Dean Ward, Continuous Improvement Director at Rosti, shares an insight into how we have ingrained our sustainability strategy throughout our processes, capabilities, people, and customers. Reducing waste, saving energy, and producing environmentally friendly products for customers sits at the heart of our day-to-day operation.
Learn more about the changes and initiatives that Dean has introduced to share knowledge with both our people and customers.
How is Rosti sustainable and what are our plans/goals for the future?
We have taken a more focussed approach to sustainability since 2016 when the Rosti Values and Behaviours were “reset”. Integrity was a core theme from within the business and being a responsible partner within the communities in which we operate.
Our initial approach was to get “our own house in order” and fully understand our impact in our community. We signed up to Operation Clean Sweep as our control of resin beads within operations was very poor with resin beads on the floor, on machines, and more importantly on external roadways around silos and waste management areas which were totally unacceptable.
Today we are very confident this is under control in all sites and our ongoing education of internal and external partners is critical to sustaining our standards.
CO2 and the global sutainability strategy to move towards Net Zero on carbon dioxide has now come into our focus as we search for materials, processes, and product design that reduces the CO2 impact of products over their life cycle.
Our biggest impact within operations is the energy we use to convert resin into the customer’s products and we have active programs to reduce the KwH of energy we use to convert a kg of resin but more importantly how we use waste heat and energy from the process and today we create hot water and facility heating from this “waste” but we must do more
Describe how Rosti ‘designs for sustainability’
It is clear that plastics have a lower carbon footprint than equivalent products produced from steel or aluminum but as a community, we are not controlling these products correctly at the end of their lives.
This is key to us now in how we interact with customers on design with regards to materials that have the lowest CO2 impact both in the production of the material and the process choices to convert resins into the product but also how the product is dealt with at the end of life.
What are you personally excited about for the future of Rosti’s Sustainability Strategy?
We still have lots of opportunities to do more and leverage current and future technologies to reduce our CO2 impact. Machines are becoming more efficient and our discipline of using them and extending their lives through effective maintenance programs (TPM) reduces our need to invest but also eliminates the need for a new “cast iron” press.
The industry has been slow to respond to consumer demand for more sustainable products and sustainable supply chains but I believe we now have traction with new materials, growing acceptance of recycled materials, and a greater understanding of how we pack, transport, and distribute product with the industry striving to shorten supply chains and use recyclable and reusable packaging materials.
There is a lot to do within the sustainability strategy but from our shop floor to board room we are now connected and have set our ambition with performance measures to ensure we improve with the appropriate level of rigour and urgency.
Are there any areas of the business you are particularly proud of when it comes to sustainability achievements?
The way we have approached Operation Clean Sweep in our Polish and Chinese operations is in my opinion “world class”. They have set and sustained standards over the past 5 years and used sustainability subjects to actively educate and engage everyone in the business on how they and we impact the environment around us.
Our use of waste energy from the process and reusing it to provide hot water and building heating also demonstrates that our people are thinking of innovative solutions for how we reduce our CO2 impact.
Why should a customer choose Rosti; what benefits can we offer?
There are many plastic converters and contract manufacturers in the marketplace across the globe but we are different in that we defined and live values – Passion, Integrity, Partnership, and Excellence. Our aim is to improve and reduce the resources we use, eliminating waste in every aspect of our business making us competitive but also a sustainable, responsible business.
Unlike others, we don’t just have a sign on the Managing Directors wall and in reception areas – we validate we are applying these values and behaviours through internal operational audits, layered process audit (LPA), customer audits, and external accreditation to ensure we are “doing the right things” and continually moving forward.