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The social cooperative CLS

With our Greenboarder we want not only to make a small contribution to eco-sustainability, but we also have social commitment at heart. Therefore the team of the social cooperative CLS in Milan, an expert in cardboard engineering, produces the Greenboarder. Here you can read more about the cooperative (in Italian).


„Being able to work in the cooperative means everything to them“

An interview with the director of the social cooperative CLS based in Milan, Livio Pagnoncelli.

Mr. Pagnoncelli, how was the cooperative born?
CLS was founded almost 30 years ago. Actually the founders where parents of children with disabilities who had the desire to find a simple but meaningful activity for their loved ones. By establishing the cooperative workshop, they not only created new jobs but also gave their children the feeling of being useful. The soul of the cooperative is definitely its president, manager of a large company and father of a disadvantaged child. About six months after the opening I joint as a director. I wanted some changes in my life, so I didn’t hesitate for long and accepted the offer.

And where does the cooperative stand today?
Today we have 54 employees and a number of internes. From all employees 36 are suffering from a disability. We have divided the workshop in three different departments: cardboard packaging, cardboard-engineering and digital printing. In the department of cardboard-production we provide a wide range of different cardboard displays for point of sale, totem as well as cardboard packaging for a variety of products. In combination with our digital print department, for example, we are able to produce the all ecofriendly and sustainable Greenboarder. Our biggest advantage is that we can produce consumer products ready to use, from the planning to the production.

Tell us about some projects you liked the most!
There are many, but definitely Greenboarder is one of those projects I’m most proud of. I’m happy that we got the chance to produce such an amazing product in our workshop and could build a long term relationship with the company Kunstdünger. Another amazing example for our cardboard projects is be the collaboration with BIC, a well-known consumer goods manufacturer, for whom we produced over 35.000 pen cases made out of cardboard.

Let us return to “Greenboarder”. How was the project born?
It was the designer Antonio Lanzillo who approached us with the concept of Greenboarder. He knew about our know-how in the field of cardboard engineering. So we talked about his idea of a packaging for traditional roll ups and the plan of creating a banner display entirely made of cardboard was born. Lanzillo didn´t have a clear idea how to produce the banner in full cardboard. Finally, with his creativity and our technical knowledge and a year of intense collaboration, we were able to create a completely eco-friendly and recyclable display-banner made of cardboard.

How does your staff feel about producing the “Greenboarder”?
Our team is not only cutting but also printing the banner. For them it doesn’t make much difference what product they are working on at the moment, they are just glad to have an activity to do and to learn new things. Many of them only have a little chance to establish social relationships in their private life, but the change of working together on project gets them super motivated. The pace of work gives them the chance to forget about their disabilities for at least a moment. On top of that they feel special to create something useful. Being able to work in the workshop means everything to them. This is why I love working with this great people and their happiness gives me a lot of joy in exchange.

What are you hopes and wishes for the future regarding the cooperative?
I hope that the cooperative will expand so we can create way more jobs for less fortuned people. The labor market in Italy till today is in a deep crisis and unfortunately the first to meet and experience this crisis often are employees of these so-called “protected categories”.





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