While fulfilling its responsibility to nourish the world’s population, the agriculture industry causes approximately 24% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, based on statistics from the US Environmental Protection Agency. Mirco Maschio, president of Maschio Gaspardo, an international supplier of agricultural equipment founded in Italy, believes that humans have a responsibility to change that statistic.
“Environmental sustainability is a fundamental part of our company, as a more environmentally friendly approach to farming results in higher quality products that are ultimately healthier for the consumer,” Maschio said. “We are developing innovative solutions to ensure we take responsibility for our planet, the resources it offers us and the people on it.”
On the environmental front, the firm has been chosen by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) as a case study of how an agricultural equipment company can adopt a new methodology for life cycle assessment. The project’s aim is to test the best analytical tools to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases, protect soil and create more sustainable manufacturing plants.
“We use a single platform to manage end-to-end processes and ensure efficient product development and manufacturing from anywhere,” Maschio said. “This has enabled us to improve collaboration among design, sourcing, production and services.”
The platform helps Maschio Gaspardo make its equipment more environmentally responsible, for example by using innovative materials to improve the wear, resistance and durability of its products; making them last longer improves sustainability by reducing the company’s demand for natural resources.
“Tungsten and our WIDIA-brand blades guarantee increased durability by about three and seven times, respectively, compared to standard boron steel blades,” Maschio said. “These new components also ensure greater fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as there is less friction-wasting energy.”
Maschio Gaspardo also has invested heavily in photovoltaic installations to power three of its Italian plants, Maschio said. “This has led to a reduction of about 1,700 tons of carbon dioxide each year – the same amount absorbed by over 150,000 trees. We have also insulated our factory buildings by opening skylights and introducing heat recovery systems. All these projects have already contributed to reducing our carbon footprint.”
Helping the company’s employees lead more eco-sustainable lives is another area of focus. For example, Maschio Gaspardo is working to improve sustainable mobility by outfitting the company’s carpooling system with hybrid cars and charging stations.
The social pillar of sustainability is another priority for Maschio Gaspardo, which was founded in 1964 by two brothers.
In 2016, the group established a training school to improve employability through knowledge of agricultural mechanization and environmental sustainability. “Education is another essential element to create and sustain strong and empowered communities,” Maschio said.
Maschio Gaspardo isn’t stopping at improving the skills of its current employees, however; the company also is focused on training the workforce of the future.
“We have created a foundation – the Borsa Di Studio Egidio Maschio, in memory of the company’s founder – to support employees’ children in their study,” Maschio said. “It aims to encourage young people to pursue learning programs and help them develop the skills necessary to succeed in the job market.
“The inspiration behind our education programs is our commitment to create a positive impact on our communities. We want to instill a sense of responsibility and respect in the next generation, all while helping them develop the life and technical skills necessary to succeed.”
There is no clear and unique recipe to achieve sustainability, but Maschio Gaspardo is doing its utmost to improve the world and life for the people in it.
“The firm’s initiatives represent the way daily business practices are evolving in response to a changing world and a new sense of responsibility toward society,” Maschio said. “Sustainability is not only a responsibility for us, but also an opportunity for us to improve the future for our children.”
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