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Givaudan Story

Workshopping a new mindset

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Changing how we work to be more efficient is often seen as a need to improve processes and procedures. In truth, it often starts with developing a new mindset, stepping back and looking at issues from a fresh perspective. In 2014, Givaudan introduced a series of Energy Workshops, led by Thomas, Head of Global Engineering, Flavours. Thomas talks us through the initiative, opening our eyes to potential energy savings across the Givaudan world.  

Energy workshops

As a global company operating at over 80 sites worldwide, Givaudan’s energy costs are considerable, running into tens of millions of euros. As well as making financial savings, of equal importance in assessing our energy requirements is the need to play an active, sustainable role in making a positive difference to global energy usage.

Thomas joined Givaudan two years ago, and one of his first major initiatives was to create a workshop model for evaluating energy usage, including looking at waste and water. The workshop programme began rolling out in 2014, and to date, there have been five workshops held across the Flavour and Fragrance divisions.

Thomas gives us an insight into his objectives, based on good experience: “I bring an engineering perspective to reducing operational inefficiencies at our sites, and this feeds into our over-arching Sustainability programme, helping to reduce our CO2 footprint.”

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Methodologies and techniques

Thomas begins by explaining the set-up of the first workshop and emphasises how he takes a cross-functional approach that brings together site employees, including our Green Teams, which have been established to create viable sustainability projects: “When we launched the programme we identified Carthage, Cincinnati in North America as a good site to launch the Workshop Programme. We assembled approximately 18 people from the site including Production Managers, Line Managers, Shift Leaders, a representative from Quality, people from the shop floor, mechanics and engineers, together with Green Team members. We also invited another 15 people from other North American Givaudan sites at Devon, Edison and East Hanover. It was an invitation over four days to look at different kinds of ways of identifying potential savings, and everybody was very positive to discover new methodologies and tools.”

The workshops begin by explaining different techniques for evaluating where inefficiencies might be found, reviewing internal technical infrastructures, such as pipes and machinery, together with essential data relating to energy, waste and water. Teams are then created to review different operational technologies, in order to identify where improvements and savings might be found. Thomas again: “We get the teams to qualify and quantify their findings, to build a small business case – this takes up the next two days of the workshop. On the third evening we established a list of potential projects to present to the Regional Operational Management team. In North America we actually put together about 15 projects, so it was a very productive session.”

Thomas points to the notion of changing mindsets as the real success within the workshops: “It’s about changing behaviours really, and we actually identify some very simple solutions, such as switching off idling equipment. If we get the behaviours right, then the technical realities, and energy savings, follow. I believe that if you learn to drive a basic go-kart first, then you can invest in a Ferrari later – do the obvious, which needs little monetary investment, and then the bigger projects are easier to finance and achieve.”

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Significant savings

Brad is Regional Process Engineering Manager, based in Carthage, Cincinnati, USA. He gives positive feedback on the experience and the outcomes of the Cincinnati workshop: “In general, the energy workshop has brought awareness to our sites regarding the impact of our technical operations in energy usage. Instead of just accepting energy consumption as a given, in terms of volume units and dollars, we have begun to identify contributing factors and to take more control. The workshop has identified the need to invest in energy improvements, which has been achieved at both Devon and Carthage. Consequently, Carthage has recently just expanded an existing water recycle system, and Devon is now also implementing a water recycle system – both initiatives coming directly out of the workshop.”

Changing behaviours, changing mindsets: a mantra that can lead to a more sustainable way of doing business.