Matilde Carcano, one of Italy’s first female entrepreneurs, founded I.C.M.A., Industria Carte Metallizzate ed Affini (Industry of Metallic Paper and Similar), in Mandello del Lario, beginning a long history of all-female entrepreneurship.
The first work carried out by the company was the finishing and embossing of tin foil (manufactured by the company Carcano) but it quickly shifted to paper and cardboard coating and embossing to produce products for the packaging and bookbinding market. Creative and technical research enabled elegant, high-quality products to be created.
In the mid-fifties, Matilde’s daughter Elena Bianchi took the reins of Icma. With the passion for mechanics and chemistry of her husband Luigi Buzzi (the founder of CEMB), important technological innovations were introduced to the company.
Among the unforgettable machines that marked Icma’s history was the “48”, as it was affectionately known in the company, a modern coating machine that replaced the multi-arc coater (in the photo). In the 1970s, Icma began to produce flocked velvet papers using custom technology.
The entrance of Matilde Carcano’s granddaughter Silvia Buzzi into the company coincided with an increase in production, which became more flexible with the introduction of a third machine capable of coating and flocking in a modern way.
The first investments were made to reduce the company’s environmental impact: the first step was the treatment of the company’s liquid waste, which was then recycled in the production process. The chemical laboratory was extended to allow better controls and more structured research.
Silvia Buzzi established scholarships for the children of Icma and Cemb employees, in memory of her father Luigi, who had devoted his life to study and research.
In the early 2000s, Silvia Buzzi’s daughter Elena Maria Carla Torri became Marketing Manager. The fourth generation brought new momentum to the product range and investments while carefully monitoring changes in the luxury market.
During those years, the company expanded, with the purchase of a new building for production and warehouses. With the acquisition of French and Italian competitors, Icma continued to grow.
In 2009, Icma obtained FSC certification.
In 2011, Icma received the Enterprises and Social Responsibility Award for the best corporate practices in Lombardy.
In 2014, Elena MC Torri was appointed CEO and the company grew in employee numbers and market shares, doubling its turnover and investing to innovate its paper to allow beauty to go hand-in-hand with social and environmental sustainability.
In the midst of the 2020 pandemic, it became part of the B Corp® movement, becoming one of the world’s first companies in the paper industry and the first in Europe to obtain this certification.
In 2021, Icma changed its articles of association and became a Benefit Corporation: the document includes the common benefit goals that best represent the values of the Icma Manifesto, in the belief that in addition to economic targets, a company must make room for responsible choices that have a positive impact on the company, community growth, and the biosphere.
The B Corp® certification, the Rinascimento circular economy service, participation in the Treedom program, with the creation of the Letizia forest in Cameroon consisting of over 400 plants, adherence to the #iopagoifornitori campaign, the launch of the Kind collection (100% recycled papers certified with FSC Recycled Credit), are just some of the initial solid results of the 2030 Lab, an innovation workshop with a research program aimed at adopting good practices in terms of corporate, product, and process sustainability, named after the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda that inspires its projects.
ICMA’s Manifesto was drawn up: a declaration of the values, goals, and aspirations of the company, bearing the motto of its founder Matilde Carcano: “In labore fortuna”.
In October 2020, two important awards were assigned to ICMA: the Bellisario Foundation presented the company with the “Golden Apple”, the Women Value Company-Intesa Sanpaolo prize dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises that have excelled in the area of gender equality, both with policies and strategies for the development and promotion of women’s careers and with innovative and effective corporate welfare initiatives.
The Italian Institute of Packaging awarded ICMA the Best Packaging Quality Design for “Second Life”, a circular-economy project arising from a partnership between Icma, L’Oréal Italy, and Maggioni Type.
In 2021, Icma obtained the Workplace Condition Assessment (WCA) Achievement Award.
In each of the areas analyzed, Icma was given a score of 100%, as required to receive the WCA Award (compared to an average national score of 89%, an industry average of 80%, and a global average of 78%, out of a sample of 34,765 companies worldwide).
At Luxe Pack Monaco 2021 edition, Icma wins "Luxe Pack in Green" award for "Corporate Social Responsibility Approach".
In October 2021, Icma launched the new e-commerce brand Manamant: a selection of decorative papers and stationery items targeted at the world of design and creativity, as well as anyone who loves detail.