Celebrating excellence in health, safety and environmental innovation and leadership

01 Feb 2024

ABF Ingredients (ABFI) has announced the six annual Health, Safety & Environment Awards winners for 2023. Across the group, businesses nominated projects and individuals that have improved health, safety and the environment. They were all reviewed by a panel of judges to identify the Outstanding and Most Outstanding  submissions in each category.

Jay Dhillon, ABFI Safety, Risk and Sustainability Director and one of the judges, explains the importance of the awards, “These annual awards recognise and celebrate innovative projects that enhance safety, reduce risks, and identify environmental improvements across the ABFI group. They provide a chance to share ideas with all the ABFI businesses, enabling us to learn from one another. While we celebrate the Most Outstanding individuals and projects, we commend all the entries, which were fantastic examples of health, safety, and environmental best practices.

The range of winning projects in 2023 is particularly notable, from embracing a digital-first approach to safety management at AB Enzymes to a more conventional yet similarly effective poster campaign at Ohly. A focus on finding new carbon efficiencies at AB Enzymes caught the judges’ attention, and waste and noise reductions were recognised at PGP International and Ohly, respectively.

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

Most Outstanding Environmental Performance

AB Enzymes’ manufacturing partner in Finland, Roal Oy, clinched the Most Outstanding Environmental Performance award for its continuous efforts to improve carbon reductions by finding energy efficiencies, improving yields, and reducing waste in the enzyme fermentation process. While the team has consistently improved their environmental performance since 2011 by producing more enzymes with fewer resources, the work in 2023 focussed specifically on energy reductions by identifying improvements in technical design, processes, and materials. Over the last 13 years, their numerous incremental enhancements have increased fermentation yield by 3% each fiscal year.  This has resulted in an annual energy saving equivalent to 245 tons of CO2, along with water consumption decreasing by more than 4000m3 and raw material usage by 50,000kg.

Most Outstanding Environmental Ambassador 

PGP International’s Francisco Estrella won the Most Outstanding Environmental Ambassador award for supporting both PGP International sites in the USA with waste reductions and efficiencies.  Francisco’s focus in 2023 was waste elimination within the extruder process, starting with the ingredient and product waste on the production floor and then expanding to waste reductions throughout operations.  The wide-ranging measures included container modifications and production process improvements to reduce spillages and waste.

Most Outstanding Environmental Innovation

The Most Outstanding Environmental Innovation award went to Ohly for reducing noise in its evaporative cooling systems. In 2023, Ohly installed dampeners to reduce the waterfall noise inside the cooling units, resulting in a 70% intensity reduction, helping Ohly to be a good neighbour in its community and meet noise emission limits during the construction of its new facilities.

Most Outstanding Safety Ambassador

Jan-Malte, a Safety Officer at Ohly, created the Be Safe Kids campaign, a series of posters featuring images of employees’ children dressed in PPE to remind staff about good safety behaviours at work, specifically, hazard prevention. Jan-Malte’s approach connected with the team on an emotional and personal level to deliver an impactful safety message: keep yourselves and each other safe for the sake of children. The powerful campaign supports a robust safety culture at Ohly, where ‘doing the right thing’ is a core value.

Most Outstanding Safety Innovation

In 2023, AB Enzymes’ manufacturing partner in Finland, Roal Oy, implemented three digital safety management tools to improve data control and sharing, making work permits and risk assessments more efficient than they had been with the manual processes and basic IT tools previously used. The new Digitalised Work Permit Management System has improved decision-making processes, heightened situational awareness, and decreased potentially hazardous situations. Having centralised databases to store essential information also means it can be distributed more efficiently.