Coradai srl of Valdaone (Trento) is a company rooted firmly in the land, committed to giving new life to waste.
“Sustainable forest management is a good example of a low-impact, circular economy and represents an opportunity to create and distribute value in the territory,” states Imerio Pellizzari, owner of Coradai S.r.l. of Valdaone (Trento), a company specialised for two generations in wood activities. As an expert of the region where his company operates, Pellizzari is aware that only through best practices is it possible to protect the natural heritage of Trentino, while at the same time create a virtuous circle which generates opportunities for employment and income.
In addition to managing the lots from which it provides logs to local sawmills, Coradai is committed to giving new life to waste. “From these secondary raw materials we get several types of chips through a platform for biomass management, created in partnership with a local partner. Thanks to a mini cogeneration plant that produces 90 kW of electricity, but above all 210 kW of thermal energy, we can guarantee the correct drying of the chips, which we supply to three large power plants and other medium‑sized plants, such as schools or hotels and two greenhouses–all this within a radius of a few dozen kilometers from the production site. Our work focuses entirely on the South-Western Trentino region” – Pellizzari continues – “so we can count on the benefits of the short chain. This is an asset, because we work in a mountain environment, sometimes particularly hard and difficult to reach by mechanical means.”
Due to the location, the handling of vehicles and logistics are particularly significant budget items. The same cannot be said for the ten Coradai employees, the farthest of whom lives 4 km from the company’s headquarters. Also, local business strongly benefits from this activity, such as the maintenance of vehicles, spare parts, and other services which are almost exclusively local suppliers.
“The forestry sector,” Pellizzari says, “after many decades of semi-abandonment and in times of economic crisis, rediscovered a certain interest when we came back to the origins by re-evaluating renewable energy sources such as wood. Unfortunately, there is still much misinformation: contrary to what we think, businesses dealing with wood like ours are managing forests through a process aimed at their maintenance and improvement. Forest management is a complex operation with the purpose of achieving an economic return while keeping the guiding principle of safeguarding the forest itself. This is why it is important to think with a circular-economy perspective. So-called waste can be managed: abandoning it in the woods causes damage. For example, it attracts parasites which can also infect the healthy plants around. Better pick them up, “give air” to the forest in order to facilitate the growth of new trees and produce quality wood chips to be consumed locally. As sector operator, I hope the knowledge of the forestry world and the opportunities offered by it, will increase through moments of exchange and the spread of best practices. Only then we can keep believing in the future and creating that critical mass to give to our businesses the necessary confidence to invest, not only in installations and technology but also in human resources.”