Lucerne, 15 June 2021

Swiss water-saving project receives Emmi Sustainability Award

Every year, Emmi presents awards for exemplary initiatives in the area of sustainability. This year’s first prize was awarded to a project implemented at the Ostermundigen production site that massively reduces the consumption of cleaning agents and water. Other prize winners came from Italy, the USA and Kirchberg.

The Emmi Sustainability Award has been run since 2012 and is now open to all around 8,700 employees in the 15 countries in which Emmi has its own presence. In addition to raising awareness of sustainability issues relevant to Emmi, such as the reduction of environmental emissions, waste, food waste and water consumption, the aim is to make a contribution to achieving the company’s sustainability goals by means of specific projects.

“The Emmi Sustainability Competition has become a fixed and important part of our agenda. The quality and number of projects submitted highlight the fact that our employees are enthusiastic about the topic and that we are able to initiate valuable projects for a more sustainable future year after year”, says Gerold Schatt, Head of Sustainability.

For this year’s motto “What was your sustainable Emmi moment? Steal with pride!”, more than 20 projects from seven countries were submitted and evaluated by a jury including internal and external experts from WWF Switzerland and the Energy Agency Swiss Private Sector (EnAW), for example. 


1st place: 65 tonnes less of cleaning agent used in Ostermundigen

The jury was most impressed by a traditional environmental protection project. At Ostermundigen, where Emmi operates its largest Swiss production facility, a reduction in the cleaning cycle time (flip) has led to a massive reduction in the consumption of water and cleaning agents. At the Ostermundigen site alone, the annual savings that can be achieved as a result add up to around 65 tonnes of cleaning agent, 6,000 m3 of water and over CHF 40,000. In addition to these remarkable figures, the jury was also impressed by the company-wide potential of this project.


2nd place: 110 tonnes less CO2 at Emmi Dessert Italia

The second prize goes to Emmi Dessert Italia, based in Gattico in Piedmont, for a holistic project that addresses several environmental issues at once. With new mobile welding machines, leaky packaging can be sealed quickly and easily. This avoids food waste and the unnecessary disposal of packaging material. The use of hot melt for cardboard packaging was also optimised. Together, these measures result in an annual reduction of 70 tonnes of CO2. A further 40 tonnes of CO2 can be saved with improved pipe insulation. In addition, 40 tonnes less waste was produced and at the same time water consumption was reduced by an impressive 12,000 m3.


3rd place: 10 % lower water consumption at Emmi Roth USA

For a wastewater project, all three production sites of Emmi Roth USA joined forces and implemented various water-saving projects in collaboration with external engineering firms and charitable organisations. The upshot is that water consumption was reduced by almost 10 % in just one year. Reason enough for the jury to award third prize to Emmi Roth USA.


“Audience’s choice” award: Emmi bee colonies

In addition to the three prize winners, an “audience choice” award determined by the staff was also presented this year. A project from the Kirchberg site received the most votes from employees: with three bee colonies on the premises of Emmi’s cheese packaging plant – embedded in a wildflower meadow – the site makes a small but valuable contribution to biodiversity – including by raising awareness among employees. The bee colonies are looked after by a hobby beekeeper from the staff on site.

Part of Emmi’s sustainability strategy

The Emmi Sustainability Award is a central component of the company’s comprehensive sustainability strategy. This aims to ensure that future generations will also be able to experience the best dairy moments and encompasses the three fields of action of employees, society and the environment. Measurable targets set up to 2027 and the netZERO 2050 vision round off Emmi’s holistic approach.  

The Emmi Sustainability Award was launched back in 2012 Emmi employees can develop and submit projects based on an annually changing sustainability theme. This is done in the belief that the involvement, commitment and knowledge of employees are the basis for reconciling sustainable growth with social and environmental aspects. 


Corporate Communications
Sibylle Umiker, spokesperson | | +41 (0)58 227 50 66

Gerold Schatt, Head Group Sustainability |


About Emmi

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, international growth 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, 8 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. Roughly half of its CHF 3.7 billion in sales – about 10 % of which stems from organic products – is generated in Switzerland, the other half abroad. Over two-thirds of its almost 8,700 employees are now currently based outside of Switzerland.