Interview with Giulio Bonazzi

Giulio Bonazzi
Giulio Bonazzi

I’m strongly convinced that sustainability means also profitability.
In this Face2Face interview on Fibre2Fashion with its Correspondent Cindrella Thawani, Bonazzi talks about the increased energy and cost, man-made fibre industry performance and deteriorated economic situation of Europe. Synopsis: CIRFS, known as European Man-Made Fibres Association, is the representative body for the European man-made fibres industry. It was founded in 1950, as the Comité International de la Rayonne et des Fibres Synthétiques from which its abbreviation CIRFS is derived. Moreover, it took its present name in 2009. Giulio Bonazzi is the current President of CIRFS, by 2011 end also he serves as the President and CEO of the Aquafil Group in Italy since 2008. In 1999 he returned to Italy as Vice Chairman of Aquafil Group. In 1994 he circle backed to Aquafil, and was working on the acquisition of Julon d.d. He graduated in Business Economics from the University of Venice. In 1987 he started his career while working in the family business and then after a year he joined the commercial and technical divisions of Aquafil. Excerpts:

How do you see the increased energy and raw material costs, heightened environmental awareness that are challenging the man-made fiber industry to explore new opportunities?

You are perfectly right saying that now-a-days the man-made fiber industry faces more costs regarding energy and raw material than in the past, because the raw material we use is comes from the crude oil and our production needs, a huge amount of energy. I can talk for my Group, but I can tell you that all the European companies are applying different solutions in order to maintain their competitiveness: we improve the efficiency of our production lines, to save energy; we use energy from different sources than from oil, for example solar panels, hydroelectric energy, etc., and last but not least, we are implementing the substitution of the usual raw material, which normally comes from crude oil derivatives with a recycled one. Somebody says that probably the natural fibers could completely substitute the man-made ones but this idea is not feasible. Besides, the statement that natural fibers are more environmental friendly than man-made one has to be demonstrated. The arable land in our planet Earth is about five percent only. The 71 percent is land underwater and 29 percent are dry lands. In 2010 the textile consumption worldwide was more than 70 mil tons (including: man-made (64 percent) and natural fiber (36 percent). In this situation the usage of natural fibers only, for all textile needs is not possible. Recycling is the only answer to solve the problem.

CIRFS being an industry representative, shares that, significant steps are needed for the reduction of CO2 emissions at both the European and global level. In this the man-made fibre industry is labeled as the risk of ‘carbon leakage’. How and why? Please elaborate.

The European Community has approved a very strict legislation regarding the carbon dioxide (CO2) also with green house gases (GHG) emissions and new taxes for the pollution caused by companies. This of course caused an increase costs for an industry, obliging the firms to do new investments in order to reduce these costs. But as a result the new investments increased productions efficiency, allowed not only the reduction of CO2 and GHG emissions, but increased the production efficiency as well. These are the rules in Europe and are valid locally. If the products are produced abroad we do not pay any carbon tax and this situation is not positive in my opinion. In this way the European companies loose competitiveness, if compared to the outside productions, where the environmental issues are not so important. Each country should act responsibly to reduce the pollution effects in every part of the world.

Please tell us your overview on the consumption of man-made fiber in to the briskly populated countries world-wide? And in which regions do you see its potent growth?

As we can imagine sooner than later, the population in our planet will arrive at 10 billion people and this means, of course an increase in demand of everything, not only food (which is a primary need), but textiles too. This is the reason why we absolutely need to correctly use all of the available resources that are at risk to vanish. The solution we see today is recycling and using all raw materials more consciously. We need to increase our investments in R&D to solve this matter.
Published on: 09/05/2012

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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