Meet the E&E Award-winner: Collaboration & engagement – Melton Foods
Based on a 10-acre site in rural Leicestershire, Melton Foods has achieved the Holy Grail of inspiring staff, collaborating with customers and maximising social influence to deliver a holistic engagement programme that has led to tangible environmental impacts. Meet the winner of the Collaboration & Engagement Award...
Launched in June 2015, Melton’s ‘Cultivate’ programme was borne out of a desire for the food-to-go manufacturer and its customers to ‘do more with less’, by improving efficiencies and transforming its approach to waste management. Having already achieved zero waste to landfill, Melton Foods was keen to explore how it could further reduce its environmental impact and have a positive effect on local communities.
The project began with a ‘Discovery’ audit, conducted by Melton’s partner Veris Strategies. The audit mapped the flow of waste throughout the business, highlighting hotspots and key reduction and re-use opportunities. This benchmarking process included a stakeholder engagement ‘snapshot’ to identify particular barriers and drivers to accelerated performance.
From the audit results, Melton Foods was able to develop its new Cultivate strategy, focusing on positive re-use opportunities around food waste, surplus products and community donations. Underpinning this was a creative stakeholder engagement programme that sought to guide and drive behavioural change; inspiring employees to become more resource-efficient through interactive workshops and creative visual communication tools.
Melton was also keen to develop a stronger supply chain partnership with its primary business customer – Waitrose. The supermarket chain’s management team was given the opportunity to engage directly with supply chain workers and see the new strategy in action through a tour of the Melton Foods factory.
The ‘Cultivate’ stakeholder engagement campaign was then launched via an interactive roadshow on-site, supported and attended by Waitrose’s sustainability and ethical sourcing manager Quentin Clarke. Green fitness trainers encouraged staff members from across the business to get involved and become ‘environmentally fit’ through a range of eco-themed games, competitions and quizzes.
After enhancing supply chain transparency by promoting and facilitating this dialogue between customer, supplier and retailer, Melton Foods is now looking to pilot another factory tour with Waitrose for specific supplier sub-groups; to enhance peer engagement and promote further best practice.
Through Cultivate, Melton Foods has overcome the notorious staff engagement barrier for its sustainability programme. Six months’ on from the project’s launch, the food manufacturer has seen a 50% reduction in waste on site, with more than 70% of previously-considered ‘waste’ product now going on for further positive re-use; benefitting the local community via a network of social enterprises and charities.
A recent ‘eco survey’ carried out by Melton Foods reveals that 100% of its staff now believe it is committed to operating sustainably. As Waitrose’s Clarke concluded: “Cultivate sets a new benchmark for suppliers”.
Melton Foods has implemented a creative behaviour change campaign for staff that is focused on creating positive engagement and promoting idea generation in the business. The stakeholder engagement campaign has been well aligned with the company’s own efforts of changing processes and systems to drive sustainability.
Collaboration & Engagement: Meet the finalists
NFU Scotland / Savills
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