“80% of Riopele products will have a sustainable origin by 2025”. That promise came from José Alexandre Oliveira and was made in 2020. Today, we’re further down the line. According to the Riopele R&D department, the first half of 2022 ended with 76% of the products sold falling within sustainable categories, such as recycled polyester fabrics, Tenowa brand fabrics and products manufactured with dyeing and finishing processes that require less consumption of water and energy.
Currently, the company, with its headquarters in Vila Nova de Famalicão, in northern Portugal, holds a portfolio of over 750 active clients, on five continents. Also according to José Alexandre Oliveira, “sustainability is not a trend at Riopele”, but rather “our way of life since our foundation in 1927”. For this motive, over the last decade, the company strengthened its investments in critical areas, such as energy efficiency, recycling and reutilising water.
In comparison with 2017, the percentage of all the products commercialised with sustainable materials is up by practically 50%, rising from 51% (in 2017) to 76% in the first half of 2022.
In terms of raw materials, Riopele has strengthened its investment in making recourse to recycled raw materials as well as designing fabrics with greater durability, incorporating state-of-the-art technologies to optimise the efficiency of its production processes. In addition, by 2027, Riopele is planning to have in place all the conditions necessary so that “all the energy used in the production process comes from renewable sources”.
The company has been establishing the conditions to definitively affirm its positioning as a European benchmark reference in this sector, correspondingly strengthening its internal competencies. The number of employees has grown by 23% in the last decade and over 10% of the total are already senior members of staff. Other highlights feature the prioritising of young talents: the average age of company employees stands at 41 years at this moment in time.
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