Crude Oil ( ) Brent Crude ( ) Natural Gas ( ) S&P 500 ( ) PHLX Oil ( )
 November 13, 2015 - 9:53 AM EST
Print Email Article Font Down Font Up
Alcantara Continues Its Focus on Sustainability as Key Brand Value

Alcantara, the Italian producer of the trademarked luxury material for vehicle interiors, continued its commitment to the environment in 2015 by organizing and participating in its second annual symposium on automotive sustainability.

Car makers, academics and non-governmental organizations recently gathered at the International Symposium on Sustainability in the Automotive Industry in Venice, Italy. The focus was on the importance of sustainability and its effect on future business models for the global automotive industry.

As one of the first companies in Europe to achieve Carbon Neutrality certification, Alcantara worked closely with the Venice International University and the Center for Automotive Mobility and Innovation at Ca’ Foscari University to organize the symposium. Conference speakers and panelists included representatives from car makers BMW and Toyota, along with university professors and non-governmental organizations from Asia, Europe and the U.S.

Ursula Mathar, head of sustainability and environmental protection at BMW Group in Germany, told symposium participants that the automaker’s research and development teams have embraced an efficient dynamics strategy to minimize fuel consumption and CO2 emissions while, at the same time, keeping an eye on increased dynamics and driving pleasure.

Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer for Toyota’s Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car, noted that sustainability has been at the heart of Toyota since the company’s birth. Mirai, he said, will be the first hydrogen fuel-cell auto with zero emissions and is an example of the potentialities and the interesting perspectives coming from research and development of hybrid technologies.

In a more critical tone, Guido Palazzo, professor of business ethics at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, outlined his view on the recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. He concluded: “To be sustainable has nothing to do with putting effective filters over traditional engines. It rather requires a revolution of the whole concept of mobility. If companies just cure the symptoms of the problems they create, they are not sustainable.”

Positive perspectives are coming from Asia, noted Professor Ye Wu of the School of Environment at Tsinghua University in China. He said his country is becoming a place for innovation with its research into an electric mobility strategy and producing hydrogen-powered vehicles. The lack of crude oil resources, energy safety issues, climate change, global warming and urban air pollution, he noted, are driving new solutions for Asian markets.

In his presentation to the conference, Andrea Boragno, chairman and CEO of Alcantara, underlined how a serious, strong commitment to sustainability is critical to business success. He noted that Alcantara has put sustainability at the core of its competitive strategy since 2009. In those six years, he pointed out, the company’s turnover has grown by 142 percent and its operating profit has increased by 349 percent.

“Without a doubt, sustainability has a relevant impact on eco-financial performances, although so far no one has been able to identify a mathematic multiplier,” Boragno said.

Fabrizio Ferraro, professor of strategic management at IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, added that there are increasing connections between companies investing in sustainability and stock-exchange reactions. He compared figures from the 1990s and 2010s and said it is clear how much the perception and the value assigned to sustainability has increased with investors.

Other symposium speakers included Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International Business and NGOs; Wanda Lopuch, chair of the board at the Global Sourcing Congress, USA; Joseph Sarkis, professor of management at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA; and Bas Verplanken, professor of social psychology at the University of Bath, UK.

Alcantara has developed an interactive microsite outlining recent initiatives and actions taken to support its commitment to sustainability. The microsite can be accessed at

Alcantara S.p.A. –

Founded in 1972, Alcantara represents one of the leading Made in Italy brands. Registered trademark of Alcantara S.p.A. and the result of unique and proprietary technology, Alcantara® is a highly innovative material offering an unparalleled combination of sensory, aesthetic, and functional qualities. Thanks to its extraordinary versatility, Alcantara® is the chosen material for leading brands in numerous specialist fields: fashion and accessories, the automotive industry, interior design, home décor and consumer-electronics. These characteristics, together with a serious and proven commitment to the use of sustainable materials, allow Alcantara to express and define contemporary lifestyle: the lifestyles of those who love to enjoy everyday products to the full whilst respecting the environment.

Having analysed, reduced and offset all CO2 emissions linked to the company, in 2009 Alcantara® was certified “Carbon Neutral." To document the company’s journey in this field, Alcantara conducts and publishes an annual Sustainability Report, certified by the international service corporation TÜV SÜD and available for consultation on the company website.

Headquartered in Milan, Alcantara also have production facilities and a research department in Nera Montoro in the heart of Italy’s Umbria region (Terni).

Media Contacts for Alcantara:
AutoCom Associates
Larry Weis or Mike Arnholt
+1-248-647-8621 or
Alcantara Company Contact:
Alcantara S.p.A
Maria Elena Furini

Source: Business Wire (November 13, 2015 - 9:53 AM EST)

News by QuoteMedia