“Making decisions with the future in mind”

Making our Tumba site as environmentally friendly as possible is high on DeLaval’s agenda. To enforce this, the local Tumba Environmental Committee works determinedly to reach our goals. In this article, you will learn more about all the great things they do.

The Tumba Environmental Committee consists of members from different departments who together work with reducing our environmental impact and improve our performance in Tumba. There are four major topics that are being addressed, which are 1) energy consumption, 2) heating, 3) chemical use, and 4) waste. For each topic, the environmental committee proposes targets and actions to the management team, collects and reports results, does continuous follow-ups, identifies the need for training, makes sure audits are conducted, and much more.

The members of the committee are Kenneth Hermansson, Quality Management Systems Manager, Lena Ydebrink, Internal Service Team Leader, Johnny Frisk, Site Service Specialist, Lotta Ekberg, Hamra Conference Team Leader, Thomas Tschee, Senior Quality Engineer, and AnnLouise Hörberg, System Tester.

From the left: Kenneth Hermansson, Lena Ydebrink, AnnLouise Hörberg, Thomas Tschee, Lotta Ekberg, and Johnny Frisk.

“We have a good mix of people and departments in our committee as there are environmental impacts from across the whole organisation in some way. This is vital, as this provides insights and knowledge from all our business and daily operations. It is of course also important that the members have an interest in environmental sustainability,” says Kenneth Hermansson, who started his career at DeLaval during the days of Alfa Laval Agri.  

All members of the committee have very long experience working at DeLaval, which means that they have a good insight into how the business operates. Throughout the years, the Tumba Environmental Committee has been directly responsible for improvements made at the site. “We have made some significant changes in many areas. For one, we have made sure to use renewable energy in both the factory and the office building, as well as decrease the use of electricity,” says Thomas Tschee.

Working with sustainability is a complex subject, as there are many factors that affect the impact on the environment. The committee must have a good knowledge of all the current laws and regulations across the globe that could affect the Tumba site. All regulations are closely monitored and if any actions need to be taken, they are. When possible, the Tumba site establishes valuable and local partnerships to improve our sustainability actions. “We have a partnership with RP Möbler in Södertälje that rebuild and mend office desks for us. We reuse the metal structure of the desk but fit it with a new tabletop. This way we can reduce our spending, material use, and climate impact all at once,” says Lena Ydebrink.

“We continuously make improvements in our office to mitigate our climate impact, both big and small projects. We have replaced all the windows in the office to ensure better insulation, thus reducing the use of heating and energy consumption. This is especially noticed during the colder months here in Sweden. In parallel to this, we have replaced our lights with LED, which are more energy efficient,” says Johnny Frisk. “These are some of the many things we are doing on a daily basis to make our Tumba site more sustainable.”

“DeLaval has made sure to have an office supplier that has green products. Not only are the products themselves more sustainably produced, but we consider the distribution as well. We have a policy that we buy supplies in bulk, which results in fewer shipments and smarter, more well-planned, packaging. We also have our restaurant, Krubban, that sources locally produced ingredients to make our lunches more sustainable,” says Lena.

To really be sustainable, one must think ahead. What could be a future problem that we will face? What opportunities are there for us that we can act on today for a better tomorrow? These questions are constantly being asked among the members of the committee. “A clear example of this is the energy consumption that we have to address,” says Johnny. “There have been discussions about having solar cells on the factory roof, but unfortunately we can’t have that because the weight can’t be supported by the roof. Instead, as we are building the weather protection for our VMSs here in Tumba, we take that weight into account. So, if we were to install solar cells, we can have them on the weather protection’s roof.”

“It is always important to consider the whole life cycle before implementing new technology. Our mission is to reduce our climate impact and energy consumption. To do so, it can sometimes be more beneficial to service and maintain an older technology than buying the latest products. The new technology can have some improvements compared to the old, but in the long run, it might have a worse effect on the environment in other stages of its life cycle,” says Kenneth.

“The waste and chemicals from our Tumba site are handled by SRV – the local recycling station in Södertörn. They, in turn, can produce biogas fuel for their trucks from the food waste we have, making sure the whole value chain in the recycling process is as environmentally friendly as possible. Having responsible partners and suppliers is a key goal in everything we do at the Tumba site,” says AnnLouise Hörberg.

Teamwork is the most important component of the committee’s success. “What has really been shown throughout is that we work towards a common goal in a really inspiring way. We all come from different departments and have different perspectives, which enriches our discussions and decision-making process. Everyone supports each other and we have in general a quite short decision path. What is really uplifting is to see that everyone in the committee takes responsibility outside their own area to get things done,” says Lotta Ekberg. “Of course, there are some setbacks occasionally, as we have so many projects going on at the same time. And we have our own activities in our day-to-day job that sometimes hinder us from making as fast progress as we would have liked. But this has been managed well with regular meetings and follow-ups and overall support from all members.”

Going forward, the committee will continue to gather data, follow up on activities, and identify significant environmental aspects to develop and propose goals and activities for 2023. This includes all sorts of actions, everything from how we sort our office waste for recycling to introducing a new production chemical that is less harmful to the environment. Simultaneously, they work together with Fabian Bernal, Head of Sustainability, to become a part of the global sustainability work that is done throughout DeLaval, to share experiences, and learn from other teams.

Thank you, Tumba Environmental Committee, for all your amazing work, dedication, and passion to make our Tumba site a sustainable workplace – both now and in the future.