The presentation of the 2021 Sustainability Report was held on, July 15, at Beretta headquarters during a press conference at the company's historical headquarters in Gardone Val Trompia, Italy. The star of the event was the company's President, Franco Gussalli Beretta, joined by Dr. Roberto Saccone, President of the Brescia Chamber of Commerce, and Dr. Silvia Mangiavini, Vice-President of Confindustria (the association representing manufacturing and service companies) of Brescia with responsibilities for Legality and Sustainability Report. This is the second Sustainability Report, Beretta is publishing.
Recent international events have shown everyone how fragile our environment is and how delicate the balance is between the need for resources and raw materials and respect for our planet, which no one now thinks is an inexhaustible source. The future of industry lies in sustainability, and in this Beretta claims primacy as an ante litteram ecological company, having begun its journey toward a clean and circular economy long before this issue became a priority. At the same time, Beretta does not forget its very strong roots, putting the protection of people and the territory first.
Pietro Beretta Arms Factory in figures
After 495 years in business, Pietro Beretta Arms Factory closed 2021 with sales of 250 million euros, up from the previous year. It exports to 90 countries, with the U.S. contributing 37.1 percent of sales, followed by Italy with 22.4 percent and the Middle East with 14.3 percent. The civilian and sports sector accounts for the largest share of sales, followed by defense and law enforcement.
But the record Franco Beretta is proud of is not in turnover, but in company sustainability.
Policies to reduce consumption and waste production implemented by Beretta resulted in 130 tons less plastic packaging in 2021 and 472 tons less carbon dioxide compared to the previous year by simply adopting a new approach to cardboard packaging. Lubricant and water consumption has been reduced by 40 percent, while switching to digital manuals obtained savings of 51 tons of paper and 49 tons of CO2. Every year Beretta saves 55 million liters of water, and all this is made possible by technology. Years ago these goals would not have been realistic or feasible, which is why Beretta invests heavily in research and development.
Another key milestone is the reduction in the use of hexavalent chromium, which can no longer be used from 2024. The use of alternatives to chromium will reduce toxic and irritant waste emissions into the environment by 115 tons.
The objectives on which Beretta's report focuses are as follows:
- Reduction in water consumption
- Reduction in raw material consumption
- Use of more sustainable raw materials
- Reduction in waste production
- Production of less harmful waste
- Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
- Smart energy management
Although not mandatory, Beretta again this year compiled the sustainability report developed with Ernest & Young. In fact, it is a formalization of a sensibility that dates back to Pietro Beretta, who ran the company from 1903 until 1957. Pietro Beretta transformed the company from a family business to an industrial one, building the first power plants in Valtrompia, which are still in operation and constantly upgraded in terms of efficiency.
The sustainability report, as Roberto Saccone specified, can be filed with the Chamber of Commerce as an annex to the financial statements, and he hoped that in the future it will be possible to file it as a stand-alone document. This is because the sustainability report transparently represents a serious and verifiable statement of what companies propose in defense of the environment and people.
The President's speech: welfare and sustainability are guiding themes for Beretta
Franco Gussalli Beretta said in his introductory speech, "We have seen over the years, and it is now scientific-economic-social evidence, that actions in favor of the environment are capable of generating as many significant benefits for people. This is why Beretta has been on the path of a welfare program called B-We for years which involves all Fabbrica d'Armi employees. Sense of belonging and wellbeing produce undeniable positive effects in both the personal and professional spheres. After all, it is important for us to be a company in which people feel good: this allows us to be attractive to new generations and talented professionals, a condition of existence for guaranteeing a future for any economic and especially industrial activity.
In this regard, I am very pleased that my son Carlo has decided to join the company precisely in the HR department, bringing with him the perspective of the younger generation and the propensity of young people for digital transformation. Investment in human capital is also important in this area. After the slowdown because of Covid, we reopened the doors of our company for curricular internships, school-to-work alternation and summer work projects.
I have just mentioned the reviled Covid: as we are observing these days, cases are on the rise and here in the company we have never let our guard down by keeping all safety protocols active. At the same time, there has been no lack of contributions to personal care that every Beretta employee is entitled to, such as: psychologist, physiatrist, doctor and ophthalmologist, skin cancer prevention activities in collaboration with Spedali Civili and Beretta Foundation in addition to the 'Cuore al Lavoro' project in collaboration with Valtrompia Cuore. Not to be forgotten are the projects supporting families and the scientific projects related to the Beretta Foundation, which focuses on cancer research. All these elements contribute to making Beretta a family business in the broadest sense of the term. The most representative indicator of all is the turnover rate – including retirements – which is always very low. Worth mentioning is the ample space given to product and process innovation, focal points for Beretta. There are more than 220 active patents, 3 collaborations with universities and 77 employees working in the Research and Development department. All of these components are shaping Beretta's future in each of the sectors in which it is engaged: hunting, shooting and tactical, and defense.
From all this, I think it is clear to see the confirmation of the attachment to our roots: for us it is a source of pride to be from Brescia and, if possible even more so, to be from Val Trompia. Almost half of our suppliers are in the valley: this virtuous circle has created a phenomenal linked industry both for suppliers and for the Factory, which can thus enjoy zero-kilometer components and better control of the supply chain. This helps to confirm the excellence of the technical and production chain in our valley, which is recognized by markets around the world; an excellence that we are also called upon to confirm in the coming years with the focus on sustainability. I like to conclude in this regard, taking advantage from President Saccone's presence, that the hunting supply chain and our companies will be among the protagonists of Futura ."
For more information and the PDF of Beretta’s first official sustainability report 2021, please visit the Beretta website.