Italian yarn maker Radici Group said that despite the fact the margins for improvement are getting slimmer as a result of its work during previous years, all environmental performance indicators in 2016 turned out positive.

The results are outlined in the company's 13th annual sustainability report, which, as in the prior year, has been drawn up according to the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative – version 4  (GRI G4 Core).

During 2016, 51.6% of the electrical energy used by RadiciGroup in 2016 came from renewable energy sources. The group says this achievement was the result of a "deliberate choice" made to shift towards energy sources with lower environmental impact. During the past six years, this corporate policy led to an increase in the percentage of electricity from renewable energy sources, which has jumped from 40.8% in 2011.

In the same six-year period, the group also reduced its total consumption of energy from fossil sources per unit of product processed by 17.5% (from 7.6 GJ/t in 2011 to 6.3 GJ/t in 2016).

Meanwhile, thanks to an improved energy mix and a corporate strategy more heavily geared towards the use of best available techniques, the emissions by group companies during the last six years dropped from 1.00 tCO2eq/t (2011) down to 0.49 tCO2eq/t (2016), a 51% reduction.  

Additionally, air emissions have consistently improved, with a 68% drop in pollutants, mostly due to the implementation of the latest generation abatement technologies, which have greatly contributed to the group's improvement in overall environmental performance.

"I am proud of what the 2016 sustainability report presents," says Radici Group president Angelo Radici. "Although the margins of improvement are less profound than the excellent achievements of previous years, the results are positive in every area.

"Emissions continue to decrease, as well as water and energy usage per ton produced. With reference to energy, in particular, we have attained a respectable achievement."

Radici adds that looking ahead, the future challenges for the group will be advancing the circularity of the production chain, finding its key elements in recycling and recyclability.

Earlier this year, Radici Group highlighted its commitment to low environmental impact yarns – including solution-dyed polyester, recycled polymer polyester and bio-based polyamide – but said one of the biggest challenges it will face in coming years is the complete recyclability of synthetic fibres.

Radici Group pushes low environmental impact yarns