Green Roots

Pedrali thinks green – in every aspect of its work from sustainable production to environmentally conscious design. Nature conservation and cultural heritage have been part of the Italian furniture maker’s DNA since its founding. The publishers of Stylepark accepted Pedrali’s generous invitation to the festival “I Maestri del Paesaggio” and were able to form their own opinions at the firm’s headquarters.
by Anna Moldenhauer | 10/6/2022

“I Maestri del Paesaggio” is the name of the delightful landscape festival that recently took place for the twelfth time in Bergamo’s Old Town. This year the theme “Forgotten Landscape” highlighted the importance of local roots for the spirit of a place, while bringing together modern design with historic architecture. The event was jointly organized by the Associazione Culturale Arketipos, the City of Bergamo and the Region of Lombardy, and as in previous years Pedrali was responsible for the outfitting by providing its outdoor products. Thanks to Pedrali’s generous invitation Franziska von Schumann and Robert Volhard, Supervisory Board members and publishers of Stylepark, had the opportunity to experience the impressive scenery first hand, such as Piazza Vecchia in the heart of the Old Town, which dates back to the mid-15th century and features the imposing Torre Civica and the elaborately decorated Fontana Contarini. This setting, signed by the renowed landscape designer Cassian Schmidt, was furnished using chairs, armchairs and sofas from Pedrali’s “Nolita” collection. Produced in steel by CMP Design, they reference the very first Pedrali collection, which was designed by founder Mario Pedrali in the 1960s from wrought iron. The clear design language of Patrick Jouin’s “Elliot” tables, with their slender legs and practical features such as the folding table top, fits wonderfully into the overall scenery. And indeed, the selected furniture provided an attractive contrast on account of not only their modern design, but also their fresh colors. As evening approached, the full beauty of the historic location was revealed: Illuminated by numerous "Giravolta" lightings, adorned with greenery in the new pot-holders "Hevea", and accompanied by laid-back live music, the exclusive event became an unforgettable experience. And it was attended by many illustrious guests such as Marva Griffin, founder of Salone Satellite.

Another exhibition was waiting to be discovered at the idyllic Antico Lavatoio, a short distance away from Piazza Vecchia in the Old Town of Bergamo. Curated by Olos Atelier and Raffaele Orrù and in collaboration with Azienda agricola Antica Pieve and Associazione Italiana Professionisti del Verde (AIPV), it took a fresh look at the importance of the ancient place as a meeting point for the community under the title “(Back) To the Roots.” For this setting Pedrali chose the armchair “Remind” by Eugeni Quitllet and lounge armchair “Ara” by Jorge Pensi Design Studio. Here the neutral shape of “Ara" with its distinctive handle on the backrest made for a fascinating contrast with the gentle curves of “Remind,” inspired by those of the classic wooden chairs from the second half of the 19th
century. A special touch was added to the show by “Giravolta,” “Time Out” and “Happy Apple”, the lightings by designer duo Basaglia Rota Nodari.

The wide-ranging agenda has traditionally included the 2022 edition of “Talking About Design” at Pedrali’s headquarters the following day; this year featuring designers Robin Rizzini and Odo Fioravanti. Both have long been involved in a creative collaboration with Pedrali and they conducted a lively discussion on the importance of design in challenging times as well as sustainable ideas for design that will stand the test of time. In the final part, the designers were joined on stage by Victoria Azadinho Bocconi. The event was moderated by Luca Molinari. Afterwards, Monica Pedrali personally guided the visitors the visitors inside the production site in Mornico al Serio, showing the automated warehouse “Fili d’Erba", designed by CZA – Cino Zucchi Architetti and the manufacturing departments.

Engagement and transparency

Pedrali’s commitment to the revitalization of historic sites with a view to preserving regional cultural treasures is no coincidence. Indeed, from its very beginnings the internationally successful furniture maker has been very keen to keep its own carbon footprint as low as possible. Transparency, which is so often called for today, has long been part of the company’s DNA and recently the CEOs Monica and Giuseppe Pedrali received the UNI EN ISO 14064-1:2019 certification after their company’s corporate carbon footprint was found to meet the necessary criteria. The assessment involved measuring the firm’s total greenhouse gas emissions incurred directly and indirectly over the course of a year. For Pedrali, social responsibility means a thoroughly environmentally conscious philosophy that forms a firm part of its corporate culture and wider objectives. “By analyzing how much CO2 we emit, we can calculate the impact of our entire production cycle on the environment. Working on this specific data then allows us to set new improved targets that can be achieved through continuous monitoring,” explains Giuseppe Pedrali. The products themselves are also designed with sustainability in mind – such as chairs made from recycled polypropylene that have already undergone numerous durability tests to demonstrate their longevity and robust properties. Plastic waste from both private households and industry is used to make the recycled grey collections. And the models “Remind” by Eugeni Quitllet, "Babila XL” by Odo Fioravanti and "Gossip" by Claudio Dondoli and Marco Pocci can already be made entirely from recycled material.

Sustainability is also at the core of Pedrali’s wood products. Specifically, they are made using solely FSC® C114358 - certified timber from forests that are responsibly and appropriately managed and that must demonstrably comply with ecological, social and economic standards. As for the coatings used, Pedrali relies exclusively on water-based versions mainly consisting of plant-based resins. Once again, the environmentally conscious solution is every bit as good as the petroleum-based products in terms of durability and chemical and light resistance. Only by thoroughly monitoring its own production is Pedrali able to offer this transparency: “We produce everything in house, in our production facilities in Mornico al Serio (Bergamo) and in Manzano (Bergamo). This makes it possible for us to control our entire production process,” explains Monica Pedrali. Impressively, the company produces all of the energy it uses on site: over 3,000 photovoltaic panels have been installed on the grounds and the energy they produce covers all the company’s needs. In addition, during the cold months of the year the hot water produced during the molding of plastics is recovered and used to heat other production departments. In the summer, by contrast, a system comprising five cooling towers supports the chillers in lowering the water temperature in the molds. Additionally, all the lighting systems in the indoor and outdoor facilities have been switched to LED. In short: an environmental management system that is holistic, autonomous and involves every aspect of a company that is ideally equipped for the impending energy crisis. Pedrali is a perfect example of how sustainable operation in the furniture industry can succeed, and by investing so heavily in environmental protection it makes a valuable contribution to preserving our planet.

"Talking About Design" at Pedrali headquarters, this year with designers Robin Rizzini and Odo Fioravanti, moderated by Luca Molinari.