Some of the best ideas start with simple conversations.
That’s why our team members connect with each other every day to make discoveries that can bring us one step closer to our goal of Zero Waste. By working together to improve our manufacturing processes, we not only inspire each other to succeed. We also strengthen and grow our community.
Back in 2010, we began looking at the amount of food waste that was created in our manufacturing facilities.
Uncertain of just how much food was being lost during our manufacturing process, we started with a close look at our dry food plant in Atlanta, and we discovered something exciting: The team members on the front lines of the manufacturing process were full of ideas that could help us drastically reduce food waste — by as much as 27 percent in one year alone.
“We involved people in our War on Waste from the very beginning,” says Raj Kumar, director of operations performance at Nestlé Purina. “We discovered if you spend time with the factories and really listen, you can do wonderful things. Listening to people, that’s how you improve things.”
Those ideas included enhancing the way food ingredients are contained in the making of our kibble, making sure valuable materials weren’t lost along the way. By using an innovative recirculation process on our production line, we were able to reduce the amount of excess materials that might wind up in the landfill, ensuring that most of the ingredients and kibble get to where they belong: in the bag, and in your pet’s bowl.
Our team members all over the country saw the amazing progress in Atlanta, and they were inspired to create their own initiatives for improving process and reducing waste. Soon, team members at plants in Denver, Colo. and Flagstaff, Ariz. were creating contests for the best ideas for reducing waste. And we discovered that just by working together to refine our manufacturing process, our ability to save resources has been profound.
“Atlanta was the catalyst that got everybody moving, “ Kumar says. “Then, we were talking with and listening to operators, people in R&D, Quality Assurance, Technical Applications Group, people on the lines at all of the plants. It was a communal effort. And it took all the right people to get us there.”
By empowering our strong community, we’ve made significant strides in our War on Waste. But we aren’t done yet.
Today, our team members are working together at our wet food plants to make similar enhancements that will conserve ingredients and cut back on food waste.
We’re excited to see where these ideas will take us, how they can enhance the environment we work in and help carry us toward our goal of Zero Waste.