Products / International Coverage

Moving forward with the environment in mind

Celebrating 70 years in business, Fila — a manufacturer of cleaning and surface treatment products — continues to build upon its success with a focus on green initiatives

September 3, 2013

Founded in March of 1943 by brothers Guido and Pietro Pettenon, Fila celebrated its 70th anniversary this year. Under the leadership of President Beniamino Pettenon since 1970, the Italian manufacturer of surface care solutions continually evolves to meet the requirements of industry standards and its customers’ changing needs. In recent years, the company, which is based in San Marino di Lupari in the province of Padua, Italy, has taken significant measures to be greener — both in its products and manufacturing process.

“It is 70 years since Fila was founded, and year after year, we have grown — making the most opportunities to expand and innovate, even during less fortunate times,” said Pettenon. “Today, we are enjoying a second youth. Over the years, we have gradually modified our identity — going from general consumer goods to great specialization — with special focus on a professional target. Even if Italy is in the grip of a critical economic situation, we want to continue growing — with strong determination and the support of a clear strategic vision — based on client attention, on our ability to innovate through great commitment to research, our presence on international markets and collaboration with manufacturers.”

Green initiatives

And with the green building movement in full swing, Fila has made it a priority to develop environmentally friendly products, and overall, maintain a green production operation with its project “Fila Green Action.” In line with its strategic choices in regards to environmental sustainability, Fila has been a member of the Green Building Council Italia, a non-profit association that promotes LEED certification, since 2009.

Currently, the company offers three products that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs): FILAHP98, a water-repellent protector for terra-cotta, unpolished natural stone, concrete and quarry tiles; FILAPRW200, a dirt repellent pre-grouting protector; and FILAW68, a stone protector for terra-cotta, natural stone and concrete. The latest recognition for the company’s green policies is the new GEV-EMICODE certification for low VOC emissions. FILAPRW200 and FILAW68 — together with the stain protector for grouting, FUGAPROOF — have obtained certification EC 1 PLUS, the highest class for low VOC-emission solutions.

Taking its commitment to the environment a step further, in September, Fila installed a new photovoltaic system at its facility in San Martino di Lupari. A photovoltaic module is a device that converts solar energy into electricity — exploiting the properties of certain materials, such as silica, to produce electricity when irradiated by sunlight. The individual photovoltaic modules are installed in a solar panel that protects them from the weather.

The new photovoltaic system will provide solar power to cover all the company’s needs — from the office and production facilities to the on-site research and development laboratory. “It will also prevent the emission of 766 tons of carbon dioxide; the equivalent of an average car travelling 4,855,307 kilometers,” explained Francesco Pettenon, Commercial Director of Fila. “To achieve the same reduction through forest methods, an equivalent of 18,132 trees would need to be replanted. It’s important for contractors and consumers to know that we are taking active steps, not only in terms of product development, but also in terms of reducing our own carbon footprint and safeguarding the environment as a whole.”

Moreover, Fila has also recently joined the project “Healthy Living with Ceramics,” an initiative of Fliesenfachverbände (Union of Tile Layers and Producers at the European level) to develop solutions in ceramic which allow the consumer to live in a healthy environement.

Celebrating 70 years

In celebration of its 70th anniversary, Fila held an open house this past June in honor of its loyal customers from around the world. In total, approximately 40 top clients from Italy, Canada, Venezuela, Korea, Germany and France — as well as 20 journalists from the Italian and international press, includingStone World — were in attendance.

Guests were greeted by President Beniamino Pettenon as well as his son, Francesco Pettenon, Commercial Director of Fila. Branch managers from all of Fila’s international locations also addressed the crowd and introduced their top customers.

The ceremony was followed by a guided tour of the company’s facility which is divided into three areas: water-based products, solvent-based products and packaging area. “We sell products in more than 60 countries,” said Marco Galliozzi, Sales Manager at Fila Chemicals USA Corp. “There are different labels for different countries.”

When viewing the water-based packaging line, Galliozzi explained that the equipment in the facility is very high tech and it can detect any defects. “It produces 50 bottles per minute,” he said. “We do quality control for every bottle.”

After the tour, guests dined on an Italian lunch. In the afternoon, Stone World — along with other press members — visited Villa Contarini in Piazzola sul Brenta. The floor of the restaurant inside the complex and the terrazzo floor in the two loggias were treated with Fila products.

The highlight of the 70th anniversary celebration was a gala dinner on the Grand Canal in Venice. Guests were escorted by water taxi to a luxury hotel, where dinner was served on an elegantly decorated patio. The dinner included “thank you sentiments” from the Pettenon family to everyone who attended, the beautiful sounds of an orchestra and opera singers, and the night closed out with the cutting of a large birthday cake.

“We are proud to celebrate our 70th anniversary with the achievement of many prestigious goals,” said Beniamino Pettenon. “I am happy to share them with all our collaborators, because the strength of our company also lies in the professionalism and enthusiasm of the people who work with us every day. We aim to grow further in order to be increasingly closer to our clients, to exceed their expectations and provide them with an even better service and consultancy.”   

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