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Declaring the impact of pasta

Declaring the impact of pasta

Barilla started to conduct life cycle assessments (LCA) in 2000, which were eventually to be turned into several product-specific EPDs. Initially the aim was to understand the potential of the methodology and to improve the know-how of the whole production chain. In 2008 LCA came to form a part of Barilla’s business strategy, which increased the need for measuring and communicating environmental performance.

For more information on Barilla's work on EPDs, please contact Luca Ruini.

We think that this approach must be as robust and transparent as possible. The EPD could be a way of guaranteeing transparency and verifying robustness, due to the PCR preparation, says Luca Ruini.

Luca Ruini is a Director of Health, Safety, Environment & Energy for the Group Supply Chain at Barilla.

The starting point was to register an EPD for Barilla durum wheat semolina pasta in 2009. In 2010, more than ten products were certified.

Barilla decided to use the environmental benefits beside the nutritional features in marketing the Mediterranean diet. The Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, a foundation promoted by the Barilla family, published the Double Pyramid paper in 2010, which states that what’s good for you is also good for the environment.

The company developed its own way of working towards declaring the environmental impact of its products, the Barilla EPD Process. Luca Ruini is proud to state that it’s the first EPD process that has been developed in a food company.

During our last stakeholder engagement forum the comments on our decision to use the EPD were quite positive, even if the EPD is not yet well known in the south of Europe. The EPD process will be presented to customers in 2011, says Luca Ruini.

Barilla assumes that the environmental issue will be considered important long term. Its Corporate Social Responsibility strategy states that the aim of the company's EPD process is to decrease the environmental impact of Barilla products.

When Barilla prepared the EPD for its pasta products it was discovered that the cultivation of durum wheat is the most important phase in terms of environmental impact.

As a result Barilla launched a specific project to understand how to modify the cultural system in order to reduce the use of fertilizers. This project proved very successful, partly due to the many experts from different fields that came together, says Luca Ruini.