Tradition and innovation. It is in the merger of these two ideas that one can understand the history of the FECS Group, which is a tale of how, over more than two decades ago, a spark of an idea was turned into the foundation for creating a market leader in a key contemporary industry. Today, the FECS Group is a critical part of the circular economy, recovering, treating and recycling scrap metal, with its plants temporarily hosting one of the most important materials in the contemporary world - aluminium.
This metal is a core material in consumer electronics and a host of other industries (including transport, construction and metalworking, to name but a few), and each year the Group's plants near Bergamo handle thousands of tons of it, turning it into ingots and other high-quality items that can be returned to the manufacturing cycle in an almost infinite circular process. This reduction in waste and land consumption can be equated to the FECS Group planting thousands of trees annually, which has evident benefits for the environment through reduced CO2 emissions.
The figures for the FECS Group are highly impressive: each year, over 160,000 tons of scrap metal are handled using state-of-the-art crushing and sorting processes based on linear motors and specific-weight sink-float separation at two recently built plants. This means in excess of 65,000 tons of raw material, in the form of ingots, becomes ready to return to the aluminium circular economy and an additional 70,000 tons of semi-finished products can be sold on the secondary aluminium market. Perhaps the best example to translate the impact of such a circular economy into everyday life is the fact that over 7 million mocha coffee pots are made in Italy each year using recycled aluminium. And this aluminium could easily come from FECS Group plants.
Italy is at the forefront of the aluminium circular economy in Europe. And it is a major market. For example, STEMIN S.p.A., which is the Group company that deals with the first stage of the process, has total revenues exceeding €130 million, while for the FECS Group as a whole, the equivalent figure can be as high as €300 million. Over 40 per cent of the recovered aluminium is exported to three continents and over 15 countries, with other Group companies - Radiatori 2000 and IMT Italia - selling their products just as broadly.
Today, the FECS Group has over 280 employees and it is a market leader in Europe, but much of its current success can be traced to the company's founder and chairman, Olivo Foglieni, and the team he has worked with over the first 20 plus years. Right from the beginning, he believed in the land of his birth and in a virtuous economy - in this case a circular economy - and so he built a sustainable plant of more than 60,000 square metres that houses STEMIN S.p.A. The company's contribution to saving the planet is not limited to recycling aluminium as over 70 per cent of the power it uses for processing comes from a photovoltaic installation housed on the roof of the plant.
The partnership with illimity began in 2019 through IMT Italia S.p.A., which is one of the holdings in the Group. This company's industrial vision looks beyond the short term, with core values built not only on the economic growth of the FECS Group, but also on the development of the local area, a focus on research and environmental respect.
So far, the practical shape of this partnership has taken the form of a factoring transaction worth 14 million.