Our Environment, Social and Governance
(ESG) services, which is one of our strategic pillars, grew in 2021, and
represented a large part of our portfolio. Environmental services performed
better than budget and we saw tremendous growth of 45% year on year.
Our food market grew by 19.4% year on year. This covers two main areas with global voluntary certification services to GFSI and statutory certification in our domestic market for Italian products to regulations such as DOP and DOCG.
Management systems remain the main portion of our business, mainly composed of traditional quality, environmental, health & safety and more innovative services such as biosafety. They are showing a good, positive trend but are not as important as voluntary product certifications such as FSC, ISCC PLUS and GLOBALG.A.P., especially in Asia, where these showed the best performance in terms of relative margin growth. Indeed, in China, ISCC certification grew by more than 300% in margin and 74% in revenue and Asia reached a revenue of €2.7M compared with €1.6M in 2020.
Management system certification is still important for the growth in the Americas region, where we are mainly present in South America (Brazil and Argentina). Revenues grew by around 20% and margins reached 28% against a budget of 21%. Quality, environmental and health & safety services performed well, and we are still recording growth in CO2 reduction services in line with our strategic decarbonisation pillar.
In 2021 RINA was accredited for the following certification/inspection schemes:
We are very proud of the work we have carried out domestically, producing marginality in line with budget and growth of 7% compared with 2020. We experienced fast growth of voluntary product certification services. ISCC and FSC schemes are growing faster, and we are looking to be more competitive in these markets.
In other EMEA regions, we saw important growth in Poland in environmental services and in Spain for food services.
During 2021, we changed our organisation to create strategic centres focussed on specific task. Our new commercial network is managed centrally to ensure we promote sales culture in terms of the approach to the client, pricing, and the value of our services. Teams operating in strategic centres are dedicated to strategic growth of pillars and include food certification, ESG certification, health & wellbeing, and training.
In 2021, we launched three project lines to support awareness, generation of skills and professional qualifications based on hydrogen, a fuel that is recognised as an effective and sustainable solution for decarbonisation. These comprised a training course entitled, “The guidelines of the energy transition based on hydrogen”, specialized training activities to promote knowledge of hydrogen, and a certification scheme for new technical and managerial professionals working with hydrogen in energy, gas transport, distribution, and storage companies.
A new ‘ISCC CORSIA’ service for the aviation sector was released for companies wishing to demonstrate compliance with sustainability and GHG criteria for CORSIA-eligible fuels. In the food sector, our new BRGCS Ethical Trade & Responsible Sourcing certification, which complements BRCGS schemes, responds to growing market needs for sustainability in the food market.
We are also looking to create a Net Zero strategic centre with a mission to create new services and move our certification further towards business assurance with customised audit activities based on our skills and competencies with reference to international standards. For example, working with organisations to create certification for their clients who are looking for sustainable financing, loans, or bonds. We assess underlying strategy and then, during the loan or bond period, perform additional audits to record qualitative improvements resulting from the loan or bond, which may result in a reduction of interest rate in the long term.
Our work to validate profiles loaded onto the Open-es platform is moving from a manual process to AI. We are creating a digital framework to teach the AI to measure the quality and integrity of a profile, providing digital assurance of the profile submitted.
Our digital assurance services gained real momentum in 2021. Data Integrity Audit Services (DIAS) have begun for major organisations across fiscal oil & gas, food & beverage, and steel industries. We are not a software provider, but our role in the digital ecosystem plays a crucial part in assuring data is true and robust. For fiscal companies the voracity of data is a vital part of submission to tax authorities. Our services save time and money both for the organisation and authorities, who do not want to manually check data entries.
In 2021, the international portion of our certification business
reached 18% compared with 16,8% in 2020 and we intend to continue this trend.
For 2022, we have ambitious plans to grow our business. We will push hard on digital assurance services, advancing the significant results we have seen in 2021. We are also looking to create a RINA Food Academy to support food training.
We will reinforce our ESG services, especially with financial institutions who are the trigger for ESG today. We will also respond to the markets that are pushing for decarbonisation services, such as steel, paper and concrete and set up a strategic centre dedicated to new decarbonisation services.
We are going to push in fast-growing markets in Asia, food markets in Spain, and rationalise our portfolio in Italy to focus more of our value propositions on our strategic pillars. We will continue to scale to work with larger clients, while making smart solutions for smaller customers.
Overall, although historically we have had good revenue and profitability from our certification services, we are shaping the future to strengthen our business and reach new levels of success.
We issued around 6000 new Management Systems and Voluntary Product certificates issued in ASCESI, 318 ISO 45001, 747 Food Product BRC IFS Globalgap, 657 FSC and 636 ISCC. We controlled 230 PDO, PGI, TSG wine and food products, and certified 1.6 million litres of wine.
Entrance to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) market for Jiangsu Shenou Environmental Protection Technology Co. Ltd
In a 12-month project commencing November 2021, RINA is accrediting Jiangsu Shenou Environmental Protection Technology Co. Ltd, based in Jiangsu, in the first ever ISCC Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) project in China. The accreditation will provide entrance for the company into the SAF market with accreditation recognised by the ICAO aviation agency.
Optimising corporate image for Kimberley-Clark (China) Co. Ltd
Starting in 2020, this five-year project, aimed at enhancing sustainability for Kimberley-Clark in China, will certify purchasing, outsourcing of warehousing and sale (transfer system) of FSC mix P2.6 tissue paper, P6.1 cleaning tissues and paper towels, P6.2 facial tissue, P6.3 napkins and P6.4 toilet tissue for FSC mix and FSC controlled wood P1.3 chemical pulp. RINA is providing accreditation and Forestry and Chain of Custody auditing services at the company’s facilities in Beijing and Shanghai.
RINA accredited for ISO 22031:2019 Security and Resilience Business Continuity Management System Requirements
In December 2021, RINA was accredited by ACCREDIA for the new ISO 22031:2019 standard, launched in October 2019. Only a handful of certification bodies can offer ISO 22301 accredited services and has onboarded qualified local auditors to provide this service in Brazil.
ISO 22301 certification benefits companies by ensuring continuity of business operations during disruptions; maintenance of product and service delivery under all circumstances; safeguarding of assets, revenue, profits, and reputation; reducing insurance premiums, and giving competitive advantage during a crisis.
First Biosafety Trust airline certified in Europe
Following an audit conducted by RINA, Blue Air became the first European airline to obtain Biosafety Trust certification. This important certification attests the safety of Blue Air’s activities and flights for the prevention of communicable diseases, including COVID-19.
Biosafety Trust establishes a set of best practices to reduce the risk of outbreaks spreading in public places, including transport. Blue Air has developed a strategic route network that includes services to major European airports and has entered its new, state-of-the-art Boeing 737-8-MAX fleet into operation. It is committed to becoming a more efficient retailer and introducing new, more user-friendly pricing families. Its Biosafety Trust certification will support its brand positioning and give added confidence to its customers.
Conformity verification and safety assessment
In 2021, RINA performed all the required European Conformity verification and safety assessment of the onboard signalling system supplied by Angelstar on Stadler trains for Ferrovie Nord Milano and the Hungarian, Polish, Slovenian and Swiss railways. RINA further supported Stadler in obtaining authorisation of the trains through technical inspections.
First food manufacturer in Turkey to gain the BRCGS Ethical Trade and Responsible Sourcing certificate
Ferrero Fındık, with its Integrated Factory in Trabzon, has gained the BRCGS Ethical Trade and Responsible Sourcing certificate. It the first food manufacturer in Turkey to gain certification to the Ethical Trading and Responsible Sourcing standard and one of just 10 companies worldwide. As a long-term strategic partner and an important employer of the Turkish hazelnut sector, Ferrero Fındık, will continue to create value for the sector with this standard.
BRCGS aims to provide an ethical trading and responsible source management approach to producers through an “Ethical Trading and Responsible Sourcing Standard Certificate”. This consists of a fair and respectful approach to employees, human rights, employee welfare, business and information security, corruption and anti-bribery practices, and many other requirements. BRCGS also has a strict auditing mechanism to keep all associated processes under control.
The certificate was issued after the certification audit, which was carried out and successfully completed by the appointed and qualified auditors from RINA, a third-party certification company which is authorized by BRCGS The continuity of the standard is closely monitored by surveillance audits that take place every year.
Independent safety assessment ensures compliance of Regiotram system
RINA provided an independent safety assessment to ensure the compliance of the Regiotram system with international railway safety standards, specifically relating to reliability, availability, maintenance, software, and system safety. All systems were assessed to ensure residual risks were at an acceptable level for passenger operation.
Independent safety assessment for new lines and construction of stations
RINA provided independent safety assessment and CSM (Common Safety Method) assessment services for Israel Railways to cover all projects relating to the development of new lines and the construction of stations. The scope for each railway line covered the entire system and major subsystems including infrastructure, signalling, energy, and telecommunications.
First European remote CE marking
In a project which commenced in April 2021, RINA is providing remote inspection services to KT Kinetics Technologies SpA, Maire Tecnimont Group for the CE marking of pressure equipment for the new Kallo propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant project in Belgium. Remote services mark a milestone in CE methodology and are being used because of the inability to perform site inspections due to the pandemic. The project uses qualified Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) inspectors trained for remote activities and inspections and is the first example European example of CE marking using remote technology.
A ground-breaking new digital service
At the start of 2021, RINA launched a new Data Integrity Audited Service (DIAS), which will help customers across a full range of industries worldwide, including everything from steel to coffee production, gas extraction plants and supply chains. The service provides proof to stakeholders that data provided is true and traces business processes through third-party verification and minimises the need for authority or third-party inspections. The system demonstrates the correct process has been followed through the certification f process or product data and represents a significant reduction in the time and costs associated with current verification processes.
The new system is being used in a project for Total E&P Italia SpA for data integrity assurance of fiscal transactions for the distribution of LPG. The service reduces overheads both for the oil company and associated taxation authorities.
UniCredit and RINA enter agreement to support Italian companies interested in issuing ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) bonds or loans
RINA is the preferred partner to UniCredit in supporting its Italian clients in issuing or underwriting ESG-linked bonds or loans. RINA’s expertise is used to help UniCredit clients in identifying the best ESG objectives to link to investments financed through minibonds or bank loans. RINA will support the client companies in the interpretation of national and international ESG standards, preliminary due diligence, definition of key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to ESG objectives, periodic monitoring, and final verification of goals achieved.
Helping organisations become more inclusive
From the UN 2030 Agenda and the European Union’s Guidelines to the PNRR (the National Recovery and Resilience Plan) launched in April 2021 by the Draghi Government, the objective of “Diversity & Inclusion” and, more specifically, that of “gender equality”, are now among the main priorities of national and international institutions.
ISO 30415:2021 - HR Diversity & Inclusion is the first ISO guideline to cover this area and establishes guidelines for typical HR management processes that can be oriented towards valuing diversity: workforce planning, remuneration, recruitment, induction, learning and development, etc. This new certification scheme will provide organisations with the management model required to become an inclusive company and the guidelines to define the requirements of a management system to promote diversity. The certification is aimed at improving diversity and inclusivity inside a company and is aimed at increasing market value through better resource management and improved market perception. The scheme is an important contribution to social sustainability and provides an innovative technical-cultural solution to support the increase in competencies and network within a company.
An ambition to be the first film festival declared as a carbon neutral event
RINA certified La Biennale di Venezia 2021, supporting the event in reaching the ambitious goal of being the first film festival declared as carbon neutral. La Biennale seriously and with scientific commitment entrusted the study of a process a carbon management plan, applied also to the other events of the Biennale.
The carbon management plan will be used to quantify the greenhouse gas emission related to the exhibition cycle through direct and indirect measurements. RINA has proudly validated and certified the festival’s achievements as an authorised international body.
First bank in Romania to obtain Safety in Place certification
Raiffeisen Bank, part of the Austrian group Raiffeisen, is the first bank from Romania to obtain the “Safety in Place” certification for verification and evaluation of the correct interpretation and implementation of Covid-19 prevention measures.
RINA developed “Safety in Place” based on the most recent regulations from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and national authorities, as well as guidelines and good practices developed by specialists and main commercial associations.
The certificate and labels were granted after a rigorous procedure that included verifications adapted to specific activities, assuring all interested parties that the audited locations achieve proper safety standards and adequate hygiene protocols in compliance to legal norms and best practices in prevention of COVID-19.
Mrs. Irina Kubinschi - Executive Human Resources Director at Raiffeisen Bank, said, “Since the very beginning of the pandemic, we implemented a series of protection and prevention measures, acting responsibly for the health of our clients, our employees and our partners, as well as in compliance with the norms imposed by the authorities. We are glad that through our partnership with RINA, our efforts have been certified by an institution of high reputation, extensive experience, and high competences in the field of occupational health and safety certifications, recognized worldwide for the rigor with which it conducts audits. In this period, our team makes every effort to maintain the optimal balance between safety and the quality of the services we want to offer to all those who come to our locations.”