After a first year characterised by great challenges for us, we could have slowed down and taken the time to enjoy our achievements. Instead, we decided to focus on what was next. This was a fundamental choice in order to continue building on our vision for the future, and do so on a solid basis. The merger of two Collective Systems is certainly a challenging first step, but it cannot be the only one, and perhaps not even the most important one. The task is how to tackle the next step (and then the one after that), because announcing an amalgamation is one thing, making it work in practice is another. There are harmonies to be created, balances to be struck, working methods to be modified, goals to be reshaped. This had been our 2021, our second step: the pages of this Sustainability Report, which you are about to read, tell the story. They speak of numbers, results and successes, but above all they speak of dedication. The dedication of all our people and our Producers who have placed their trust in us and have taken this second step with us, with commitment, responsibility and passion.
We like to say that “We do a job that, if done right, can do good to the world”. We believe it, we really feel this phrase is ours. Not only because of the history we carry with us, but also because of the history we are building today, step by step, as Erion. That is why we have decided to mark this document with the double helix of DNA: a double chain, two bands that
tell an important story (that of Ecodom and Remedia), but which together give life to a new unique narrative. This is the image that, in our opinion, best represents all the work done by the Erion System during 2021. It is our second year of operation, the one that has made us the most important Extended Producer Responsibility Organization operating in Italy, and one of the largest in Europe, for the waste streams associated with electronic products, i.e Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Waste Batteries and Accumulators (WBA) and Packaging Waste.
Telling the story of our 2021 means, first of all, being aware of the road we have already travelled and the one we will have to take, of our “character” and our vision. In Erion’s DNA there is “concreteness”, “evolution”, “authoritativeness” and “determination”. Not just words, as some of our people will tell you in these pages, but concrete actions. You will realise, when you read the figures in this Report, that such terms faithfully reflect the profile of an industry leader who, in 2021, managed 290,880 tons of waste, of which 266,614 tons of Household WEEE (69.2% of the entire Italian System, an increase of 1.6% compared to the result achieved in 2020), aiming every day to make the most of this waste in order to bring real development to the circular economy. In a context characterised by an unprecedented climate crisis and a progressive shortage of raw materials, we believe that our contribution can represent an opportunity, that although not decisive it is certainly significant for the country. For this reason, the primary focus of our work continues to be environmental protection. In numbers (the ones we care about most): our management of Household WEEE has made it possible to avoid emissions of almost 1.8 million tons of CO2 equivalent (equal to those generated by the vehicle park of the entire province of Milan for a period of 65 days), save more than 400 million kWh of energy (equal to the annual electricity consumption of a city like Florence) and recycle more than 238,000 tons of Secondary Raw Materials (89.4% of all Household WEEE managed).
And if values like concreteness, evolution, authoritativeness and determination are the constituent elements of our DNA, the commitment to a sustainable future is what best describes the vision of our work. The common goal, which directly affects all European countries, the people who live there and the economic players who operate in them, is to rapidly achieve an ecological transition that is socially equitable and capable of guaranteeing secure resources for future generations.
Erion Collective Schemes have a clear task: to be an efficient and reliable partner for their member Producers and a competent and proactive point of reference for institutions and all players in their respective sectors. Erion WEEE, Erion Professional, Erion Energy and Erion Packaging face these challenges in the knowledge that their work today is no longer limited to waste management. New issues need to be addressed, such as the eco-design of products, their durability and recyclability, new circular business models and public awareness.
Standing still is not an option for us: we have the duty, and the opportunity, to continue moving in the direction set out this year. Step by step, continuing again and again to do good to the world.
Because the first steps are beautiful, but it is even more beautiful to make progress together.