ESG – great results for the environment and society

ESG – great results for the environment and society

Learn how using KAIZEN™ helped San Benedetto achieve ESG results

With project leaders Carlo Ratto and Roberto Mannanici, Kaizen Institute Italy helped San Benedetto, a beverage company based in Italy, implement their KAIZEN™ transformation and achieve significant results. Many of those results corelate to ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance), but that wasn’t the purpose. Involving more people led to more motivation to do good for society. “It was something really close to reality; it was effective, and it was based on personal feelings,” says Alessio Vignato, Senior KAIZEN™ Trainer of Kaizen Institute Italy. In this second article of a trilogy, learn from Mr. Vignato how San Benedetto achieved ESG results in addition to their main goals.

What did you and your team do to help San Benedetto reach their goals?

The energy value stream, the energy 5S, and the resources 5S are not only for energy. We had one component that was very costly and rare in with many supplier concerns, and the project was to create a cost saving through reducing the material’s weight for each unit. So, the new bottle with the new stopper was a technical project for cost saving. They experimented with other materials too, but they were more technical. The 5S project was more based on involvement and I saw it was more ESG from the first step.

How did you first know that your efforts with San Benedetto were successful?

It was not one single moment. The main KPI for cultural change was the capability to involve people in KAIZEN™ initiatives, the participation. One of these initiatives was to spend a Saturday morning every two months in a location close to the firm to discuss Continuous Improvement and making a KAIZEN™ Foundation. But this was optional, so people needed to subscribe. I spent half of one Saturday morning on KAIZEN™ Foundation.

At one point we realized that the participation grew. It’s not for the ESG project, of course, but the ESG perspective. We started to talk with people saying: OK, if we do something good for the company and the people in the company, we need to do good for the customer. We need to do something good for the environment and for society.

“We need to do something good for the environment and for society.”

This message was really powerful because it wasn’t perceived as green washing, or a marketing initiative. It was something really close to reality; it was effective, and it was based on personal feelings. If I am in my house, I stop the water sink to not waste water or a switch off the light when I'm not in the room. The same type of behavior in the company is really effective because we’re not doing it for marketing. We are trying to change something real, with ease and effect.

Before, we had few people doing a lot of things and many people watching. The ESG initiative was an occasion to involve people also not interested in improving OE of the bottling line. If you work on the environment, they participate because they feel it's good for them.

We did not communicate these ESG initiatives. There was no inauguration with authorities and nothing in the newspapers. It was made purely to improve the environment and it was like a touch of truth. You could touch it, and as a result, people’s involvement in all other workshops and the transformation program increased.

What do you wish you knew about ESG before starting the ESG initiatives at San Benedetto?

I wish we had a framework. If we want to present ESG, we need to present a global view of ESG. The main point of ESG communication is that you can be sustainable without making big investments. A big fear of people is that they need to create a new company because they have machinery. No. Personalize your ESG approach and improve what you have – it’s Continuous Improvement. So to do that, we need to create a framework that opens the minds of economic decision makers. Otherwise they link ESG to buying solar panels and making big investments in changing their plans or technology. Of course, it's important that you consider ESG aspects with the next investment you make. But you can improve what you already have without a lot of investing.

In the next article of this series, Mr. Vignato shares his ideas of ESG demand and where to get started with ESG projects. Keep an eye out for the next blog post to be published on Friday, August 5th!

Click here to read the first blog post of this series:
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