Tine is pushing for sustainability and the consumer has made a note of it. Tine won Sustainable Brands Index Award 2017 which relies on the rating of 1,000 Norwegian consumers. Sustainability Hub met up with Bjørn Malm, Head of CSR, to dive into their sustainability strategy.
To engage your employees, you need to explain that focusing on sustainability is more linked to their work than they think. “We need to make them understand that sustainability is important in their workplace, not only to reduce climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, but also for competitiveness for the company”.
Tine has created thematic forums consisting of teams with a few employees from different departments to work on a specific topic.
“We have a nutrition team for example. It consists of employees from different departments such as marketing, product development, nutrition, communication and myself. We work together on keeping the strategy on course”, said Malm. The responsibility is spread to the right people and sustainability is put on the agenda throughout the company.
Climb up the value chain
On top of integrating sustainability throughout the company, Tine strengthens their efforts up their value chain by involving the farmers. They have recently scaled up their efforts in that area by putting it on paper and setting a goal of integrating sustainability all the way up to the primary producers.
“We have a consultancy unit of 250 employees solely working towards the farmers. They advise on how to run a farm, how to increase milk production, nutrition issues and so on, but on top of that, the farmers receive counseling on climate and environmental issues.”
Winning over the consumer
Talking about Tine’s first place on the Sustainable Brands Index Award 2017, Malm doesn’t conceal the fact that they are operating with products that are perceived as clean and close to nature to start with. However, he explains that the reputation battle has intensified in the latest years which has resulted in new communication measures.
“We have been particularly targeting communication in the last four years. We have been telling the world what we do through social media to explain our sustainability message to a bigger audience than we have in the past.”
TINE SUSTAINABILITY ACTIONS TO FOLLOW
#1 Break down your sustainability strategy
Divide your strategy into smaller goals with requirements and expectations for all of the different parts of the company. Then make the employees aware of the goals they are expected to contribute to.
#2 Don’t scale up your sustainability department - spread it!
By having a big sustainability department, employees think of sustainability as a separate issue. If you spread the responsibility throughout the whole company, you create ambassadors and engagement around the problem. The problem becomes collective.
#3 Succeed by specialising
Concentrate your focus around a few areas you want to excel at. By specialising you are increasing your chances of getting good at it, and the likelihood of success improves in the long haul.