Published on 09 Jun 2022

  • Opportunity
  • Business setup
  • Chemicals, environment, ecotechnology, energy
  • Circular economy
  • Industry
  • Lyon Metropolitan Area

Good news for the CleanTech sector! In late May 2022, Italian group Saviola, a global leader in the production of panels made from 100% recycled wood, inaugurated its new subsidiary: Valecobois Rhône-Alpes. Here’s how it decided to open a site in Givors, a project assisted by Aderly since 2016.

The Saviola Group’s presence in France dates back to 2002, when it created the company Valecobois. Its new facility is located in Givors, in the southern part of the Lyon metropolitan area. In 2019, it created a new subsidiary: Valecobois Rhône-Alpes, to manage and develop its wood waste trade and processing business in the region.

Valecobois Rhône-Alpes, a new player in the wood waste recycling industry in the Lyon area

1.2 million tons: that’s how much wood waste is transformed every year by the Italian Saviola Group, founded in 1992. As a concrete example of the circular economy, the group collects, cleans and processes wood to make particleboard sheets, which are then used by hundreds of furniture manufacturers around the world.

The business of subsidiary Valecobois Rhône-Alpes consists of trading in and processing wood waste. In practical terms, the facility in Givors makes wood chips out of wood waste, to be reused in making particleboard. At maximum capacity, the facility will be able to handle 30,000 tons of waste per year. After processing, the wood chips are shipped to the Saviola Group’s particleboard production plants.

This means that the new Valecobois Rhône-Alpes facility has the potential to:

  • recycle wood waste for the production of new products made from recycled materials (off-site) with a low environmental impact;
  • create a new wood waste recycling industry at the local level, thereby contributing to the Lyon metropolitan area’s circular economy.

The opening of Valecobois Rhône-Alpes: a project facilitated by Aderly

The story of Valecobois Rhône-Alpes begins with a meeting, between Saviola and Aderly (Invest In Lyon), at the Cleantech Forum in Florence, Italy in 2016. Our experts attending the event encouraged the company to open a facility in the Lyon region.

The Invest in Lyon team assisted and guided us during the planning and implementation of the project. (...) (...) We collaborated with an excellent team, including Ms Marie-Laure Alonso, who was our main contact person, according to staff from Valecobois.

For over two and a half years, discussions mainly focused on the ideal location for Valecobois Rhône-Alpes. In the end, Givors was selected from the numerous industrial parks available in the Lyon area. The renovation and development project of the 0.9 hectare site began in May 2021, so that the facility could be opened a year later.

Givors: a strategic location for Valecobois

Valecobois had several reasons for locating their new facility in the Lyon metropolitan area, and more specifically in Lônes and Coteaux du Rhône.

The Givors location:

  • guarantees a steady supply of waste, a crucial point for a company specialising in environmental technologies and recycling;
  • facilitates canvassing, as it is close to the Gier Valley and the gateway to the Loire region;
  • provides easy access, as it is close to motorways (A47, A42 and A43) and a railway.

The property also had the advantage of being a disused industrial site, which still had buildings on it. Choosing this strategic location meant being able to reuse land that was already built up (though non-maintained), without encroaching on natural areas.

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