Luigi Puricelli, CEO Puricelli SRL, tells Diane Larner how the company’s ecological origins set it in good stead for the green revolution we are seeing today.
Not many companies can boast a green heritage that stretches as far back as 1948, however, Puricelli can, the company is proud of its roots since its green credentials began with its founder, Luigi Puricelli’s Grandfather.
Cav. Luigi Puricelli was an entrepreneur with a passion for producing material that would not impact the environment around him. Puricelli tells us “My grandfather was a pioneer, he was one of the few that 20 years ago developed a product without using phenol, he studied the material and decided to avoid phenol in our production, so the polymer we are using is phenol-free.”
As part of a close-knit Italian community, Purcelli’s motives were first and foremost to protect the surrounding environment and family and friends that lived in proximity. Puricelli continues “This is a family company, something that in Italy is very common, our name is above the factory, we are one family and there are people that are involved every day in the development of the community , so we are always judged for our perspective and how we evolve our business.”
Back in the day being ‘green’ was no easy feat – not just in production, but also in terms of product credibility. Puricelli tells us clients expected to smell phenol on delivery and were surprised at the lack of odour. “The (eco) product was not so much appreciated on the market, we only shared our information between a few colleagues and customers. Only as recently as five years ago could we see that green ecology is much more appreciated.”
“We are proud now, but in the beginning, we had to keep it hush-hush. Now we find we have 20 years experience, we have a head start, we are ready, so I am very grateful to my grandfather for his vision.”
Puricelli’s laminates can be used in many applications for kitchens and bathrooms, for the building industry, for interior and exterior cladding and for a variety of outdoor applications. Puricelli’’s main customers are working on design orientated projects where a high level of technical performance is required, for example, applications that require anti-fingerprint or anti-bacterial elements. In terms of hygiene, laminate is one of the most hygienic products available, the characteristics of laminate are well appreciated on the market and Puricelli has a new product with even better performance in this respect.
It is for these reasons Puricelli stayed operational throughout the pandemic “We were lucky, for us we had the opportunity to continue to work as our material was necessary for hospitals and other community spaces. Our customers were happy we could still produce and deliver as Italy was struggling so much in March 2020. We were sent a letter of gratitude by our customers and asked to never give up in the difficult times. I read this letter to our colleagues. At the time, we didn’t want to talk about our role in the pandemic as we understood what a difficult time it was for many.”
Looking forward Puricelli says they are well placed to work with trends we can expect to see emerge from the pandemic and explains what he believes will be prevalent “My job is to try to understand where we are best placed for the market. What I see and what I can bet on is outdoor application will be key in terms of, outdoor spaces that can be developed. In the next two or three years, design will be involved in reorganising outdoor spaces, integrating materials to reflect green spaces. Our material is well suited for this, for facades and outdoor flooring.”
So what does the future hold for Puricelli? “Our growth – for sure – we are expanding, our business philosophy is appreciated at this point in time, our Italian identity as a design-oriented company is also well received. Our materials are beautiful and well-engineered.
And the challenges? “The challenge in the next five years will be sustainability, we want to develop a recycling process for our products. We are looking at this at the moment and working on creating a product that is ready for the market.”