Controlling of core processes
Sustainability is an integrated element of the strategy and business development of the Uelzena Group. But it is not an item that sells itself. As with previous strategy adjustments, only consistent management of the issues will lead to success. In catering to the continued growth of the company, the Uelzena Group has established and further developed a process that creates the internal framework.
The basic strategic direction was developed in 1999. Since then, the corporate strategy has been reviewed frequently and further developed. Starting in 2012, ecological and social aspects were addressed in addition to the economic development. Since 2014, these have formed an integral part of the current strategy.
The current strategy began to be fundamentally reviewed and revised in 2018. This process involved adjusting targets and measures in individual fields of action, as well as defining new target achievement factors and key performance indicators (KPIs).
The strategic process at the Uelzena Group
We pursue an integrated approach to strategy. Apart from economic development and product safety, environmental impacts, social responsibility and animal welfare are also taken into consideration. All relevant aspects are processed in a uniform strategic development and implementation process.
(1) At regular intervals of three to five years - depending on the management's assessment of the necessity - a new fundamental analysis of the strategic issues and developments that are important for the group of companies is carried out. This includes a review of the stakeholder groups that are relevant to us and which should be included in the strategic process.
(2) Process and steps in strategy development (medium-term planning = approximately four years):
- Stakeholder analysis: Review of stakeholder groups ➡︎ Summary of expectations, requirements, opportunities and risks from the current stakeholder dialogue ➡︎ Identification of stakeholder groups that must be included
- Materiality analysis: Environmental analysis, business analysis, analysis of stakeholder expectations ➡︎ Compilation of all topics ➡︎ Clustering of topics into groups ➡︎ Evaluation and summary in a matrix ➡︎ Review according to the completeness principle ➡︎ Final definition of the main issues to be included in the report
- SWOT analysis for the most significant topics
- Redefinition/definition of fields of action
- Elaboration of management approaches for the action fields. The long-term goals and derived measures for the selected fields of action are then developed by the Sustainability Working Group.
(3) During the annual planning, the long-term goals are implemented in stages or annual goals, with concrete key figures used in order to make them measurable and assessable. A balanced scorecard, which is modified to suit the defined action fields, is used as a controlling instrument.
(4) The second element in the annual planning process is the preparation of a revolving medium-term financial plan or forecast which brings together the various sub-plans and ensures economic viability (and survival). In this way it also ensures that the annual plans and objectives are consistent with the strategy and medium-term planning.
(5) Internal reports and controls support the strategic process; external stakeholders are informed in a transparent manner. This is based on the annual financial statements published in the Federal Gazette and a comprehensive sustainability report in accordance with the international GRI standards, which is published online annually at the end of June.
THE MANAGEMENT OF SUSTAINABILITY
Organisation of management processes
Both the multi-annual strategic plan and the annual operational plan follow the PDCA approach: Plan – Do – Control – Adjust.
The central organ for the management and control of activities is the Sustainability Working Group. Managers from different company divisions and sites participate in this working group. Within the course of regular meetings, all central issues are discussed. The working group drafts recommendations and decision documents for the management board and - depending on the subject - for the advisory board as well.
Early integration in the corporate strategy stresses the importance of sustainability in the organisation. In order to continually develop the management and strategy process, and address and implement new, relevant topics, a decision was taken to create the position of sustainability manager in 2019. In future, the sustainability working group will be actively supported by the Uelzena Group’s new sustainability manager.
WORKING GROUP MEMBERS
DR. NANKE BRASE
Sustainability Officer and Head of the Working Group
Managing Director Sales Dairy Products and Contract Manufacturing
Managing Director Sales Health Products & Marketing
Managing Director Finances and Human Resources
Altmark-Käserei Uelzena GmbH
Managing Director Production and Technology
Warmsener Spezialitäten GmbH
Head of Controlling
Production & Technology Division
Head of Human Resources
Manager Central Purchasing
Head of Milk Management