A year ago, Quadpackers were celebrating one of the best years in our history – a record in sales, two successful acquisitions, and the debut on Euronext Growth made us very proud and confident about the future.
2020 came as a ‘stress test’ to all businesses and industries, ours being no exception. The challenges, however, helped us evolve as a business and as individuals. As the year draws to a close, I’m grateful to our team, our clients, our banks and our partners for what 2020 brought us: more resilience, collaboration and empathy.
Just before the crisis, we launched our vision and business strategy for the next five years and reshaped our purpose to make it resonate with what we truly aim for as a company: we want to do it right, differently, better. Whilst sailing stormy waters, we were relieved to see that our strategy prepared us for difficult times and gave us the confidence to follow our journey based on five pillars: global expansion, agility, collaborative innovation, sustainability, and being a great place to work.
Our global expansion plans were not interrupted by the pandemic. We started our operations in Japan, convinced about this important market’s potential, restructuring the Asia Pacific operation with the appointment of Raj Savji as its Managing Director, overseeing Australia, China, Korea and Japan. We improved our footprint in key European markets as Germany, thanks to smooth integration with Louvrette after its acquisition a year ago. We continue to expand our service offer in the Americas, with our decoration plant to offer last-minute differentiation and a sourcing centre in Mexico.
Our long-term digital transformation project shows that agility is one of our key priorities, including innovations like advanced analytics, machine learning, and an Industry 4.0 project that currently being piloted in Quadpack Wood. Our manufacturing in the region, for the region strategy is ongoing in Europe and the Americas, allowing us to offer quick to market solutions to our clients all over the world.
The crisis has brought us many opportunities to collaborate, internally and externally. We partnered with outstanding players in the market: The Beauty Makers to launch new business models, Sulapac for a sustainable range of products and Inotech for innovative packaging solutions. In times like these, we believe in collaborative innovation as the new competition, and we’re proud of what we’ve reached so far.
Our drive for sustainability has never stopped evolving, and our new sustainability strategy is a result of our awareness of our role in society. More than simply recognising the negative impact our sector has on the environment, we are committed to making a positive impact through our products, processes and people, driving positive change in our communities and the environment and building a better future for the generations to come. Our sustainability efforts were recognised with the EcoVadis Gold Medal, one of the most prestigious corporate social responsibility ratings; we launched environmental impact assessments of our products and operations; Quadpack Wood’s new biomass plant will drive us towards carbon neutrality by generating energy from waste wood from the manufacturing process, saving over 160,000 litres of fossil fuel consumption each year. What’s more, our commitment to an ambitious sustainability framework (ISO26000) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals is as alive as ever. Quadpack Foundation has increased the funding dedicated to charity projects helping over 40,000 people in 2020 and is ready to be relaunched with a professional and fully dedicated management.
As Quadpackers, we worked hard to find new ways to collaborate remotely, making the best possible use of digital tools and helping us to build a great place to work. We kept reinforcing our management team and our talent pool.
Our journey towards professionalisation and maturity includes the launch of our very first Annual Report and CSR Report, which improves our environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards. Our great effort to keep the company’s financial health included proactive saving measures and a successful relationship with banks, clients, and partners that gave us the strength to keep tackling the 2020 challenge.
I’m excited about what’s to come: 2021 starts with many bright, purposeful projects related to manufacturing expansion, collaboration, digitalisation and sustainability, all resonating with our values.
I want to end this message on a positive, hopeful note. The year made us rethink our role and responsibility in society – we are at a transformational point where companies worldwide need to do more, much more. We have the power to influence and change the world, go beyond our surrounding communities and really make a difference in areas like sustainability and inequality. Essentially, we need to recognise the impact of all our activities and make the impossible (why not?) to transform it into a positive legacy.
I invite you to join us in our journey of doing things right, differently, better.