Mulino Padano and environmental sustainability: EPD certification obtainedPress Releases
5 July 2023
Salara (Rovigo), 5 July 2023 – Confirming the sincerity of its commitment to environmental sustainability, after completing a long and complex process, Mulino Padano has obtained the Environmental Product Declaration, otherwise known as EPD Certification. The document was validated by the CSQA certification body, the first Italian certification body to be accredited in the Food sector, which carries out checks according to the International EPD System Programme.
In the case of the company from Rovigo, a historic company in the Italian milling sector, the EPD Certification refers to the soft wheat flour types “00”, “0”, “1”, “2” and “wholemeal” in the certified supply chain “Scelte di Campo”, obtained from grains grown within a 50 km radius of the mill, and the “wholemeal” soft wheat flours from the conventional supply chain.
As Marco Cavallari, General Manager of Mulino Padano explains, “The EPD Certification communicates objective and comparable information regarding the environmental performance of products in a clear and transparent way. It is based on the Life Cycle Analysis tool. In fact, a fundamental step to obtain this certification is the realization of an LCA – Life Cycle Assessment study, which evaluates the environmental aspects and the potential impacts associated with any given product. So, as Mulino Padano, we not only had to analyse both the agricultural phase, from sowing to harvest, which is not our direct responsibility, and the milling phase, which we manage in our facility, but also the distribution of the flour produced”.
For each phase, the variables to be taken into consideration are innumerable, ranging from the consumption of materials and renewable and non-renewable energy resources to water consumption, from the production of waste to the contribution to global warming.
“Data collection and Life Cycle Analysis must be carried out in compliance with a document called PCR – Product Category Rules, which is specific to each product category.” continues Marco Cavallari. “The process to obtain the EPD certification is not common and, in the case of the milling sector, it is an environmental label with voluntary adhesion. This testifies to the sensitivity of Mulino Padano towards the environment”.
The agricultural phase, which includes the cultivation of wheat and its storage, has the highest impact in terms of the environment. The elements considered in the analysis range from the use of fertilizers and pesticides, the consumption of fuel for irrigation or transport, emissions released into the atmosphere, the impact that the use of agricultural machinery and other technical means have on the aquifer, right up to considering the waste generated during cultivation.
The Life Cycle Analysis then evaluates the milling phase, which includes, not only the production of flour but also the transport of the grain to the mill. In considering transport, Mulino Padano proves to be particularly virtuous in the case of its flours from the “Scelte di Campo” supply chain, for whose production the company uses soft wheat of 100% Italian origin, from local suppliers located within a 50 kilometer radius of the mill.
Moving on to the production of the actual flour, Mulino Padano takes advantage of a modern production plant completed in 2015 and equipped with cutting-edge technology, which guarantees production flexibility, food safety and full traceability of the supply chain. Furthermore, the Salara mill is high performing in terms of energy savings. The Life Cycle Analysis carried out by Mulino Padano to obtain EPD Certification has in fact revealed that the impact of the mill is more than ten times lower than the impact of the wheat cultivation phase.
“There is no doubt that obtaining EPD certification is a complex process, which requires time and commitment.” says Marco Cavallari “We at Mulino Padano saw it as an opportunity. Following this analysis, we are able to identify the environmental impact linked to our flour and can take action to reduce it. We also have the possibility of optimizing management and production costs, focusing on further energy efficiency. Now we have a greater knowledge of the facts we can better define corporate strategies, like the adoption of increasingly green technologies or the design of even more sustainable products and processes. In terms of business and reputation, the EPD Certification can make customers more aware and guide their purchasing choices. It demonstrates the compliance of our products with the requirements laid out in the environmental procurement policies of b2b customers, especially in the case of the food industry“.
The EPD Certification is only the most recent to be obtained by Mulino Padano, whose production methods have always been aimed at ensuring the constant quality of its flour and maximum food safety. More precisely, the company also has UNI EN ISO 9001:2015 (quality management system), UNI EN ISO 22005:2008 (agro-food traceability), IFS version 6 and BRC, UNI EN ISO 22000 certifications, in addition to Kosher certification.