Apprentices Grow with Initiative and Creative Ideas – The Emmi Company Challenge

Insulation for steam pipes, tree saplings for employees and a focus on better logistics – Emmi apprentices have discovered potential for greater sustainability, better energy use and more climate protection in very different areas of the company. In the course of the Emmi Company Challenge, the first of its kind, not only were these opportunities discovered, but specific projects were designed and implemented. These were then presented in a celebratory atmosphere at the final event in Lucerne, and two teams received special awards.

Maxi Grebe, myclimate Education Area Manager; with the winners of the Emmi Company Challenge audience prize, Alessia Salerno and Sandro Hirschi; and Konrad Graber, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Emmi (from left). Absent: Raphaela Heim. p: C. Arnet

A total of 75 apprentices from eleven apprenticeship areas took part in the Emmi Company Challenge and submitted 17 projects. The goals of the projects were predefined: to save energy, promote energy efficiency within the company, raise awareness among employees or otherwise help to reduce greenhouse gases. At the final event in the Forum at the Messe Lucerne exhibition and conference centre, Konrad Graber, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Emmi, praised the participating trainees for their efforts and personally awarded the two winning teams their prizes.

Audience prize for trees, main prize for increased safety and reduced energy loss thanks to pipe insulation

There was great joy for Jana Gerber and Priska Wirz. With their «Insulation of steam pipes» project, the two apprentices not only improved energy performance at the Dagmersellen location but also in-house safety. With the help of employees at the site, they located and analysed uninsulated steam pipes. As a consequence, they were able to instigate the insulation of around seven additional metres of pipe, resulting in energy savings of about 50 megawatt hours per year. One of these newly insulated pipes also passes through a refrigerated room. In addition to the reduced heat loss, cooling energy can also be saved there.

The special audience prize went to the «We're planting a forest» project by Alessia Salerno, Raphaela Heim and Sandro Hirschi. They intend to reduce the carbon footprint of the Ostermundigen location with the help of all employees. To do this, all employees are receiving a tree sapling to plant at home. In total, over 600 trees are to be planted as a result. Three "pilot trees" are already growing in the Emmi grounds in Ostermundigen. The project was also publicised in the region using various communication measures.

The Emmi Company Challenge

The Emmi Company Challenge is Switzerland's first internal company apprentice competition relating to climate protection and energy efficiency. The project started in 2017 with a site visit and a training workshop by myclimate experts, in which the principles and project ideas were developed. Specific projects emerged from the ideas, e.g. relating to the use of more efficient LED bulbs, the reduction of (hot) water consumption, production lines and process optimisations and the promotion of car sharing.

«The Company Challenge gives our apprentices the opportunity to take the initiative and come up with creative ideas. This allows them to grow. In addition, the resulting projects reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency at our production sites», says Marc Heim, Head of the Switzerland Division at Emmi.

All participating apprentices are also taking part in the national competition of the myclimate Energy and Climate Laboratory. In June, the award ceremony of the longest-running myclimate education project will provide an additional platform for their project ideas.

More about the Company Challenge

More about the Energy and Climate Laboratory

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