Reduce, then offset
Emmi exports products to some 60 countries worldwide and has subsidiaries and holdings in 15 countries outside Switzerland, specifically in Europe, Africa, and South and North America. Such a network inevitably involves air travel. But the aim is to reduce the number of flights taken as far as possible. From now on, unavoidable business travel will be offset through financial contributions.
Emmi is made up not only of around 30 sites in Switzerland; it also has subsidiaries and holdings in 15 countries outside Switzerland. Today, only around one third of Emmi’s 8,000-plus employees work in Switzerland. In addition, Emmi exports its products from Switzerland to around 60 countries. This international setup requires a certain amount of travelling. Emmi employees in Switzerland alone generate 1,200 tonnes of CO2 each year through business travel.
Overcoming distances with modern methods of communication
It is crucial for Emmi’s future success to cultivate its internal and external network. The cross-border transfer of knowledge is especially important here. Business is built on personal relationships. That will never change. However, modern communication technologies now offer tools that build a bridge between faceless telephone calls and face-to-face meetings. To this end, we have launched an internal campaign to raise awareness of this issue in the aim of developing practicable solutions that can be implemented throughout the group of companies in spite of their differing stages of technological development and IT infrastructures.
Eco-brains travel by train
While modern methods of communication can offer a solution for administrative and organisational matters, when it comes to production there are many things that are best dealt with in person – that is, on site. Whereas before the saying “time is money” was frequently used as justification for taking a business trip by plane, nowadays travelling by train is an increasingly viable alternative, especially within continental Europe. The time effectively saved is decreasing due to growing uncertainties surrounding air travel and ramped-up security checks. Added to this, trains score points with the better and better conditions they offer for mobile working. Emmi will therefore be taking a more restrictive approach to internal European flights going forward.
Investing the offset payments where they make the greatest difference
Beginning this year Emmi will offset emissions from unavoidable business travel through financial contributions. Emmi has teamed up with myclimate for this purpose. The international foundation with roots in Switzerland aims to promote climate protection by creating a voluntary carbon market.
With that in mind, it was important for Emmi to support a project that enjoys a high degree of credibility. The selected project to generate power from FSC wood waste in the Amazon meets the requirements of the so-called Gold Standard.
The project in Itacoatiara, a small town in the Brazilian Amazon, is the first in the world that issues emission certificates on the basis of sustainably harvested biomass from forest management certified according to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The wood-chip fired power plant with an electrical output of 9 MW is located at the sawmill of the company Precious Woods. The project saves between 10-15 million litres of diesel per year.