Sustainable in every detail – A conversation with Francesco Farinetti, CEO of Green Pea
From the founders of high-quality Italian food marketplaces Eataly, the first green retail park is born: Green Pea is set to become “the most authoritative stage in the world of made in Italy and green Fashion & Furniture”. CEO Francesco Farinetti shares its goals and vision, made of respect for Earth, Air, Water and People.
On a clear mission to establish new ways of consuming, Green Pea was opened in December 2020 as a place where sustainability is embedded in every tiny detail. Located in the Lingotto district of Turin, one of Italy’s most innovative cities, this is the first Green Retail Park in the world dedicated to the theme of Respect, to be observed by humans with regards to the entire eco-system we inhabit. Indeed, Green Pea makes its visitors feel in harmony with Nature, guiding them towards fully sustainable consumption choices.
Built on the idea of enjoying the beautiful side of behaving and consuming, Green Pea’s motto “From duty to beauty” becomes tangible across 5 floors. The entire building was designed to change the consumers’ relationship with energy, mobility, housing, clothing, and leisure, adopting eco-friendly measures to ensure high energy efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
DesignWanted had the opportunity to interview Francesco Farinetti, CEO of Green Pea, to discuss the vision behind the project and its implementation to establish “the most authoritative stage in the world of made in Italy and green Fashion & Furniture”, as Eataly did for food.
Green Pea is a visionary project, can you give us a hint of its inspiring manifesto?
Francesco Farinetti: “Green Pea is the first Green Retail Park in the world devoted to the theme of Respect for Earth, Air, Water and People. “Respect” is the core of our Manifesto, our litmus test through which we selected Partners with the aim of changing the paradigm of consumption. Climate change is not a mere debate, but a worrying reality.
It’s up to our choices of production and consumption to regain the lost balance with Nature. Through our conscious purchases, we can radically change our impact on the Planet. For these reasons, Green Pea was born. Green Pea’s goal is to create a place where sustainable and respectful consumption becomes simple, pleasant and beautiful.
Green Pea was created to give everything that surrounds us (including a large part of our consumption such as clothing, mobility and furniture) the same level of attention that we have been giving to food for about fifteen years. Green Pea is Eataly 2.0, the Eataly of Things: it narrates and informs about the ingredients of things, anything that is not food and that is a fundamental part of our life.“
A great effort was put into the architectural project of Green Pea’s building, what makes it sustainable?
Francesco Farinetti: “The Green Pea building was designed to be innovative and resilient, sustainable in every detail, in order to allow the structure to breathe and let breathe, in harmony with human beings and natural elements. The project developed by architects Cristiana Catino and Carlo Grometto went even further: visiting Green Pea is a bit like walking through our Manifesto, surrounded by more than 2,000 trees, plants and shrubs.
A futuristic structure that is, itself, Green Pea’s manifesto, designed as the most sustainable and beautiful building possible. For a continuous search for beauty and also for a practical purpose: being able to convey the values we believe in, making them tangible and welcoming to people, supporting our motto: “from duty to beauty”.“
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Francesco Farinetti: “The Green Pea building demonstrates the effectiveness of energy production through the use of renewable sources, ensuring high efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. The building is in fact powered by geothermal wells, photovoltaic and solar panels, elements for the collection of wind energy and for the recycling of kinetic energy.
These energy solutions are welcoming and explicit: if you want to learn more, the Green Pea Discovery Museum greets visitors with itineraries, suitable for all ages, showing how these technologies work, in the most effective way: through examples to touch by hand.”
Energy characteristics of the building:
- NZEB Nearly Zero Energy Building, Class A3
- Thermal energy produced by the geothermal system: 1,848,697.13 kWh; sanitary hot water: thermal energy requirement: 187,484.77 kWh of which 87.81% = 164,630.38 kWh from renewable sources; geothermal heating: thermal energy requirement 1,900,967,095 kWh of which 88.59% = 1,684,066.75 kWh from renewable sources, geothermal
- Electricity produced by photovoltaics: 140,530.59 kWh; lighting: electricity requirement 156,232.20 kWh of which 89.94% = 140,530.59 kWh from renewable sources, photovoltaic
- Energy not produced by Green Pea: Green certified by Iren
You host a variety of brands across Green Pea’s 5 floors, how are these companies selected?
Francesco Farinetti: “In 5 years we have selected over 100 Partners that share our same values of sustainability. In many cases, their selection has represented a path of growth for both: many of the Partners have started or intensified their journey towards green production together with us, defining concrete and measurable objectives, guaranteed by the Factory Specifications. In our contracts, we even attached our Manifesto as a contractual obligation.
Green Pea’s Partners believe in the need to produce and consume in harmony with Nature and, at the same time, work to build products in line with the principles of beauty and originality characterizing “Made in Italy”. With a clear goal: to bring “green” quality to the widest possible audience with an offer for all budgets, Pop & Top.“
On the 2nd floor, dedicated to home & design, we also find a line of products branded Green Pea: what is this collection about and how will it evolve in the future?
Francesco Farinetti: “On the Home floor, we have selected 55 of the best Italian design companies for a complete experience of sustainable living and design. Green Pea Casa is our Made in Italy furniture line with clear goals: controlling the entire supply chain to ensure the maximum pursuit of sustainability, from materials to production up to packaging, and to have a “green” offer for everyone.
For example, with the Mauro Saviola Group, we have designed a line of kitchens exclusively made of recycled wood and 100% recycled Pet upholstery, complete with household appliances produced in Italy with maximum energy efficiency, from €3,500.”
In your view, how are companies and consumers differently responsible when it comes to sustainable consumption?
Francesco Farinetti: “Those are two complementary sides of the same coin: the market economy. On the one hand, the offering and the production, which have the obligation of developing continuous research to minimize the impact of its supply chain on the planet.
On the other, the demand, the consumers, who through a process of growth and environmental awareness will increasingly shift their purchasing choices towards products and services that respect nature. Together, they must answer the same question: “Should we start to stop producing/consuming or start producing/consuming with Respect?”. With Green Pea, we try to give a concrete answer.”
What can we expect next from Green Pea? Are there any other green retail parks in development?
Francesco Farinetti: “After the opening of the first Green Pea in Turin, which will remain the only Green Pea in Italy, the development will be international-oriented, in collaboration with some of the most famous landlords in the world.
Our goal is to open 10 Green Peas in 10 years in the main capitals of the world. Italy is world-famous for its 3 “Fs”: Food, Fashion & Furniture. After Eataly for Food, with Green Pea, we want to become the most authoritative stage in the world of “made in Italy” and “green” Fashion & Furniture.”
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