CITSALP is a SME with more than 30 year of experience in the commercialization of plastic raw material for the automotive industry. Since 2007 the company’s main activity is on plastic scrap recycling.
The SME had already started doing several actions towards sustainability and was interested in analysing its performance. They had participated in an awareness raising webinar organised by ACCIO’s EEN team focused on the integration of SDGs in the business strategy.
The ACCIÓ – EEN team worked on an action plan together with CITSALP. On one hand, the objective was to work on assessing their sustainability actions’ performance. On the other hand, it was concluded that the company could take advantage of their innovation management capacities if they could understand better how they work as an organisation and how innovation project decisions were made. We decided to conduct an assessment on innovation management together with the company’s C-level management.
Finally, after the Innovation management assessment was done, we identified that they needed exploring on industry 4.0 new technologies and how they could implement them. Hence, we started a journey with them on how to access digital advance technologies.
On one hand, it was agreed with the company to run a sustainability assessment using the Corporate Sustainability Navigator tool from Imp3rove to analyse the sustainability performance of the company. A tailor-made action plan was created for the company based on the results of the assessment, which showed special weakness in the area of social sustainability. Energy efficiency and renewable energy sources were identified, as well as improvement areas. Furthermore, ACCIÓ invited CITSALP to participate in a project proposal (ATLAS) that was submitted and granted under the call Sustainability Partnerships for SMEs adopting more sustainable practices (SMP-COSME-2021-SPP). The willingness of CITSALP to embrace innovative initiatives to improve their business performance made them a suitable SME to participate in this project.
On the other hand, thanks to the needs assessment, CITSALP was recommended to undertake an innovation management assessment as they were interested in improving their innovation management capacities. An EEN advisor analysed their business model, as well as their innovation strategy. The innovation analysis was based on the Innovation Health Check (IHC), which is validated by the European Commission. Afterwards the company was suggested to apply for a local Innovation Voucher worth 8,000€, which was used to finance the consulting services of a strategy expert. This expert identified and planned several actions that helped the company to change their business and innovation models, allowing them to be better prepared to deal with rapid market changes and become more competitive.
During the innovation assessment, the EEN advisor found out the company interest in adopting advanced technologies for the industry 4.0. Indeed, CITSALP was suggested to participate in the Tech Meetings event in the frame of IoT Solutions World Congress EEN Brokerage Event, where they could meet technology experts involved in the DIH4CAT (EDIH).
The joint support offered to CITSALP by ACCIÓ, a social NGO and an environmental stakeholder in the framework of the EU project ATLAS helped the SME to define and prioritize concrete actions to improve sustainability processes such as defining a roadmap on sustainability certifications, developing a training plan for employees as well as an evaluation model to monitor the progress of the acquired skills.
Furthermore, CITSALP has applied for a local Climate Change voucher to run a life cycle analysis of bumpers for vehicles made of recycled polypropylene. This study will allow choosing the material source and composition with the lowest environmental impact. A degradation study will also be performed to establish the number of times that the propylene material can be recycled and used in the production of bumpers.
Moreover, thanks to the expertise of the innovation management specialist, the company has designed and implemented an innovative framework that encourages participation and collaboration within the entire management team. The innovation framework enabled them to prioritize the following projects: I) Define a manufacturing process to eliminate the remaining pigments from recycled plastics. II) Recuperation of plastic waste from other industries by purchasing a new machine. III) Plant digitalization: implementation of IoT (sensors) to automate the silos that contain the recycled plastic. IV) Research project aimed at improving the quality control process.
In addition, during the Tech Meetings EEN B2B event the company was able to meet EURECAT, the Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics expert of the Catalan EDIH (DIH4CAT), with whom they have applied for a technology testing project in the frame of the Next Generation funding.
Finally, the EEN advisor assessed the company with local opportunities, funds, and services that could finance and support their innovative projects or help them to adopt disruptive and advanced technologies.
"With EEN's guidance, we have set out on a path to achieve sustainability certifications, implement training plans, and monitor progress effectively. Their dedication to environmental stewardship has truly elevated our efforts, and we are grateful for their instrumental role in our success. In addition, ACCIÓ's support in the ATLAS project has been a driving force behind CITSALP's journey towards sustainability excellence. Their partnership has empowered us to define and prioritize concrete actions, enabling us to improve our sustainability processes significantly. "