We were ready to perform remote audits within just a couple of weeks and made use of webinars and other remote tools to adapt to a world in lockdown.
RINA’s certification business showed both
resilience and agility in our response to an unprecedented situation in 2020,
meeting our margin target and growing in several areas with the introduction of
In some areas of certification, we gained authorisation to carry out work remotely and, with the support of RINA corporate functions, we were able to restart some on-site activities and keep our colleagues safe through safety procedures and PPE.
2020 was still a year with many highlights
Even with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were many highlights to 2020. We were ready to perform remote audits within just a couple of weeks and made use of webinars and other remote tools to adapt to a world in lockdown. During 2020 we carried out remote audits for a total of 12,000 man days, equal to 24% of the total audits, thus assuring the business continuity of our customers. We also showed flexibility as we
adapted business processes to overcome
the challenges we faced.
During the year, we had the opportunity to launch new services including, in direct response to the pandemic, offering the very first Biosafety Trust Certification to mitigate the risk of infection. This new service was made available in under 20 days, showing the capability of our business to be extremely agile. We also applied our competencies and capabilities to review documentation for PPE masks coming from various countries to ensure they met the applicable standards.
In 2020, we obtained the accreditation extension for the ISO 13485:2016 "Medical Devices - Quality Management Systems - Requirements For Regulatory Purposes" certification scheme for components, subassemblies and other services.
Despite difficult conditions, we had good development of safety assessment activities for railway and metro system and products on the international market. We also extended our International business through specialised local offices in Denmark, Russia, China and a newly established Indian office. We are now working in 37 countries, with main growth in China and Denmark.
Digitalisation is a fundamental part of
our business – today and for the future.
We recognise the importance of digital tools to increase efficiency and help with customer retention.
In 2020 we launched a new IT platform for the control of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) wines, enabling increased efficiency and improved performance in terms of control and service delivery. The platform provides the ability to upload and manage all necessary production data for the control and certification of wine lots in real time. A PDO Italian tomato supply chain was also digitized, which facilitated the certification process with the upload of traceability data directly into the platform.
Within the field of sustainable procurement, RINA has introduced a specific platform (SAFE, Smart audit for enterprises) that manages the performance evaluation process of suppliers in real time. The tool allows RINA to set up and send tailored self-assessment questionnaires online, plan and execute second party audits and store business documentation, allowing clients to access real-time configurable reporting based on client’s needs.
At the end of 2020, we began work to re-focus the certification business from a ‘checking’ activity into a business assurance service. Our aim is to use technology to provide confidence and assurance to businesses. At the very end of the year, we launched our new Data Integrity Assurance Service (DIAS), which verifies data to confirm its consistency and accuracy before it enters other areas such as blockchain.
Certifying a sustainable future
RINA has the advantage of a complete service offering for ESG, including environmental, carbon reduction, social accountability, and governance. To boost revenues in a growing market, we have implemented a specific strategic centre for ESG, aimed at creating new and innovative services and reshaping our value proposition.
During 2020 we were highly active in ISCC PLUS sustainability certification in both food and industrial sectors. In the industrial sector, we certified the sustainability of products based on bio and/or recycled content of plastics and rubber, packaging film and labels, raw materials and intermediate products used in production. We also certified 13 organisations for biomethane sustainability and issued the second ship recycling certification, for the safe and environmentally
sound recycling of ships.
Other examples of ESG activity include certification of vegetable agri-food products with synthetic pesticide residues less than 100% of the maximum permissible residue and our national sustainable aquaculture quality system.
In the coming year we will be focusing on new services, our value proposition and reinforcing our international network. ESG will be a critical part of our objectives and we will be releasing new and innovative services in this area.
The role of certification is to create confidence – both for producers and for the people who benefit from products or services. We will continue to position ourselves as a true value-add business assurance service. ESG, the food sector and our digital ecosystem are our three pillars for the future.
RINA will reinforce its ESG services in the sustainable finance sector by introducing personalised business assurance services for banks and credit institutions. In 2021 we will be committed to strengthening our support for key clients to introduce sustainable procurement practices through the introduction of a digital platform, enabling the monitoring and measurement of the ESG performance of supply chains.
Food certification is another pillar of RINA’s growth strategy, our goal is to give confidence along and across the food value chain, from seed to fork, by putting food traceability and safety at the center.
The development of organic certification is a crucial step due to its increasing importance in the European Union's agri-food policies. Our leverage in the first steps of food value chain is represented by RINA’s position in the certification of geographical indication of wines and products. We will be focusing on increasing the number of certifications in this area in 2021 as well as addressing voluntary certification in each phase of the value chain with accreditation extension and commercial improvements. The commercial and technical structure will also be strengthened to continue to intercept the constant growth of certification services defined by the large international food distribution chains.
Our growth strategy in the food sector will be supported by digital platforms, to ensure the production traceability and correct information for consumers, and by the development of technical specifications linked products with claims for enhanced health benefits.
In April 2020, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and to help restart economic activity RINA devised the Biosafety Trust Certification, the first management system certification aimed at the prevention and mitigation of the spread of infections in public places and to provide greater health safety. The management system provides a set of best practices to help minimize the risks of spreading epidemics in crowded places such as public transport, entertainment and sporting venues (restaurants, theaters, gyms, museums, swimming pools), accommodation facilities (hotels, congress centers, cruise ships) and healthcare structures. The Certification was awarded to several organizations, among which Aeroporti di Roma, Anek Lines, Carlo Felice Theatre in Genoa, Costa Cruises, Ferretti Group and Minoan Lines.
RINA was awarded a three-year project at the end of 2020 for the validation of the Sicilian tropical fruits supply chain by means of the standardization of farming operations, harvest, post-harvest, storage aimed at transformation and marketing of innovative products. The project includes creation of technical documents, such as product specifications and regulations, to transfer know-how to Sicilian farms and agri-food companies in terms of farming operations, machines and industrial plants for process and product innovation.
The project aims to develop agronomic and product packaging techniques for environmental sustainability; to maintain the high quality of tropical fruits grown in Sicily, and to limit losses due to rapid deterioration of products during handling, transport, storage and into the cold supply chain.
The number of products with Geographical Indication reached 61, through the acquisition of the authorization for the “Colatura di Alici di Cetara” PDO and Culuorgionis d’Ogliastra PGI.
RINA obtained the authorization from the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies to certify the National Aquaculture Quality System mark aimed at promoting sustainability, quality and food safety of fish production.
We obtained of the project promoted by the Puglia Region for the definition of a specification aimed at issuing the "Puglia Km0" mark. The project intends to enhance agricultural and agri-food, forestry, aquaculture, and zero-kilometre fishing products, promoting their consumption and marketing and ensuring consumers have adequate information on their origin and specificity.
During 2020, RINA obtained the accreditation to certify local producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products in Romania.
RINA filed and submitted the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) to the EU for the Pită de Pecica, a Romanian round bread, roasted directly on hearth, specific to the town of Pecica in Arad County.
We also obtained the extension of Global Gap to flowers and ornamental part, covering propagation material, soil and substrate management, fertilizer use, plant protection product, harvesting and post-harvest treatments.
The international standard ISO 20400 defines guidelines for the integration of social responsibility in policy and procurement processes of an organization. In 2020, RINA verified the application of ISO 20400 by Selcom, Noberasco and Societa’ Appalti Costruzioni.
RINA is the certifying body that checks both compliance with the requirements of the ISCC PLUS scheme and compliance with the rules of the Carta del Mulino at the Mulino Bianco - Barilla bakery wheat supply chain. In 2020, the project involved 5 Barilla factories, 15 mills, 7 buying and selling operators, 57 storage centres, 1500 farmers.
In 2020, RINA certified the sustainability of products based on their bio and/or recycled content of plastics and rubbering in packaging film and labels, raw materials and intermediate products in accordance with ISCC PLUS scheme for organizations including:
At the end of 2020, RINA started the certification of five Versalis plants in Brindisi, Porto Marghera, Mantua, Ferrara and Ravenna. Versalis' certified products include monomers and intermediates such as ethylene, propylene, benzene, styrene, butadiene, and polymers such as polyethylene, styrenes, and elastomers (obtained in 2021).
The International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS supports circular economy and bioeconomy by offering a certification that promotes an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable production.
Between October and November 2020, RINA completed its first ISCC PLUS project in China for Dong Guan Essentia Industries Ltd. The company uses tritan copolyesters from Eastman to produce milk cups and bottles. The tritan copolyesters are made from up to 50% recycled waste plastics which satisfy FDA food grade requirements. Through RINA’s certification, the organization can demonstrate the successful adoption of a more sustainable and environmentally friendly material in their products to the government, customers and other stakeholders.
Starting in Italy with the certification of Montello, RINA issued the sustainability certification for biomethane obtained from the anaerobic digestion of the Organic Fraction of Urban Solid Waste (OFURW) and is now recognised as a leader in this sector. In 2020 RINA certified 13 organizations for biomethane sustainability, the majority obtained from OFURW, but also from agro-food processing residues such as grape marc and wine lees processing residues, sewage sludge and landfill. New certifications are on-going.
In 2020, RINA verified that the greenhouse gas emission inventory of Bottega Veneta for 2018 complied with the requirements of ISO 14064-1 “Greenhouse gases - Part 1: Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals”.
In 2020, RINA validated the e-mobility emissions saving algorithm used by Enel X to calculate the CO2 savings generated by the electrification of the circulating fleet achieved by switching from heat to electricity. It also validated an algorithm for pollutant savings (NOx, PMx) generated by the distribution of public and private charging stations in the area.
In 2020, RINA contributed to global carbon offset and long-term sustainable development by validating three new carbon offsetting projects, promoted by the World Bank under the Kyoto Protocol’s CDM Mechanism in Africa:
The CDM Mechanism is a carbon offset scheme which allows companies to invest in environmental projects around the world in order to balance out their own carbon footprints.
AEA SRL (Gruppo Loccioni) prepared a Sustainable Bond Framework under which it intends to issue sustainable bonds to finance or refinance projects with social and green purposes together. RINA validated the framework to enable issue of an independent “Second Party Opinion” on the sustainability of the sustainable projects financed and the management of the Green Bond Framework. RINA validated the AEA Green Bond Framework for compliance with the Green and Social Bond Principles issued by the International Capital Market Association in 2018, the United Nations’ 2015 Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, and the 2010 ISO 26000 Social Responsibility Guidelines.
The Italian industrial group, Marcegaglia, a leading player in Europe and worldwide in the transformation of steel, requested RINA to verify the application of the ISO 26000 standard for the company Marcegaglia Carbon Steel, which manufactures flat products (coils, strips, sheets), both carbon and pre-painted (PPGI) steel, and carbon steel welded tubes. This follows a previous verification carried out in 2018.
During 2020, RINA acquired many important certification contracts for ISO37001 “anti-bribery certification” with public companies in Romania and becoming national leader in that field.
In 2020, RINA successfully verified three innovative technologies in the ETV technology area for water treatment & monitoring, two in Italy and one in Spain. With three verification statements issued and published on the ETV website, RINA was the most prolific ETV-accredited verification body in 2020 in Europe. RINA further started a collaboration with the LIFE project (LIFEproETV), aimed at promoting ETV in the EU market to support uptake of new environmental technologies for the benefit of reducing the environmental impact of EU SMEs, industries and public sector.
In 2020, RINA was involved as Notified Body for CE Marking Services according to PED Directive on four Heaters to be supplied into Borealis Refinery in Kallo (Belgium). The project introduced an innovative approach to perform inspections with inspection activities relevant to the hydraulic test of the convection modules performed in two steps: a first in a workshop in Spain and the second in a workshop Turkey, both carried out remotely. As Notified Body, RINA performed inspections remotely, to carry out visual checks of coils, pressure gauge settings, dimension deviations and test performance. This approach allowed RINA to to minimize travel and protect the health and safety of its surveyors during the pandemic.
This proprietary certification, created by RINA three years ago, has passed the milestone of 1,000 certified inspectors. The certification scheme has become recognized standard in Italy for verifying and validating the skills of professionals operating in the infrastructure construction sector. It will be further specialized during of 2021 to include remote inspection skills and the use of drones.
The Banedanmark modernisation project is a part of the Electrification Program (EP) and is intended to upgrade the power supply on the already electrified lines. To achieve this goal two new feeder stations (TSS) will be built, two stations will be rebuilt, two stations will be upgraded with forced cooling and 8 new neutral sections will be established. This means that the requirements of the CSM ‐ RA process will be verified by RINA because the change must be assessed by an Assessment Body (AsBo). In addition, RINA will verify the requirements against TSI ENE for the distribution stations as a Notified Body (NoBo).
In April 2020 RINA was awarded an important contract from CRRC ZHUZHOU, one of the most important rolling stock manufacturers worldwide. The project consists in the Independent Safety Assessment of the whole fleet, 44-trains, to be supplied by CRRC to the municipality of Istanbul. The trains will be operated in the new airport Metro line with a maximum operation speed of 120 km/h. RINA technical services cover all aspects from the design stage to manufacturing, testing and commissioning, hence all project stages up to revenue service. The complexity of the project is augmented by the split of the manufacturing between China and Turkey, 60% of localization in Turkey, and the operation mode that will be fully automated (driverless).
RINA was appointed by Angelstar as Notified Body, according to the European Directive for Interoperability 2016/797 and the related Technical Specification for Interoperability for Control-Command and Signalling sector, and as Independent Safety Assessor, according to the CENELEC railway safety norms EN50126, EN50128, EN50129 and EN50159, for the certification of the European Signalling Systems developed for operating in Hungary, Poland, Switzerland and Italy. The aim of RINA’s activities is to certify the signalling On-Board subsystem “core” part constituted by the ETCS On-Board, the Odometry Equipment and the STM Modules for the operation on railway lines equipped with both the European signalling system and legacy National signalling Systems. Each project involves design review, test witnessing sessions, the effectiveness of the test campaigns evaluation, and audits to guarantee that all the vehicles where the On-Board Subsystem is installed are safe, interoperable all over the European Community. New exciting challenges are expected for 2021 with projects that are starting in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.