Manufacturers, packaging companies, retailers, governments and consumers... we all struggle to meet the challenges of sustainability. Things need to improve – that much is clear. But how? We set out to find answers in the ‘jungle of sustainability’. In the third part of this series we talk to Erik Bunge, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Benelux, which is part of one of the world's largest and leading paper and cardboard producers. Above all, Erik advocates an innovative approach to the issue of waste, whether it concerns paper, plastic or any other aspect.
Constantly safety and environmental awareness
Monique Donkers is QESH Manager at Vetipak. QESH stands for Quality, Environment, Safety and Health. Like no other, Monique has gotten involved in those themes, enabling them to not to let them go.
Originally Monique is a food technologist. From that background, she has gained a lot of experience as a Quality Manager. Later she followed training and courses and courses to gain expertise in other areas as well. “Whatever the theme is, the Plan-Do-Check-Act-cycle continues to recur. It is always about improvements,” explains Monique by herself. “My most important task? Advise the organization solicited and unsolicited, so that everyone remains sharp?”
According to Monique, quality and food safety are logical for everyone within Vetipak. “Otherwise we would simply have no customers and therefore no future. But in addition to the safety of our products the safety of our own people is just as important.”
Safe and healthy workplace
Under the leadership of Monique, we are careful with our employees. Through this way, a safe and healthy workplace gets a lot of attention. “We set high requirements for our people, because we desperately need everyone. And of course we also want to keep them fit and healthy inboard for a long time. Many have to do physically heavy work and continue to work until they are 67 of 68 years old. Even though they sometimes find safety and health regulations not that important by themselves.”
““We set high requirements for our people””
Monique Donkers, QESH (Quality, Environment, Safety and Health) manager at Vetipak
A critical look
As a QESH Manager it is essential to be critical. And that is Monique. In her profession, but also in herself and the organization. “We may not be a predecessor when it comes to the environment, but we are certainly not standing still either. For example; we switched to LED lighting and energy saving airco’s. With our customers we look at the possibilities of sustainable packaging material. Many plastics are not recyclable, but mono materials and paper are. We are taking more and bigger steps in that area.”
Within Vetipak, quality awareness is high and the organization is alert, partly thanks to Monique. We also quickly adapt to changing laws and regulations. “We are doing very well. For example; since last year we have a large internal audit team. Together with them we take a close look at our departments, looking for areas for improvement. In that way we will never stand still.”
“We always look at the possibilities of sustainable packaging material”
Monique notices that our policy and our dedication is really paying off. The is enough to be proud of, according to the QESH Manager. “We score high in customer audits and certifications. We also receive many compliments from clients about our quality management system. And not unimportantly: there are hardly any complaints about our products and services..”
Monique is also very satisfied internally. “Workplaces are becoming safer, new systems are being embraced and we do a lot of prevention. And the awareness among employees is growing. That is our biggest gain. In terms of safety, it is already good, but we can still make progress in the area of the environment. I will continue to focus on that in the next few years.”
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