The Mauro Saviola Group was founded by the owner of the same name and his late brother, Angelo, in 1962. Over the last ten years the company has recorded a remarkable rate of development due to the massive investments carried out, as well as the diversification of production in the chemical sector and product decentralisation out of Italy (Belgium and Argentina). Since the beginning of the 1990s, Mr. Mauro Saviola, noticing a lack of prime wood materials and grasping the commercial and environmental potential of discarded wood, became a promoter for a campaign called “save the trees”, starting by retrieving wood post-usage, such as pallets, fruit crates, work scraps from saw-mills and carpenters, old furniture and wood in general that was collected through separated rubbish collection.
The collection involves Italy as well as Europe and is carried out using a fleet of 180 vehicles and, where possible, trains.
Today the Group, which provides work for 1,630 employees in 16 plants, is the leader in Italy for the production of chipboard panels, with a quota of 32%. It had a consolidated income of 604 million euro in 2005 (compared to 556 million euro in 2004): it is in its second generation and heads two companies (Sama division Sadepan Legno and Sama division Silla), and there is also Alessandro Saviola, Mauro’s son.
Alessandro is 30 years old and has matured a great amount of experience from the teachings of the managerial staff of the Group and, above all, from his father. Alessandro Saviola is a man with personality and clear ideas, who looks you straight in the eye and expresses his thoughts precisely and decisively.
During the interview he said:
“Looking back over the past two years I can say that 2004 gave us good results, which were confirmed in 2005, even though there was a slight fluctuation caused by a decline in export sales that dropped from 26 million euro in 2004 to 20 million euro in 2005. Regarding the overall sales income for the products, we recorded an increase of +8% (+3% in the wood sector alone). Our new chemical plant in Belgium (the Sadepan Chimica NV) has been operating for a couple of years now, producing formaldehyde, ureic acid and melamine, and has recorded an increase of +22% in the last year. Thanks to that drive, our entire chemical sector, also considering the chemical plant in Viadana, recorded an increase of +6%.
An important role in our development was also played by Composad, the company producing furniture kits and semi-worked items destined for foreign markets though large distribution, which recorded a total increase of +15%. Today, the main worry specifically regards prime wood materials, considered biomass and used for energy purposes at present.
The use of post-use wood for combustion purposes has in fact taken away prime materials from companies like ours. This is the principal reason that determined an increase in the price of re-cycled wood in 2004 and 2005, which was rebalanced in any case at the end of last year. The State supports the development of electricity plants using a biomass as a source of alternative energy.
That is the reason why we have opened discussions with the Institutions in the hope of finding a solution that meets the needs of the panelling industry as well as the energy ones, with advantages for the environment.
In fact, it goes without saying that the activity of collection and recycling of prime wood materials should lead to great benefits in terms of safeguarding the patrimony of our forests. In that regard, our Group represents one of the best examples, as thanks to the re-qualification of wood resources, we can save over 10,000 trees per day. In 2005, as the first company in the world, we received our “FSC 100% recycled wood” certification, which in fact testifies to the exclusive use of this prime material.
I am in favour and well understand the importance of finding sources of alternative energy, however, I am just as convinced that a resource such as wood should be used for as long as possible, to be turned into energy only at the very end of its life cycle”.