The carbon footprint of aromas

Environmental commitment cannot represent the responsibility of an individual but must be a collective mission that involves families, companies and public and private institutions. Only by working together will we be able to remedy the mistakes of the past that hurt our planet and restore a future to humanity.

Europrodotti participates in the great mission of defending the environment with a corporate strategy based on sustainability. In this article we describe our initiatives to protect nature and reduce the carbon footprint in every sector of our business: from growing aromatic herbs and spices to delivering the finished product to consumers.

Choice of sustainable raw materials

Environmental protection must start from the fields that are the source of our raw materials. Europrodotti selects aromatic herbs and spices from sustainable agriculture, which is capable of ensuring not only the highest quality but also an all-round quality.

High quality means intense aromas and lively flavors of the pepper, cloves, sage and rosemary that we use for the condiments that will enrich your dishes. All-round quality means applying agricultural techniques that reduce water and energy consumption, promote the use of organic fertilizers and natural pesticides and improve the lives of farmers and peasants by offering decent working conditions and earnings.

By promoting a fully sustainable supply of resources we preserve biodiversity and defend the health of the soil. By encouraging fair trade we ensure the well-being of local communities and small producers.

Use of eco-friendly packaging

A plastic bag of the type used for ready-made salads, what in technical jargon are called fourth-range salads, takes at least twenty years to decompose. If the decomposition process takes place in the sea the time is reduced but, in this case, microplastics are created which are deadly for marine organisms. Packaging therefore constitutes a burden on the ecosystem and not just metaphorically. In the European Union alone envelopes, boxes and bags went from a total of 66 million tons in 2009 to 84 million in 2021. In this same year every European citizen sent almost 190 kilos of packaging waste to landfill, a figure that it is expected to rise to 209 kilos in 2030 (source: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/it/press-room/20240419IPR20589/imballaggi-via-libera-a-nuove-norme-ue-su-riduzione-riuso-e-riciclo). To curb this trend the European Union decided to ban certain types of disposable plastic packaging from 1 January 2030, particularly those used for fresh unprocessed fruit and vegetables and for single portions of sauces and condiments.

Food companies are already organizing to replace single-use plastic and non-recyclable materials with sustainable and renewable products, for example based on natural cellulose fibers extracted from algae, bamboo and sugar cane by-products. In the latter case we obtain the further advantage of exploiting processing waste, which would otherwise require dedicated and expensive disposal procedures.

Artificial Intelligence is also making an important contribution to reducing packaging waste with the design of new, more compact and lighter packaging models, which ensure the same level of protection for food but with less use of material.

Use of renewable energy and energy saving

The Sun has always been one of the most precious allies of agri-food companies. Its light and heat contribute to the cultivation and luxuriant growth of the flowers, plants and trees from which we obtain the spices and aromatic herbs. Today our star can also ensure us an unlimited and clean source of energy for homes, industries and transport. The companies most sensitive to the energy issue are therefore installing photovoltaic solar panels on the roofs of offices and warehouses or in car parks which reduce dependence on fossil fuels, responsible for air pollution.

Another measure is represented by the replacement of old gas boilers and traditional air conditioning systems with air-to-air or geothermal heat pumps. These systems heat workspaces in the winter and cool them in the summer without burning gas, drastically reducing energy consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

A further contribution to energy saving consists in exploiting the heat produced by company servers. In this regard blockheating technology represents an important alliance between the IT and agricultural sectors for the benefit of the environment. Thanks to blockheating the thermal energy of the servers is used to produce hot water which, fed into a district heating network, can be used to heat greenhouses in winter.

Development of sustainable logistics

Technological developments are reducing the carbon footprint of the supply chain. Today even imported or long-chain products can offer environmental benefits that are increasingly similar to those of zero-mile products. For long-distance transport companies prefer rail transport, which is less polluting than road transport. For deliveries in urban areas non-polluting electric vans offer excellent performance which makes them more competitive than petrol or diesel vehicles.

Artificial intelligence also offers a valuable contribution in the logistics sector. New algorithms analyze distances and traffic across the entire logistics network identifying timetables and routes that reduce travel times and therefore fuel consumption and emissions of pollutants into the air.

Involvement of human resources

By adding up all our small personal actions we can achieve a great exploit. Keeping the water tap open for the time strictly necessary to wash our hands, turning off the light in a deserted room, preferring public transport to the car and respecting the rules of separate waste collection are choices which cost each of us little but which taken together lead to a great gain for our community.

Europrodotti collaborates with its employees in the application of a sustainable culture model valid both in the workplace and in daily life, in the awareness that attention to the environment is a commitment that brings important advantages to us, to future generations and to our planet.

The circular economy, the reduction of waste, the use of clean and renewable energy sources and the use of common sense in our daily lives can lead to a reduction in environmental impact and at the same time ensure sustainable development on a global level.

Europrodotti contributes to reducing the carbon footprint through a corporate strategy based on ecological raw materials, eco-friendly packaging, renewable energy, sustainable logistics and the involvement of human resources. All this in the knowledge that a sustainable business model is possible and beneficial for everyone.

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