Conversation with Aldo Pianca, President, Pianca

Sustainability: the new challenge for furniture manufacturers


There is a lot of talk about sustainability in manufacturing companies. What has Pianca done and what is it doing on this front?

We believe that caring about the environment starts with the raw materials you choose (only wood from certified forests where felling is managed), with traceability throughout the whole production process, and with constantly striving to improve production performance, reduce consumption and minimize waste.

For many years we have used only recyclable, environmentally friendly packaging made from 90% recycled materials, and a system that electronically scans objects to keep packaging to a minimum.

In 2011 the company installed a solar PV system capable of covering all of our electricity needs. Our 4,347 panels generate power equivalent to 11 MWp for a total capacity of more than 1 GW (1,150,000 KWh). Using solar energy and reusing processing waste to generate thermal energy has enabled us to meet an important target: use of 100% renewable energy.

In December 2020 we opened our flagship store in Turin at Green Pea, the world’s first Green Retail Park. For the occasion we presented our first product made according to circular economy criteria: the “Calatea Green” armchair by the designer Cristina Celestino.

What is “It’s time for a new time”?

“It’s time for a new time” is our manifesto, but also our commitment for the future.  It is a declaration of intent: this is the moment to change, to think about the planet. To try to do things right, to prioritize the long-term over the immediate, to choose the natural over the artificial, to reduce waste.

It means respecting ourselves, our employees, our customers, our home.

Pianca, like many other Italian manufacturers, makes leather furniture. Do you think that leather and sustainability might not be seen by consumers as a positive combination?

Leather, which is a strong, natural material, can be produced in a way that respects the planet. For our products we choose only sustainable leathers: they are made without heavy metals in a short production chain that makes maximum use of waste. This product shows that leather and sustainability do go together and can be taken further.

Is sustainability a constant, permanent commitment, a project for the future or just a pipe dream?

We believe that sustainability is not a goal to be achieved but a journey.

We always aim to design furniture that will last; to choose our raw materials with care, but also to seek out new materials, processes and technologies that can reduce our environmental impact.


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