Among the main commitments of Vipal Rubber during its more than 48 years of experience is the sustainability of its operations. And sustainable initiatives go far beyond just concern for the environment. The focus on people is another determining factor that guides the practices that the company adopts. Proof of this is the new certification received by Vipal through the global platform for recognizing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices, EcoVadis. The company received the certificate again, increasing its final result by two points since the last survey carried out by the platform.
The EcoVadis assessment takes place every two years. In 2017, Vipal won the Bronze medal in its first participation. In 2019, the company achieved Silver certification by earning 59 points. In the assessment carried out in 2021, the achievement of 61 points demonstrated the evolution of socio-environmental processes and issues within the organization. EcoVadis' assessment takes into account the following topics: Environment, Labor Practices and Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement. The assessment methodology is based on international standards such as the Global Reporting Index (GRI), ISO 26000 and the principles of the Global Compact.
The EcoVadis rating is used as a benchmark by companies around the world for social and environmental practices. It is a solution used by multinationals to integrate CSR performance between buyers and suppliers. From the last result obtained, Vipal will establish evaluations and draw up an action plan to continue evolving in its sustainable practices.
“We are totally focused on quality and on the continuous improvement of our industrial processes, human resources and commercial relationships with our suppliers and customers. Our objective is to continuously improve our practices and the management of socio-environmental initiatives, making our business even more sustainable”, says João Carlos Demoly, Industrial Director at Vipal Rubber. “The growth in our score demonstrates that we are on the right track, but that we still have room to evolve further. We are going to set new goals to continue improving our processes in all the aspects evaluated by the certification so that we can achieve an even better result in 2023”, he concludes.
Vipal's socio-environmental actions
The very practice of tyre retreading, Vipal's core business for 48 years, is ecologically correct. According to the Brazilian Tyre Retreading Association (ABR), each retreaded commercial tyre saves 50 liters of oil, which would be used to manufacture a new tyre. Already the emission of CO2 in the atmosphere, greenhouse gases harmful to nature, had 26 million tons less emitted in 10 years due to tyre retreading. Likewise, in this period, the sector provided an oil economy in the order of 5 billion liters.
However, the socio-environmental actions promoted by Vipal reach various areas of the company. The socio-environmental program started in 2018 with the objective of developing sustainable practices within the organization. For the implementation of the program, the teams involved developed a plan, which totalled 215 actions. Currently, the socio-environmental program is disseminated through sustainable procurement, environment, health and safety and human rights policies.
Adding the structures of Vipal Rubber's Brazilian factories, a total of more than 30 million liters of effluents are treated per year. The use of water is another important point. At its factories in Feira de Santana (Bahia) and Nova Prata (Rio Grande do Sul), there are 92,000 m² of roof designed to capture rainwater, which is used for flushing toilets, production and irrigation. The plants have cisterns distributed throughout the industrial parks, with a storage volume of over 2 million liters. In addition, especially in Feira de Santana, part of the waste water from reverse osmosis is used to flush toilets instead of using rainwater or drinking water for this purpose.
Vipal uses high technology to transform discarded rubber into powder through the cryogenic process, approximately 180,000 kg/month, which is recycled into other rubber products, such as flooring. The lighting of the factories is also obtained through the roofs with transparent acrylic coating installed in the factories, which result in a total of 171 thousand kWh/month of electric energy saved.
Vipal's factories also have effective selective collection processes, achieving recycling rates above 80%. In addition, through the contracting of partner companies, it performs the reverse logistics of waste tyres in order to meet legal requirements and minimize environmental impacts.