Fila celebrates first 70 years as Green Action plan secures the next 70

Italian stone care product company Fila marked its 70th anniversary in June by inviting some of its leading customers from around the world to join it at its headquarters near Venice to celebrate the landmark.

Those from the UK included Matt Williams from Tops Tiles, Richard Friebe of W B Simpson & Sons (Midlands) and Catherine Hughes from Mandarin. They were guests of Lisa Breakspear, who heads Fila in the UK and last year delivered for the company its biggest market outside of Italy.

The guests came from all over Europe, the United States and Canada and the Arab Emirates, where Fila also has branches, and some of the other 60 countries around the World where Fila products are sold.

The guests were given a tour of Fila’s factory in the town of San Martino di Lupari, where the company was formed and its headquarters and factory remain. To mark the anniversary it has also opened a museum there, tracing its history from its early days producing shoe polish and household detergents during World War II.

Brothers Guido and Pietro Pettenon founded their business as Fabbrica Italiana di Lucidi e Affini, a name which has since been slimmed down to its more manageable acronym of Fila.

The company is still run by the family and since 1970 has been headed by the current President, Beniamino Pettenon, who has moved it into the production of specialist products for treating floors and walls of natural stone and ceramics.

“We are proud to celebrate our 70th anniversary with the achievement of many prestigious goals,” said Beniamino Pettenon when he welcomed the international gathering to his factory. “I am happy to share them with all our collaborators, because the strength of our company also lies in the professionalism and enthusiasm of the people who work with us every day. We aim to grow further in order to be increasingly closer to our clients, to exceed their expectations and provide them with an even better service.”

Fila invests 10% of its turnover on Research & Development to produce products such as MP90-ECO surface protector, which was one of the new products shown by Fila in the UK at the Natural Stone Show in May. It is a solvent-free product that leaves a surface ready to use in just four hours. Lisa Breakspear says: “Compromise is one of the problems with some companies’ solvent-free products. With MP90-ECO there is no compromise.”

She says solvent free products are part of the Fila Green Action programme, which aims to make the whole operation of the company more environmentally friendly. As part of the programme a 100kW photovoltaic electricity generating system was switched on last September. It means all the company’s energy needs are met by green solar energy.

Fila products have been used to protect the stone in some of the World’s most significant construction projects. One of the latest is the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, where more than 450,000m² of pale beige Chauvigny Turkish limestone has been sealed with Fila products.