To our stakeholders,
It is with great satisfaction that we present the Sustainability statement of the El.En. Group so that you can evaluate the commitment, objectives, and results which we have obtained this year and which demonstrate the solidity of our technical, financial and operative structures.
The results obtained by the Group in 2021 are excellent and are derived from the ambition and the dedication demonstrated by all those who worked every day with commitment to reach the objectives that we had set. The strategic position that we have obtained on the markets in which we operate is the result of team work and planning that has been going on for many tears and which includes the organizational, technological, research and development aspects and significant investments to sustain the growth: the increase in the production capacity thanks to new and enlarged operating structures, the investments in the organization and our highly qualified personnel, and, above all, the expertise necessary to maintain the high level of innovation of our products, which increasingly characterize our manufacturing units. Thanks to the solidity of our business model which is focused on a sustainable growth over a med- to long-term period, we now have the right organization and the technologies necessary to satisfy the requests of the market, take advantage of the opportunities that are offered, and further stimulate the demand for our products.
In 2021 the markets became consolidated and we received a record number of orders, despite the continuing affects of the pandemic continued and still continue to influence our everyday lives and our activities. Along with the great demand in the last months of the year on fact, there was also an increase in the costs of energy, an increase in the costs of numerous raw materials and components and the difficulties encountered in the supply chain to respond rapidly to the growing requests.The Group, with the commitment of all the technical structures involved has managed and is still managing this emergency which still shows a high degree of complexity and critical aspects.
All of the companies continued to adopt the Covid-19 safety procedures which are periodically reviewed and revised, in order to protect the health of the employees and allow them to come to work confidently: during 2021we continued to use smart working, especially during the periods when an increase in contagion was registered. During this year on any case, we continued to offer employment and increased by 17% the number of employees working for us all over the world: this increase is important not only at a numerical level but also for the signal of solidity and safety that it sends. During the year we continued to promote training courses which are fundamental for the personal and professional growth of our personnel and consequently, of our companies. We invested mainly in technical, linguistic, managerial training and in that related to the quality of the products and the processes, and increased by 24% the number of hours of training with respect to last year..
The focus of our strategy is based on the constant commitment to the research and development activities which represent the essence of our Group: the commitment is both from a technical point of view, aimed at the launching of new products, as well as for the documentary and clinical aspect in order to obtain the certification necessary for selling our medical systems all over the world. We have worked constantly on one hand for the clinical experimentations with medical centers and hospitals and on the other hand, for the so-called Regulatory, a complex process which is indispensable in order to launch our innovative systems on the market
In 2021 we also enlarged and renovated the range of products both in the medical sector and in the industrial sector and we increased our investment in research and development. In the month of November, at the headquarters of the Parent Company, they inaugurated the photonic laboratories dedicated to the development of laser sources, which adds another operating unit of 300 square meters to the existing space.. This new facility includes four new laboratories, two of which are dedicated to optical laser research, a laboratory dedicated to the development of laser power electronics, and a laboratory dedicated to cooling systems.
We have, therefore, continued with the investments in the manufacturing structures and just finished the work started last year inside of the production centers in Calenzano, and proceeding with the remodeling for the enlargement of the headquarters of Quanta System, by purchasing the third production unit for Cutlite Penta and building the second factory of the Chinese subsidiary at Linyi. All of this work, just as was done previously, was conducted using a high level of energy efficiency and taking into consideration the quality of the working environment of the personnel.
During 2021 the innovative development following Industria 4.0 continued in the production buildings in Calenzano with the implementation of the MES (Manufacturing Execution System), an integrated process of digitalization of the progress of production which makes it possible to optimize the processes: this systems allows the control and monitoring of the advancement of the processes at any time and makes the state of production available and consultable in real time. The Chinese subsidiaries this year made investments to innovate and increase the efficiency of their manufacturing units by installing a system which controls the management of the life cycle of the product (PLM - Product Lifecycle Management) in order to sustain the management of the research and development process, by implementing a MES(ManufacturingExecutionSystem) to improve the management of the production information and implementing a new ERP system to improve the internal processes of the company and the sharing of information between the various divisions and the three companies.
In the final months of the year, we began to implement a more structured monitoring of our supply chain, since we are aware of the fact that it is necessary to share with our suppliers a sustainable growth level which will create a constant improvement in the quality of our products and the economic performance while, at the same time, guaranteeing a correct management of the company which is committed to company growth and the respect of the environment.
For the El.En, Group, the environment represents a major asset which must be protected and, during this year, they planned numerous activities aimed at reducing the consumption of energy and the environmental impact: besides the initiatives taken to improve the processes and the infrastructures, we have also planned the installation of four photovoltaic plants by the end of 2022 (which will be added to the two existing plants), we have implemented the selective collection of refuse in the subsidiary companies where it was not yet in use, and we began monitoring the waste produced by the Group in a world where the natural resources are, by their very nature limited, because we wish to promote a responsible management of resources through sustainable production and consumption models. All of the companies have started numerous activities aimed at producing a positive environmental impact by revising their purchases in favor of recyclable materials and reduced environmental impact and promoting behavior and habits meant to save energy while at the same time heightening awareness of environmental questions among our people.
Our commitment as a company continue to be expressed also through initiatives in favor of the community: we work every day to produce a positive impact in people’s lives and, for some specific projects we donate our instruments and our expertise to non-profit organizations, foundations and state-of-the-art scientific laboratories,at the service of the patient as well as for the conservation and restoration of our cultural heritage. The companies in the Group, moreover, are closely connected to the territories in which they operate and they sustain cultural, social and educational initiatives as sponsors, participating in associations, and also through the promotion of alternate school/work programs, internships and apprenticeships.
In conclusion, I also wish to add that despite the fact that the global scenario is still very complex the results which we have obtained confirm once again the solidity of our business model, which allows us to combine economic growth and financial solidity with the standards of social and environmental sustainability such that we represent of model of excellence.
The results obtained and the confidence of our stakeholders encourage us to continue to move in this direction, innovating with enthusiasm, and yet remaining faithful to the values and principles which have always marked our progress and giving our contribution towards a future that is better for everyone!