19/10/2020 - Sustainable design is the ultimate purpose of every activity aimed at reducing our impact on the environment. Designing with nature is about minimising the negative impact of the design process and generating high quality products that are able to withstand the test of time, in terms of style and performance, while putting the health and comfort of people first. In line with this philosophy, Pedrali
has launched its first collections made entirely from recycled plastic material. This extraordinary revolution has enabled the 100% Made in Italy company to achieve yet another important milestone in its quest for environmental sustainability: a new material made 50% from plastic material postconsumer waste and 50% from plastic material industrial waste.
Plastic material post-consumer waste comes from products that have been used and then duly recycled by consumers, such as plastic bottles or food packaging. As for the use of plastic material industrial waste, this is not new to Pedrali, which has always reintegrated part of its own industrial waste back into the production process. The industrial element of the company’s new 100% recycled material comes from plastic waste, containers and films.
Il nuovo materiale “recycled grey”
“This blend allows us to manufacture high quality green products with excellent mechanical performance. Obtaining 50% of this material from post-consumer waste means selecting, sorting and recovering a material that would otherwise be discarded. Instead, by conducting precise tests and analyses, we can create the ideal raw material for use in furniture
,” explains the company’s joint CEO, Giuseppe Pedrali.
Pedrali has identified 50% of post-consumer waste as the ideal blend to guarantee high quality products featuring the high resistance and durability levels required of contract furniture, given its substantial and prolonged use. To ensure these properties, the furniture made from the new 100% recycled material is subjected to resistance tests to prove they can withstand prolonged exposure to light and temperatures between +50°C and -10°C without effects. Moreover, the furniture’s antistatic finishes are easy to clean, to maintain, and - more importantly, given the ongoing pandemic - to sanitise and disinfect. All the products made from this new sustainable material share a characteristic grey hue, a neutral colour chosen to even out and conceal any imperfections typical of recycled materials. Given the name of “recycled grey”, the products are marked with the pad-printed inscription “100% recycled”, to emphasize their eco-friendliness.
One of the two new products made from this new material is the Remind
“recycled grey” chair, designed by Eugeni Quitllet. Drawing on the soft, sinuous curves of the wooden chairs of the late 19th century, reinterpreted in an innovative key, Remind’s sensual and romantic design has a completely new feel about it. Made from a monoblock of injection-moulded polypropylene, the transpiring seat and backrest contribute to the chair’s airy, lightweight appearance, as well as to its embracing comfort. Functional, versatile and relatively small, this chair is suitable for both outdoor and indoor use thanks to the combination of harmonious lines and a lightweight yet sturdy material.
Remind Chair “recylced grey”, design Eugeni Quitllet
Odo Fioravanti, instead, has created a “recycled grey” version of his Babila XL
armchair. The inspiration behind Babila XL, the latest addition to Babila family, remains the alternating rational, straight lines with curves which create a link between the artificial world of industrial products and the natural, sinuous world of the human body. Designed to offer greater seating comfort, the Babila XL armchair has a polypropylene shell that stands out for the large dimension of its seat and armrests. The designers, right from the design phase, think about the possibility to develop a series of products marked by enveloping comfort and an optimised use of resources. Plastic seats for the contract industry must be light and easy to move, and yet extremely resistant. This can be achieved by creating empty volumes using air moulding technology, as in the case of the Remind chair. The Babila armchair, instead, features polypropylene in various thicknesses, determined by the studies and tests carried out by Pedrali in collaboration with Odo Fioravanti. Finally, combining a plastic body with legs in a different material such as wood or metal, helps to ensure a high quality performance and likewise Pedrali is renowned for combining different materials, particularly metal, plastic material, wood and upholstery. The 100% recycled body of the new Babila XL “recycled grey” may be fitted with wooden legs, making it a 100% green product.
Babila XL “recycled grey”, design Odo Fioravanti
In order to pursue its environmental sustainability commitment yet further, every Pedrali product made from wood is FSC™ C114358 certified, certifying the use of wood sourced from responsibly and adequately managed forests, in line with strict environmental, social and economic standards. Indeed, for its production, Pedrali makes exclusive use of wood from FSC certified forests, with the utmost respect for the environment.
Moreover, since 2018 the company has been using water-based paints composed mostly of plant-derived resins for its wood collections . Formulated with 40% raw materials sourced from “waste” plant substances, these plant-based paints offer durability, chemical and light-resistance, and industrial usability comparable to classic petroleum-based products, but with a drastic reduction in the fossil-derived component. Made from renewable materials sourced from the refining of waste plant substances, the new paints used by Pedrali guarantee a substantial decrease in VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds), chemical compounds contained in normal paints that evaporate at room temperature and can cause serious harm to human health, as well as contribute to air pollution. The benefits are manifold, and include a healthier and less hazardous working environment (since these paints are non-flammable), less air pollution, and vast energy savings, leading to a reduction in CO2 emissions.
This is just another step in Pedrali’s ongoing journey towards environmental sustainability, alongside planning - during both the design and the production phase - the optimised use of raw materials, the rationalisation of resources, the reuse and/or recycling of waste, and controlling emissions. “We produce everything in-house, in our production plants at Mornico al Serio (near Bergamo) and at Manzano (near Udine). This allows us to oversee the entire production process, using the latest-generation machinery and equipment, as well as high quality, sustainable materials,” says the company’s joint CEO, Monica Pedrali, affirming Pedrali’s respect for the environment as a wellestablished practice rooted in sustainable industrial processes. “The purpose of the sustainable philosophy that my brother Giuseppe and I are pursuing by converting industrial and post-consumer waste into raw material is to safeguard the planet, in line with the principle of circular economy aimed at eliminating waste.” Last year, Monica Pedrali took part in the international conference “Design for Sustainability: bridging Italian and German creativity for sustainable development” , held at the Italian Embassy in Berlin, which inaugurated the European Sustainable Development Week. The conference dealt with sustainability, not just in terms of designing products but also from the point of view of optimising production processes and exploring new methods of production, distribution and collaboration between different industry stakeholders. Pedrali’s participation is indicative of its full endorsement of the European Community’s 2030 goals.
This commitment to continuous improvement is demonstrated by the significant investments made by the company to certify its products and systems. The ultimate aim is to meet customers’ requirements in terms of design, performance, safety and durability, while continuously improving Pedrali’s production processes and environmental performance. The company’s system certifications include UNI EN ISO 9001:2015 for its quality management system and UNI EN ISO 14001:2015 for its sustainable environmental management, which is extended to every phase of the production process.
Another important achievement lies in having measured Pedrali’s Carbon Footprint, calculating the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) caused both directly and indirectly by the organisation in a given time span. “By analysing how much CO? we produce, we can determine the impact of our entire production cycle on the environment. With concrete data to hand, we can define continuous, monitorable and therefore achievable improvement goals,” says Giuseppe Pedrali.
Pedrali on ARCHIPRODUCTS
Babila XL “recycled grey”, design Odo Fioravanti”