute an economic advantage but an ethical choice. So we are hoping that greater demand by companies and a newfound national policy in favor of the rail can in the future turn this choice into a strategic competitive lever. The sustainable development model has already been successfully adopted in other countries such as Switzerland and Austria, just to name two of our neighbors. The interest shown for the project by the institutions, the Municipalities, the Province and Regione Toscana departments as well as by the government make us optimistic.

Q: The success of Lucart’s sustainable mobility project illustrates how it is possible to conjugate greater attention for the environment with a more attentive management of the costs tied to transport. Is Europe more advanced that Italy in this realm?

In Germany, the quota of goods transported on road is just above 62%, while in Italy this figure is in excess of 80%. As Mr. Consolo, an engineer at Trenitalia, explained during the presentation of Lucart’s Sustainable Mobility project, this difference is due to Italian tax policies that in the course of time have created a very high cost differential between road and rail in favor of the former.

Q: Today, the active role that companies play in reducing the environmental impact of their activities is crucial. With this project, Lucart once again proves that it does not limit itself to words, but that it actually enacts true best practices, is that right?

We work always keeping in mind the medium/long-term results of the communities where we are present: we are interested in designing and putting into practice true sustainable development models. It is this philosophy, inherited through the wisdom of our ancestors, that leads us to rethink all the production processes in order to reduce or eliminate waste; to select the raw materials keeping production methods and availability in time into account; to design 100% eco-compatible papers such as Fiberpack® and to establish long-lasting relationships with suppliers and customers that we consider true partners with whom we can continuously and successfully innovate.

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