No one knows a company better than its employees. We have used this fact for many years to boost its efficiency and cut its costs. After all, Emmi Operational Excellence (EOE) is fundamentally nothing more than an extensive employee suggestion scheme.
We are convinced that the knowledge of its employees is also necessary to make the company more sustainable, because in addition to the four priorities that are managed top-down, the foundations for many aspects of sustainability in the company’s daily operations are set by the 5,700 people who work at Emmi.
To ensure that these foundations are set properly, a broad understanding of sustainability must be created among employees. Besides continuous communication around smaller and larger sustainability projects along the value chain, we also use an annual sustainability motto to achieve this awareness.
2019: Our most sustainable Emmi moments
Companies are often managed using quantitative targets – sales, profit and profitability. These are important for Emmi as well. But, for us, quality is of equal if not even greater importance. By this we mean not just quality of our products, but also the quality of relationships within the workforce, with customers, with suppliers and consumers. This quality is difficult to measure. But it can be identified at special moments. We as a company want to make a targeted effort to create such moments. And that includes the area of sustainability. That is why we asked our employees: “What is your sustainable Emmi moment?"
Environmentally friendly yogurt pot
Emmi’s Swiss facilities alone use around 600 million yogurt pots each year. For the sake of the environment, it's time to take a critical look at what we can do to improve the status quo. With immediate effect, Emmi is therefore using a new paper and biopolymer pot on a trial basis, which produces 60 % less CO2emissions than a conventional pot.Learn more
Suhr (CH): Cooling project with potential multiplier effect
Cooling and heating processes are the major energy consumers in milk processing. Optimisations in this area require a great deal of detailed knowledge and expertise. In Suhr power consumption was reduced by three percent within the space of just one year.Learn more
Molkerei Biedermann (CH): "Nothing on top" could set a new precedent
Molkerei Biedermann is now dispensing with the plastic resealable lid on its popular Bio-Lassi. In its place, a sipping hole has been integrated into the seal. This saves around 2.2 tons of plastic per year.Learn more
Kaiku (ESP): Focus on organic waste
The wastewater produced by a dairy always contains large amounts of organic waste. These are filtered out and recycled or disposed of separately. At Lácteos de Navarra (“Kaiku”), the water content of this sludge has been massively reduced, halving freight and reducing disposal costs by around 75,000 euros a year.Learn more
Dagmersellen (CH): Awareness campaign
Everyone can do their bit to protect the climate. Planting a tree is one option. The Dagmersellen site shined a spotlight on this initiative at various other Emmi locations in Switzerland as part of its tree gifting and planting campaign.Learn more
2018: We are proactive and not afraid of hard work – together
Only together can we achieve our targets. In 2018, Emmi therefore deliberately focused on cooperation – within the team, and across disciplines and countries. The Sustainability Competition looked for projects in which collective strength was used to promote Emmi in a sustainable manner in various respects and the company’s greatest experts were brought together.
winning project and employees’ choice
Switzerland: Together against food waste
Emmi’s Swiss operations generate over 13,000 tonnes of food waste every year. Although almost two thirds is used as animal feed, it is still waste. An online platform now places surplus products. Around 90 % of the goods on offer were placed instead of being disposed of.Learn more
Mahdia (TUN): Optimising water consumption
Scarcity of water is a persistent problem in North Africa. The extensive measures taken by Tunisian company Vitalait to reduce fresh water consumption are therefore highly commendable. The annual water savings of 175,000 m³ are accompanied by cost savings of almost CHF 100,000.Learn more
Sebastopol (USA): Solving the plastic problem, step by step
Although large quantities of plastic waste are an issue in many countries, very few alternatives are used for food packaging. One intermediate step is to minimise the use of plastic by using smart packaging, such as the three-component pot (K3) established in Switzerland. Californian company Redwood Hill has also opted for this practical improvement, which reduces plastic consumption by 40 tonnes a year.Learn more
2017: We are proactive, and not afraid of hard work – with focus
For the past ten years or so, Emmi’s culture has been expressed through five corporate values. “We are proactive (and not afraid of hard work)!” This value guarantees that Emmi tackles challenges bravely, openly and proactively. For all the challenges to be tackled, however, the importance of focusing on the essentials must never be forgotten. Emmi therefore sees 2017 as a year for focusing its activities across the board – not only with regard to sustainability. For example, this motto can be construed in the context of resource savings or leaner processes and product ranges.
When it comes to saving energy, nobody has as much staying power as the employees in Suhr. In 2017 alone, electricity consumption was reduced by 700,000 kWh.Learn more
Zollikofen: reduction of oil consumption
Thanks to considerable appreciation of detail and persistence, the Zollikofen cheese-ageing facility has been able to modify an old, partially defective system to use less than half of the oil it did previously.Learn more
Emmi UK: focussed employees
Employees at our London office decided on a physical fitness programme to ensure they were able to tackle the challenges of the food industry with even greater vigour.Learn more
Kirchberg: Replacement of refrigeration system
Rather than simply replacing a 45-year-old refrigeration system with a newer model, a solution was sought in Kirchberg that takes both economic and environmental considerations into account.Learn more
2016: In motion at Emmi!
It’s not just Emmi that has a lot going on. The company is also constantly changing. One reason for this is a clearly defined growth strategy that is attracting an increasing number of new companies to the Emmi family. Another relates to major projects, such as the introduction of SAP. The changes are challenging Emmi employees at all levels, as they must demonstrate flexibility and support change or even initiate it themselves. In line with the company’s sustainability motto “In motion at Emmi!”, projects were sought that are conducive to physical, mental or structural flexibility.
The price pressure on milk products is very high in many places. The product development, procurement and marketing units within the Onken teams at Emmi Deutschland and Emmi UK focused on analysing and optimising the entire Onken concept. Without compromising on quality, the “Onken radical” project delivered massive cost reductions. As a result, this project not only makes economic sense but also helps protect the environment and avoid waste.Learn more
Langnau site: new working hours model
At the Langnau site in Emmental, Emmi chiefly manufactures fondue as well as processed cheese slices. Since demand for fondue is highly seasonal, Emmi had to find a solution to secure the availability of their workforce in a way that takes account of the seasonal nature of fondue production. To retain key Emmi expertise and protect as many jobs as possible, a new working hours model was developed in which weekly working hours vary depending on the season.Learn more
Ostermundigen site: dynamic product loss management
Product losses during production are a key area of focus in Emmi’s commitment to sustainability. Such losses are visible in both waste and wastewater. At Emmi’s largest Swiss production site, in Ostermundigen, Berne, sensors in the wastewater now not only register product losses or discrepancies in wastewater quality but also report them automatically.Learn more
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