Annual Health, Safety & Environment Awards recognise innovation and individuals across our businesses

01 Feb 2023

The results are in for the 2022 Health, Safety & Environment Awards. Once again, ABFI’s businesses submitted an outstanding variety of ideas that improve health, safety and the environment.

Jay Dhillon, ABFI Safety, Risk and Sustainability Director and one of the judges, explains the importance of the awards, “The HS&E Awards celebrate a wealth of innovative projects that deliver ever-improving safety and risk reduction levels. Environmental submissions also emphasise the importance of being a good neighbour to the communities in which we operate. Crucially, the awards allow us to share these ideas with all the businesses across ABFI so that we may all learn from each other.”

Those recognised as Outstanding or Most Outstanding have been awarded money to donate to a charity or cause within their local community.

Most Outstanding Safety Performance

PGP International have continued to improve their safety culture thanks to a combination of learning efforts. PGP Values and Mission were reviewed and integrated into Performance Reviews, and all operational managers were trained to help ingrain behaviours and ensure their safety culture continues to be automatic and habitual. Managers and key personnel also participated in a NEBOSH Pilot Programme where they discussed safety practices and explored opportunities to close gaps and review procedures. In particular, this programme enabled them to adjust training according to different employees’ learning styles and abilities.

Furthermore, middle management have been provided with courses to help develop soft skills such as Giving Feedback and Conflict Resolution while the Health & Safety team participated in ergonomics and risk assessment training to help them support employees better. PGP have embedded a safety culture and climate that cares for employees, families and communities.

Most Outstanding Safety Ambassador

With a dedicated career spanning over 20 years at AB Enzymes, Senior Research Scientist and R&D HSE Coordinator Ruth Scherdtfeger was recognised as Most Outstanding in the Safety Ambassador category for her steadfast commitment to improving and upgrading HSE systems and practices. Ruth played a vital role in designing and implementing the AB Enzymes strategic roadmap for improving HSE practices. She actively promotes continuous improvement in this area by coordinating flash audits that document and assess opportunities for HSE improvement.

Most Outstanding Safety Innovation

The team at PGP International was awarded Most Outstanding in the Safety Innovation category for their Hazard Hunt initiative, which asks employees to report potential hazards directly to managers through an app. This means PGP International can identify potential hazards in real-time and not just as part of scheduled audits. Following the rollout of the Hazard Hunt, risks are identified and remedied faster, and the project facilitates the opportunity to share findings and apply learnings across both their sites in the US.

Most Outstanding Environment Performance

Ohly's project to introduce their first carbon-neutral products received this year's Most Outstanding award for Environment Performance. Ohly’s customers can now choose certified carbon-neutral versions of powerful natural yeast ingredient OHLY® FLAV-R-MAX, classic yeast extract OHLY® FLAV-R-BASE 19 and yeast-based bionutrients ingredient X-SEED® KAF. With a focus on 'doing the right thing' at its core, the Ohly business has also committed to operating its Hamburg site as net zero by 2030.

Most Outstanding Environment Ambassador

Engineers, Simeon Pesch and Robert Hiessl successfully sourced and installed two new exhaust gas treatment plants at Ohly's Hamburg site last year to enable increased production volumes whilst also significantly reducing odour pollution in neighbouring residential areas. With the new plants in place, Ohly can now operate with odour emissions well below legal limits. Not only are they meeting their commitment to being a good neighbour, but Ohly is now well positioned for future production expansion or tightening of regulations. In addition to achieving the odour targets, the plants were selected and installed with a view to keeping energy, water and chemical consumption low. Particular attention was also paid to noise reduction measures and workplace safety.

Most Outstanding Environment Innovation

The introduction of a new container tilting system at our SPI Pharma facility in Septèmes, France was considered our most outstanding environmental innovation last year. This relatively simple solution gradually tilts the containers as the liquid contents are used up so that every last drop of liquid cleaner can be emptied. Previously, 10% of the liquid could not be accessed or used, resulting in expensive waste and persistent risk of dangerous spillage. The containers could not be sent for reuse before either - they had to be sent for special waste treatment at additional cost. With their new container tilting system, the team at SPI Pharma have reduced waste, cut costs and improved safety.

Welcoming a new judge

Terry Doyle, Operations Programme Director at ABFI, joined the Senior Leadership Team judging panel this year. He said, “This awards programme is an exceptional initiative encouraging everyone across ABFI to engage and think about how health, safety and sustainability can improve their business. The quality of projects delivered by our talented teams and individuals made the decision process incredibly difficult — any of the submissions could have been winners. I was impressed by the diversity and richness of the submissions, which can now be shared to improve HS&E best practices across both ABFI and the wider ABF group.”