Plastic Free

Projects that can help reduce human impact on the environment arise from the ideas of employees, who reflect on how they can make a difference with their everyday behavior.

Sep 2023

Environmental pollution caused by the large amounts of plastic littering the environment is now a tremendous global scourge. One practical way to curb this damage, and make a real contribution, is to focus on small, everyday actions.

With this in mind, in 2022 a group of Avio Aero employees - led by Vincenzo Ebreo, Sourcing NPI & Value Analysis Leader, and involving more than 40 people from different company departments (including Andrea Baccetti, Engineering, Monica Gily and Giuseppe Lamanna, from the Edison Engineering Development program) - embarked on a virtuous journey that lasted about 10 months.

Starting with a preliminary Gantt chart, the group achieved an important result in combating plastic accumulation in the company. Indeed, after a process of evaluation and approval, 24 drinking water dispensers were installed at Avio Aero’s sites in Rivalta, Borgaretto, Sangone and Cameri.

It may seem like a modest contribution, but it is precisely by focusing on individual behavior - those small actions that may appear to be mere sticking plasters in an attempt to heal a planet now more endangered than ever - that we can make a significant impact.

Vincenzo Ebreo, on the right, with his colleague Andrea Baccetti, next to one of the dispensers at the HQ offices.

Indeed, the success of the plastic-free project contributes, and will continue to contribute, to the reduction of the use of up to about 10 tons of PET plastic per year. That is a very large number of 0.5-liter plastic bottles which will not be consumed, or worse, possibly left to litter the environment.

The project revolves around "the desire to do something to reduce our impact on the world, ensure a future not only for the next generation, but also for our own families in the present," said Vincenzo Ebreo in relation to his idea of sustainability.

Moreover, the project came about as a result of participation in GE Aerospace's global competitions: at the last Climate Action Challenge, a team of colleagues from Avio Aero Brindisi distinguished themselves by taking home an award for their project of renewable energy generation for the plant.

The plastic-free project group had also participated in GE's 2022 global competition using the name "Water Seekers”, and although they didn’t secure any of the top places, they still pursued their green idea.

"With this project is the knowledge that 100 percent of the people we talked to are now fully engaged in these issues and would like to do more to help"

"What we take home with this project is the knowledge that 100 percent of the people we talked to are now fully engaged in these issues and would like to do more to help." It is clear that there is a growing interest in these topics, not only because of the times we are living in but also because we can experience firsthand how individual behaviors and consumption habits can be changed to become more virtuous than they have been so far.

This explains the need for the Green Network within Avio Aero, a network that - linked up with similar GE groups scattered in various locations around the world - gathers the ideas put forward by the employees themselves to reduce their impact on the environment, and that perhaps lack the courage or initiative to become a reality.

Plastic free is just a starting point in Ebreo's words: “It is essential to continue to implement these small, individual actions that are often underestimated (such as avoiding unnecessary printing or optimizing the use of heating and air conditioning systems by maintaining certain temperature levels and limiting schedules) and that also act as an example to all our other colleagues."