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Reference case – Danone Rotselaar

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Sustainable waste and materials management for Danone Rotselaar with RPB's sorting courses

Danone is a food company specializing in dairy products and yogurt. Since the XNUMXs, Danone has had a production unit in Belgium, which today is one of Danone's flagships.

 

Danone Rotselaar is the largest yogurt production site in Europe with many assets that have proven their worth for decades: the ideal location in the heart of Europe, well-trained staff and fresh milk of high quality from the nearby dairy farms. Their specialty? Drinking yoghurts in 100 ml bottles.

 

The factory is one of the most innovative, people-oriented and environmentally conscious factories. With their brand new slogan 'One Planet. OneHealth.' Danone reflects its vision: human health and the health of the planet are connected.

The road to sustainable waste and materials management

With this slogan in mind, Danone has been making great efforts for many years to correctly sort their used materials in order to use natural raw materials as sustainably as possible. Nevertheless, Danone noted that there are still countless possibilities for better sorting and for removing more materials from residual waste.

 

Together with its employees, the company strives for a zero waste environment. This means designing products and managing processes to systematically avoid and remove not only the quantity, but also the toxicity of waste and material. For example, resources are preserved and restored instead of being burned.

 

This sustainable and environmentally conscious mentality is not always self-evident to apply. To ensure that this mentality lives in all layers of the organization, Danone went looking for a strategic partner to work with them to make waste management more sustainable and to attract as many employees as possible to the sustainable cart and to strive for a zero waste environment.

A reliable partner for a sustainable environment

Danone had a clear goal in mind in its search for the right partner: the organization they would work with had to focus on sustainability, with expertise in waste valorisation, internal organization and the legal framework.

 

Recycling Partners Belgium (RPB) was the ideal fit. RPB acts as a central waste and materials manager, unburdening organizations such as Danone. Together with Danone, RPB set to work, step by step.

 

In collaboration with the environmental coordinator of Danone Rotselaar, they started work on the waste policy and its practical implementation. At the start of the collaboration, a Quickscan was performed of the waste management and various optimizations were identified, on which Danone and RPB then work together with a view to reducing residual waste, increasing recycling scores and cost efficiency. The role and expertise of the local and/or specialized collectors and processors appointed by RPB is crucial in this regard.

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Perfect waste and materials management does not exist because it is highly dependent on circumstances and human behaviour, but together with our customer we strive for better every day, step by step, fraction by fraction, fiber by fiber. Clear policies and widely supported sorting instructions and training are an essential part of this process.

Stijn Smetsers
Partner at RPB

Sorting training to raise awareness among employees

An important part of this entire process was not only the sorting instructions and tests, but also the associated training. Sorting and recycling waste is a daily task within Danone's production and logistics. Through the sorting training, RPB involves the employees who are effectively involved in Danone's materials process.

RPB provided 8 training courses on all Danone production shifts. The training was also given during the weekend and at night, in order to inform each of the 45 Danone employees involved in the material process about these new sorting instructions and tests. The purpose of these training courses is to inform and raise awareness among staff about the need for sorting at source. In this way, as much material as possible can be recycled in the simplest possible way and it does not have to be incinerated.

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This sorting training is also important to show our people, who collect the waste and material flows on a daily basis, how important their task is. This is often underestimated, as is the impact of incorrect sorting.

Griet Lambrechts
Environmental Coordinator, Department EHSF
Danone Rotselaar

Well-trained employees with sorting knowledge and insight into the recycling process ensure the success factor in the process towards a zero waste environment. Thanks to the collaboration between RPB and Danone, the Danone Rotselaar factory is again one step closer to its goal!

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