What Vipal Rubber learned on the road in its over 47 years of history is present not only in its products and services, but also in the social and environmental actions promoted by the company. In addition to having the most important certifications for the industrial segment, such as ISO 9001: 2015 and Product Performance Verification Certificate, Vipal also supports another important seal: EcoVadis certification. Global platform for recognizing practices in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), EcoVadis evaluated Vipal Rubber in the Silver category, with 59 points, which demonstrates the development and evolution of social and environmental issues within the organization.
Used as a reference by companies around the world with regard to social and environmental practices, EcoVadis is a solution used by multinationals to integrate CSR performance between buyers and suppliers. Ecovadis' evaluation has levels, which are based on the percentage rating of the companies' scores, in addition to a minimum score by evaluated theme: Environment, Labor practices and human rights, Ethics and Sustainable Purchases. The evaluation methodology is based on international standards such as the Global Reporting Index (GRI), ISO 26000 and the principles of the Global Compact.
“Our objective is to continuously improve our practices and consolidate our social responsibility management system, making the business even more sustainable”, João Carlos Demoly comments, Industrial Director at Vipal Rubber. According to Demoly, "the objectives and actions must be reviewed this year in order to maintain our development with regard to social and environmental issues at the organization".
Vipal started evaluations on the Ecovadis platform in 2017. On the occasion, the scores reached Bronze level. However, with the objective of promoting continuous improvement of its performance in social responsibility, the company sought to implement the Social and Environmental Program, culminating by reaching Silver level.
Vipal's social and environmental actions
The tire retreading practice itself, Vipal's core business for over 47 years, is environmentally friendly. According to Associação Brasileira do Segmento de Reforma de Pneus [Brazilian tire retreading segment association] (ABR), each retreaded commercial tire generates a savings of 57 liters of oil, which would be used in the manufacture of a new tire. Spending on electricity is reduced by 80%. Likewise, the sector provides an oil savings of around 500 million liters/year.
However, the social and environmental actions promoted by Vipal affect several areas of the company. The social and environmental program was initiated 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 totaled 215 actions. Currently, the social and environmental program is spread out into 77 actions on sustainable procurement, environment, health and safety and human rights policies.
Among the actions taken are the implementation of control of the Environment and Health and Safety Legislation; launch of the Code of Ethics, with the implementation of the communication channel Caminho Ético (Ethic Path); definition of supplier evaluation and control methodology; evaluation of critical suppliers in Social and Environmental Management; external audit of legal environmental requirements; among several others.
Adding the structures of its Brazilian factories, a total of more than 30 million liters of effluents are treated per year. The use of water is another important point. In its factories in Feira de Santana (Bahia) and Nova Prata (Rio Grande do Sul), there are 92 thousand m² of roof designed to capture rainwater, which is used for flushing toilets, production and irrigation. The factories have cisterns distributed throughout the industrial parks, with a storage volume of over 2 million liters. In addition, especially at Feira de Santana, wastewater from reverse osmosis is used to flush toilets instead of using rain or drinking water for this purpose.
Vipal uses cutting edge technology to transform the discarded rubber into powder through a cryogenic process, approximately 170 thousand kg/month, which is recycled into rubber products, such as flooring. The lighting of the factories is also obtained through the roofs with transparent acrylic coating installed at the factories, which result in a total of 171 thousand kWh/month of electricity saved.
Another environmental front that Vipal is aware of is reverse logistics. More than 400 tons of tires per month are recycled, thus avoiding their disposal in the environment. The company's factories also have highly effective recycling methods, with results above the established goals, as well as selective waste management, practiced since 1988 at its facilities.