Emmi has been holding an annual Sustainability Competition since 2012. It is launched at the beginning of the year with a motto. Employees can then voluntarily develop projects in line with this motto. If such a project is implemented successfully, it is eligible for the Emmi Sustainability Award at the end of the year. A jury comprising internal and external experts – headed by WWF Switzerland for the last two years – evaluates the projects submitted. The awards ceremony is then held in the spring.
Voluntary sustainability commitment of international locations increasing
The interpretations of the 2018 motto “We are proactive and not afraid of hard work – together” were many and varied. The most convincing idea was to use an internal online platform to place surplus products within Emmi, thereby reducing food waste.
While the Emmi Sustainability Competition was initially a purely Swiss affair, in recent years, employees abroad have also been encouraged to develop their own voluntary sustainability projects. Seven of the 20 entries assessed by the jury this year came from abroad, which is extremely pleasing. And the quality of the entries is also increasing. An impressive water-saving project with a big impact by Vitalait (Tunisia) and a packaging project by Redwood Hill (USA) also secured places on the winners’ podium. The jury also decided to present a special Lifetime Award this year. Over the last decade, Switzerland’s largest production site in Ostermundigen has achieved impressive improvements in all key environmental indicators. Long-standing site manager Isidor Lauber and his team from Ostermundigen therefore received a special award for this.
About the Emmi Sustainability Award
No one knows a company better than its employees. Emmi has used this fact for many years to boost its efficiency and cut its costs, as Emmi Operational Excellence (EOE) is fundamentally nothing more than an extensive employee suggestion scheme.
Emmi firmly believes that the knowledge of its employees is also needed 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 6,150 people who work at Emmi.
To ensure that these foundations are laid properly, a broad understanding of sustainability must be created among employees. Besides continuous communication on smaller and larger sustainability projects along the value chain, we also use an annual sustainability motto to achieve this awareness.
Emmi is a major Swiss milk processor. The company dates back to 1907, when it was founded by 62 dairy farming cooperatives around Lucerne. Over the past 20 years, Emmi has grown into an international, listed group. It has for many years pursued a successful strategy based on three pillars: strengthening its Swiss domestic market, growth abroad and cost management. Throughout its corporate history, Emmi’s keen awareness of its responsibility to society, animal welfare and the environment has been fundamental to its mission.
In Switzerland, Emmi manufactures a comprehensive range of dairy products for its own brands and private label products for customers, including leading exports such as Emmi Caffè Latte and Kaltbach. In other countries, its products – mainly speciality products – are manufactured locally. Alongside cow’s milk, it also processes goat’s and sheep’s milk.
In Switzerland, the Emmi Group has 25 production sites. Abroad, Emmi and its subsidiaries have a presence in 14 countries, seven of which have production facilities. Emmi exports products from Switzerland to around 60 countries. Its business activities focus on the Swiss domestic market as well as western Europe and the American continent. Half of its CHF 3.5 billion in sales – over 10 % of which stems from organic products – is generated in Switzerland, the other half abroad. It has over 6,000 employees who are also spread equally between Switzerland and other countries.