An employee-first culture: Achieving a sustainable future
2019 was a bumper year for Julius Meinl. We reached impressive new sales heights, expanded our business globally, and achieved several other ambitious goals. And then along came 2020 with a pandemic that took one of our main sales channels – gastronomy – right from under our feet.
Now, this is no unique story in such historic times. Many businesses have been challenged by the seismic shifts happening around us, however, here’s the plot twist – the pandemic has done a lot of good for our company, too.
For example, during this time, we reflected and returned to our roots for guidance on how to move forward. In a recent interview for our up-coming Sustainability Report (to be released in Autumn), Julius Meinl’s longtime CEO, Marcel Loeffler, talked about the most outstanding things to come out of the company’s collective reflection.
We were immediately aware that the company's greatest asset for overcoming this crisis is our employees.
"We definitely wanted to make sure that we would get through the pandemic together and not leave anyone behind – we were, and still are, convinced that with the strength of the organisation and the people it’s made up of, we will be even more successful after the pandemic."
This employee-first culture was born out of Julius Meinl’s family business origin story, and its habit of engaging in long-term planning and thinking.
" In the past, there were always interruptions – whether it be wars or pandemics – this is all part of Julius Meinl’s 160-year history. The company has repeatedly adjusted to changes and has done so sustainably."
"We don’t only aim for short-term success, but instead we have a strategy in place that builds a long-term sustainable future" - says Loeffler.
Taking care of the people that make up the company is in Julius Meinl's DNA as a family company.
And we’re not just referring to the employees working within our organisation, but also the partners we work with.
We are working with farmers in Colombia to make sure that current and future generations of their families produce sustainably and can make a good living from their work.
Julius Meinl is, of course, driven by its ambitions to produce the best coffee on the market, however, it’s also structured around some basic and fundamental business philosophies inspired by it’s family business beginnings.
We are convinced this fundamental belief in creating a workplace where everybody thrives will be a driving force as we move into a more sustainable and prosperous future.
We also believe that acting sustainably, in both a social and ecological sense, is good for business.
Our responsibilities when it comes to social and ecological sustainability is something that guides how all of our employees go about their daily work. Whether they be working in production, purchasing or sales, everybody sees it as their task to promote and practice sustainability within the organization.
In recent years, we have managed to significantly reduce the amount of packaging materials that are harmful to the environment.
Plus, through innovation, we’ve come up with packaging that is biodegradable and compostable, including our tea bags, our coffee capsules and our coffee ToGo cups.
We’re also reducing our CO2 emissions fast by applying environmental management systems at our production plants and we’ve developed technology that reduces the emissions from our roasting machines.
All of these developments, despite being a company at the epicentre of the pandemic crisis, have been driven forward by employees that are passionate about what they do, and are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Julius Meinl began as a family business and we’ll move forward behaving like one. We’re confident this approach will lead to a prosperous future for the company, and for those who work with us into the future.
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