For Enrico Moretti Polegato, president of Diadora SpA, sustainability is not a slogan but a strategy he started taking four years ago. Living in a biohome, choosing to behave as much sustainably as possible and leading his company toward always more environmentally friendly goals are some examples of what he believes in it.
How did you start testing and developing a sustainability strategy in terms of product and company strategy?
For Diadora sustainability is a path to pursue, one which has become an intrinsic part of the brand. In fact, one of our goals consists of pursuing sustainable economic growth through a constant improvement in the environmental and social impact of our business activities. We have our own code of ethics and a code of conduct for our supply chain, as well as a list of chemical substances either prohibited or with threshold level restrictions that still today we ask our suppliers to strictly respect. In the last four years we defined a model of corporate governance and business practices for global sustainability within our supply network; and we prepared a long-term sustainability plan involving product, sourcing and corporate activities which is permanently updated.
When did you launch your first eco-friendly products?
Our Equipe CFP Made in Italy start-up project dates to a few years ago. We created a limited edition of one of our iconic Diadora Heritage sneaker models, having its carbon footprint verified and certified by a third party by means of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method.
On the apparel side, starting from the spring/summer ’20 season, all of our cotton T-shirts are realized according to GOTS standards.
Diadora Heritage LCA certified sneakers
Today how important are sustainable projects for your company and what target do you want to reach in this direction?
For Diadora sustainability is a path to keep pursuing, not a point of arrival; it’s an incentive and an inspiration for change and for responsible, inclusive, competitive innovation. That’s why for years we’ve been working on implementing a sustainability strategy ever more integrated into our business, one where projects and activities aim to valorize and propagate ethical criteria and environmental and social protection objectives. We monitor our results on an annual basis and every year we set new goals to reach in the years to come. Thanks to this organizational setup and its implementation, in 2019 Diadora won the Ecovadis Gold Medal for the second consecutive year, achieving a result that placed it in the top 5% of the more than 60,000 international businesses evaluated. Ecovadis is a leading company in the monitoring of the social, environmental and ethical performance of businesses. The same year we abolished the use of kangaroo leather, which is commonly used for soccer shoes. For the near future we plan to extend the use of GOTS certified organic cotton to all of the cotton products in our Lifestyle clothing line. This is comparable to 89% of the relative production volume. Here we’re talking not only about T-shirts, but also about sweatshirts and pants for both grown-ups and children.
What does it feel like living in a biohome?
Sustainability is not only part of my professional life it’s part of my personal one. In 2009, my wife Claudia and I built BioCasa_82, the first private residence in Europe to have earned the certification LEED for Homes v. 2009, LEED Platinum (which is the highest level), and the first home in Italy to have done a carbon footprint analysis on a private basis. The atmosphere inside really feels more natural; it’s like the “lungs” of the biohome are able to breath natural air from the outside and recircle it inside, making you feel outdoors even if you are at home. The weird side is that your home is really akin to a living being! No matter how long ago you left the house, it is as cozy, as humanly warm, as intimate as the moment you left.
Enrico Moretti Polegato’s biohome
You said sustainability is part of your personal lifestyle. Can you explain how?
As in my work life, in my personal life I try to improve my footprint whenever possible. There are a lot of small things we all can do and that I try to do. More sustainable food choices, saving water and using water purification systems rather than buying bottles and bottles of water. Choosing a more sustainable commute if possible: trips from our headquarters to cities like Milan, Turin or Rome can often be done by train, for local commutes I own an electric car, and for the shortest ones, I try to use the bike or my feet (weather and sweat permitting!). This also is consistent with Diadora being a sport company.
When I choose a holiday destination, I also take into consideration the impact of my stay, preferring accommodations that take into account the communities and the ecosystem they are in. I do not aim to be the greenest, but I do think about it, and I do take care of it.
Talking about the ecosystem, I remember when my daughters asked me if there was an alternative to the use of kangaroo leather. I was surprised by their concern and the only reply that came into my mind was: let’s abolish it!