Sustainability, Crystal (Camst Group): “To innovate, break down the status quo paradigm”

At Ecomondo the company active in the catering sector presents three waste reduction projects

To innovate we need to move away from the paradigm of the status quo, from what ‘has always been done’. Gianluca Cristallo, head of innovation at Camst Group, a catering and facility services company, starts from here in his speech at the meeting ‘The integrated sustainability of the cooperative supply chain in food’, organized by Legacoop as part of Ecomondo, the energy transition fair and the circular economy which concluded yesterday in Rimini.

“Every innovation project arises from a problem – explains Cristallo -, from the need to have a certain type of change. It comes above all from questions.” And in recent years the question of sustainability “has become increasingly important; the UN goals have become fundamental, even for those involved in innovation”, underlines the Camst manager, without forgetting that “the best projects are those where the three cornerstones of economic, environmental and social sustainability manage to coexist”.

One of the main needs in the Horeca sector, in which Camst Group operates, is to reduce waste: the company produces 88 million meals a day in 2 thousand structures spread across the territory, and is also active in a field such as cleaning and maintenance that require large quantities of water and the use of chemical products.

Camst Group’s sustainable projects

Changing things is possible. In his speech, Cristallo described three projects carried out by Camst Group aiming at sustainability objectives and which arise from innovation paths, or rather “open innovation”, for which the ‘fuse’ often comes from suppliers, customers, research university, start up.

The first project aimed at reducing the use of water, historically very high, in sanitization processes involving supplies especially for schools, companies and hospitals. The solution came from a supplier: use microfiber cloths. A solution that Camst has adopted in its own business, encountering initial resistance linked to habit, but which has been overcome by demonstrating that the novelty works better than the previous system. In this case, Cristallo underlines, “the innovation has brought about great water savings, which we measure in Olympic swimming pools”.

The second project concerns unused assets, the question was how to exploit them. Thanks to an innovation call, “Riuuso was born, the first internal marketplace that allows you to reuse unused equipment within the 2 thousand company structures, with a view to industrial symbiosis and circular economy, something very useful in a time of crisis ”, explains Cristallo who adds: “Our internal sharing experience can also be a sharing value within the cooperative supply chain in companies in the same sector or which can use similar equipment”.

Finally, the third project focused on plastic waste, a delicate area given the widespread use of disposable plastic in catering. Camst therefore launched “a steel cutlery kit, a sort of lunch box, in the logic of reuse that allows us to return to good practices”.