EARTHDAY, Sustainability & Co
In an increasingly challenging geopolitical and environmental context, the ability to react by innovating becomes crucial.
14 September 2022, Fiorano Modenese (MO) – Resilience, innovation, responsiveness: the principles guiding Laminam’s growth over the past 18 months and its approach to sustainability can be condensed into these three words. The 2021 Sustainability Report published by the manufacturer of large ceramic surfaces is self-explanatory: today more than ever, every project related to the environment must face the geopolitical and socio-economic changes taking place and equally affect the Company, the Product and the People, in a harmonious development that produces concrete and measurable results over time.
Company: between certifications and achievements, sustainability in action
Certification is the proof – guaranteed by a third party – that a commitment to sustainability translates into objective change. On this aspect, 2021 has been a particularly busy year for Laminam; in fact, the following have been extended or added: EPD Certification, extended to all products; ISO 14001 Certification for the Borgotaro and Fiorano plants; ISO 20400 Certification for Sustainable Purchasing (the first company in the ceramic sector) and UNI EN 14064-1:2008 Certification quantifying the overall carbon footprint.
Laminam has always been involved in leading architectural projects around the world and, on the strength of these recognitions, is now a privileged partner for zero-impact projects. Examples such as Barra Funda, Residenza Ra Curta in Switzerland, Pininfarina’s Office project in Dubai, the Winter Olympics Plaza in Beijing 2022 and the Meo Design Suite and Spa in Catania are not just additions to an already substantial portfolio, rather visible testimonies on the relevant areas of an environmentally-oriented mindset, with an international perspective.
Product: sustainable innovation in times of geopolitical instability
Laminam products are the result of an important research process that allows each surface to meet the company’s strict standards: eco-sustainable and safe materials (on a quarterly basis, the Quality Report monitors the quality and safety objectives applied to the design, raw material procurement and processing phases, thanks to which Laminam ceramic slabs have among the lowest risk levels found in construction materials, including those of natural origin); excellent quality; superior performance and process sustainability.
During 2021, the Technological Laboratory was engaged on two sides: improving the stability of ceramic bodies and improving polished product productions by means of surface studies, to overcome problems linked with porosity and waviness.
The first months of 2022 have posed unexpected critical issues for the company, requiring flexibility and considerable responsiveness. Clay and kaolin, until March mined mainly in the quarries of the Donbass, created undeniable supply difficulties. As a response, Laminam promptly redefined its production strategy, refocusing it simultaneously on three targets: the search for alternative sources and materials; the selection of clays of equal quality to Ukrainian clays from other parts of the world; and the encouragement of the use of ‘clay-free’ mixtures, thanks to the experience gained over the years, for example with absolute white.
People: beyond numbers, a new vision of work
Laminam ended 2021 with a workforce of 688 employees – including direct and temporary agency’s staff – representing a growth of 24% over the previous year. But for a company that puts sustainability at the top, the quantitative figure – although flattering – is not enough to exhaust the commitment to the most important and strategic resource a company has: People.
Laminam’s main goal has always been to attract and cultivate talent, promote a culture of social well-being and improve and strengthen the health and safety of its employees and co-workers. Hence, the daily commitment to maintain an attractive and inclusive work environment, free of discrimination and open to diversity, where each individual can express their potential and enhance it through targeted training programmes. Women make up 36% of the total workforce at Laminam – a high figure for a traditionally male-dominated industry – and have increased by 10 (+6%) over the course of 2021; in addition to this, the investment in new office space and new offices aims to visibly improve the quality of time spent in the company.
The future is increasingly international
Laminam continues to evolve, playing an increasingly crucial role in the international architecture, interior design and furnishing markets.
Laminam Australia, the Company’s newest branch, was inaugurated in Sidney in 2021, following the creation of Laminam Germany, Laminam France and Laminam Israel in 2020.
Today, the company is present abroad with a total of 11 sales branches and 2 production sites.
The share of foreign personnel in the total rose from 22% in 2020 to 26% in 2021, with an increase of 56 employees (+45%) in 2021 alone, in particular linked to the development of European and non-European branches and the consolidation of Laminam China.
The acquisition of Best Surface, formalised in February 2022, further strengthens the company’s international growth path: the first plant in Spain, in Castellón, in the heart of the Spanish ceramic district is added to the production sites in Fiorano Modenese, Borgo Val di Taro and Dobrino (Russia).
After two years of general paralysis or reduced regime, trade fairs have resumed in style and Laminam too is back ‘live’, both in Italy and the ROW: Cersaie in Bologna, SICAM in Pordenone, Sadecc 2021 in Paris, Congrès HLM in Bordeaux and numerous trade fair and exhibition participations in China. Here again, sustainability was the leitmotiv. It was precisely with this in mind that the stand at the Salone del Mobile in Milan was designed, where Laminam launched the new ‘terre’, the earths of the IN-SIDE collection through an event, realised with the collaboration of the start-up Up2You, that was entirely ‘carbon neutral’.
In 2021 as well, the Company continued to invest in creating sales networks in the main geographical areas, from Australia to Denmark, from the Netherlands to Belgium, in addition to opening new logistics centres in the main markets. Further openings are planned for the coming months.