Winners of the 2018 Mondi Diamond Awards developed ingenious packaging designs and sustainable solutions, they revolutionised quality and customer service, and used humour to reduce risks. Some even, with extraordinary teamwork, managed to stay safe and create a successful business in the middle of a war zone.
At Mondi’s global Leadership Forum in Berlin, finalists from Mondi operations around the world presented projects demonstrating outstanding ingenuity, teamwork and grit.
The Mondi Diamond Awards were introduced around ten years ago to recognise business achievements, to learn from them and celebrate the talented teams who delivered them.
“It’s a privilege to work in an organisation with so many talented colleagues. This talent has shaped Mondi’s success over the years and will continue to drive us forward,” said Mondi’s chief executive Peter Oswald.
“We have extraordinary teams and individuals working throughout our network. This is why the Mondi Diamond Awards matter so much. They offer a chance to recognise great work and share experiences so that we can learn from each other.”
Read about some of the winning projects and see the teams who produced them:
Winner: Mondi Wellpappe Ansbach (Germany) / Corrugated Packaging
Project: Sparks for success – A packaging innovation for the car industry
Mondi Wellpappe Ansbach developed 17 innovative new packaging systems and transformed the way a big Swedish car manufacturer now ships car parts to China and the USA.
The packaging systems (each individually designed for specific car parts) dramatically increase efficiency, and compared to the previous wooden-crates system, require only a fraction of the time to pack products like bonnets – creating substantial cost savings for the customer.
The Mondi packaging comes in kit form and includes everything required for the packing process. Each kit consists of several parts, but the customer experiences it as one article. Additionally, more products are packed in the same space, saving on packaging and freight costs.
Only recyclable packaging materials are used, reducing environmental impact considerably. With no more heavy lifting or nail removal, the packing process is also much safer. In addition to nabbing a 2018 Mondi Diamond Award, the innovative solution won SCANSTAR and WORLDSTAR packaging awards.
Tobias Abrahamsson, Export Manager, Mondi Wellpappe Ansbach explains how packaging innovation is not just a job, but a passion.
Winner: Mondi Świecie (Poland) / Containerboard
Project: Don’t waste the waste
Humanity today generates nearly 5 billion tonnes of waste each year. By 2025 that amount may increase by 25%. Some of this waste goes to landfill, and much more escapes into the environment and our oceans, threatening wildlife and human health. Mondi is determined to do its part to reduce waste. In fact, our goal is zero waste to landfill. It’s a very ambitious goal, but we believe it’s possible – and our colleagues at Mondi Świecie have already come very close.
In the past Mondi Świecie produced a significant amount of waste – about 200,000 tonnes per year. In 2003, 100% of it went to landfill. The Mondi Świecie team set out to reverse that trend by getting everyone across the value chain to work together and eliminate waste.
It took fourteen years, but they succeeded. Today just 1% of Mondi Świecie’s waste goes to landfill. Everything else is reused or recycled. Everything. And that last 1%? They’re working on it!
Hear Magdalena Michalczyk-Krakowiak, Environmental Protection & Laboratory Manager, Mondi Świecie, explains.
Winner: Mondi Iraq / Industrial Bags
Project: Against All Odds – Excellence in Extremis
Imagine the scene: It was 2014 in Iraq. ISIS had invaded just 90 km from Mondi’s industrial bags plant. Security, infrastructure and social cohesion had broken down. The expat employees had left. Borders were closed and, above, it was a no fly zone. War.
In the middle of complete chaos, new management came in and was tasked with turning the business around. Where to start?
The challenges were extreme by any measure: war conditions and import duties causing huge fluctuations in demand; logistics problems and material shortages due to border closures; low efficiency and low productivity; catastrophic financial results and an unreliable banking system; high dependency on expat employees and a diverse, multicultural environment
But the new management was convinced that teamwork was the solution. Start with employee moral; work as one; stick together and keep each other safe. Together Everyone Achieves More
Hear Mondi Iraq’s Managing Director Rami Kawar describe it.
“Our local management team inspired the whole organisation, set strategic goals and focused everyone on activities with high impact in order to meet stakeholder expectations,” says Claudio Fedalto, Sales & Marketing Director Mondi Industrial Bags.
“By the end of 2017 our sales volumes and overall equipment effectiveness increased significantly. We now have excellent financial and operational results, delighted shareholders and customers and, very importantly, inspired employees. Mission accomplished!”
Winner: Mondi Korneuburg (Austria) / Consumer Goods Packaging
Project: SHE goes Hollywood
Making sure our people work safely and get home safely is our top priority. But with people from 24 nations speaking 18 different languages all working together on the shop floor at Mondi Korneuburg in Austria, creating an effective safety training program was challenging.
Mondi Korneuburg’s safety culture had improved, but the conventional training approach had reached its limit. Time to take SHE (Safety Health and Environmental Management) to Hollywood!
A special task force created safety videos with safety champions for screenwriters and employees for actors. The videos deal with serious safety topics using humour – and, crucially, without relying on text or language!
Re-enactments of common accidents and appropriate safety behaviours enable viewers to visually learn safe ways to do things. By showing rather than telling Mondi Korneuburg produced a real change of mindset and behaviour.
The Mondi Korneuburg team are most proud of having created a sustainable safety culture that helps all employees – regardless of nationality or language abilities – lead safer professional and personal lives. Through visual, humorous teaching tools that employees helped create, they implemented successful safety training that all Mondi plants can adopt.
Stephanie Schmuttermair, Mondi Korneuburg’s Continuous Improvement Manager – HR People Development, and Michael Watz, SHE Coordinator, explain.
Winner: Mondi Styria (Austria) and Mondi Gronau (Germany) / Technical Films
Project: ‘Mission Impossible’
This is the story of how an inspired Mondi team developed a new bio-based technical film for a major customer in a seemingly impossible timeframe.
The international customer was looking for an innovative, bio-based film for a new, healthy product. “To deliver, we had to ramp up, rebuild and technically qualify two locations within an ‘impossible’ timeframe of less than six months,” said Marko Schuster, Managing Director Mondi Technical Films.
He assembled a team of his most experienced people from Mondi Gronau in Germany and Mondi Styria in Austria, and empowered them to collaborate and build a culture of trust across the two plants. This approach formed the basis for close external collaboration with the customer and external partners, like raw material suppliers and machinery producers.
“The team members communicated daily to make fast decisions and together we delivered this impossible mission on time. First reels were shipped within 22 days and our team secured a three-year contract with high revenue potential,” Schuster said.
In delivering proof of concept for an innovative sustainable plastic film in an unbelievable timeframe, this team proved how powerful collaboration can be and earned Mondi a valuable new business relationship.
Andrea Thuener, Head of Market Support, Mondi Styria and Mondi Gronau, explains.
Winner: Mondi Tekkote (USA) / Release Liner
Project: Delighting customers fuels Tekkote results
Successful businesses grow with their customers as partners to overcome challenges to survival, as Mondi Tekkote, which manufactures asphalt roofing shingle tape for the US market, demonstrated.
In 2014, when Mondi acquired the plant, customers viewed Tekkote as a supplier rather than a partner.
The local team needed to change that. They focused on their largest group of customers, Shingle Tape Consumers, to start the change. Their feedback was blunt: Mondi Tekkote was not delivering innovation, cost savings, perfect quality, or 100% OTIF (on-time in-full) deliveries. Service and quality were fine, but to become a true partner they needed to do more.
Mondi Tekkote listened carefully and drew on Mondi’s global resources to deliver outstanding customer-focused benefits. The result: two leading companies from the US were so convinced that they signed three-year supply agreements.
Mondi Tekkote’s customers benefited from new products to promote to their customers, significantly lower changeovers, 100% OTIF deliveries (expedited in three days), near zero quality defects, and savings. Listening to and delighting customers created a high EBIT improvement for Mondi too.
Facts about the Mondi Diamond Awards
The Mondi Diamond Awards were created in 2008 to recognise exceptional business ideas and teamwork. The first Mondi Diamond Award winners were announced in Malta in 2009. Projects are nominated for a Mondi Diamond Award by Mondi businesses and Group functions. In 2018, 100 projects from across the Group were nominated for an award. Mondi’s businesses, functions and executives choose winning projects and teams through progressive selection rounds, based on criteria including sustainable impact to the business, value for stakeholders, embodiment of Mondi’s culture and values, and outstanding teamwork and collaboration.
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