Sustainability

In a modern company "assuming responsibility" does not just apply to the production. The company's employees and the health of the users of the products are just as much the focus of corporate responsibility as the sustainable use of resources – from raw materials to the energy balance. For Milchwerke Mittelelbe as a member of the KRÜGER GROUP, this means starting at the product origins.

Raw materials procurement

The KRÜGER GROUP's primary objectives include expanding production methods that complement each other and the continuous integration of a transparent and sustainable supply of raw materials. Elb-Milch makes an important contribution here and within the KRÜGER GROUP the company is responsible for the supply of the raw material milk and various products manufactured in a spray drying process. Thanks to the investments made and the personnel and organisational expansion of product development, quality management and quality assurance, Elb-Milch has created optimal conditions for guaranteeing quality and maximum product safety. 

To ensure this, we support our raw material suppliers with fair market conditions and training and encourage them to implement efficient production processes with maximum sustainabilty. Our actions are guided by a balance between economy and ecology, social and animal welfare aspects.

Animal welfare

In the context of sustainable milk production, the social, economic and environmental aspects of farming also play a significant role. 


We support our farmers in matters relating to animal welfare, always with the goal of creating an ideal environment for our dairy cow herds. 
The term animal welfare is based of three main elements: animal health, natural behaviour and an emotional element which ideally lead to greater animal welfare. 
These objectives can be achieved with animal-friendly husbandry. 
We encourage animal-friendly husbandry, always with the goal of creating the best possible environment for the welfare of our dairy cow herds.

Animal welfare at Milchwerke Mittelelbe

  • QM Milk/sustainability module
    • All of our approximately 100 milk suppliers are certified according to QM Milk and its extensive criteria
       
    • All suppliers are audited by an independent inspection body
       
    • Our contract farmers participate in the QM sustainability module
  • Personal support
    • Our qualified staff, who have an agricultural background themselves, are the direct points of contact for our contract farmers 365 days a year
       
    • Appropriate and professional assessment of farms with regard to animal welfare and joint evaluation of performance in QM milk and the sustainability module
       
    • We carry out regular farm inspections and consultations
       
    • We support milk producers in forming higher-level networks and we constantly liaise on various projects including
       
    • The participation of some agricultural enterprises in research projects (F.R.A.N.Z, EiKoTiGer, etc.)

The journey of the milk

At Milchwerke Mittelelbe everything revolves around milk processing. Milk is processed using different methods to create various semi-finished or finished products.

Regional focus

The milk's journey starts at our almost 100 contract farms, whose dairy cows supply us with more than a million litres of milk every day. Regionality plays a decisive role in the procurement. This is why our contract farmers are all within a radius of 150 km around Stendal and our milk purchasing department has close personal contact to them all.

Animal welfare

Needless to say, animal welfare plays a decisive role in milk procurement, which is why all contract farmers are certified according to the QM Milk standard. Furthermore, they all actively participate in the sustainability module that considers economic, environmental and social aspects. This is an important part of our quality assurance, but also ensures continuous improvements and transparency in these areas.

The milk

The milk is transported by a certified forwarder in accordance with the strictest hygiene standards. Elb-Milch attaches great importance to the smooth and efficient delivery of our most important raw material, which is why we have long-standing cooperation agreements with our partners in this area.

Quality control

The freight forwarder takes a sample as soon as the raw milk is collected from the farmer. In a quick check it is analysed in terms of defined substances and quality criteria. Only when it has been approved may the milk be discharged at Milchwerke Mittelelbe. After delivery, the raw milk is thoroughly tested again and only following this is it processed internally.

Resource-conserving production

Just a few hours after delivery, the raw milk is sent to the individual production areas, where it is further processed in a spray drying process or in the UHT filling lines.

Our employees

Milchwerke Mittelelbe is also committed to sustainability as regards its employees. 
   
We currently employ more than 400 people at our Stendal site, and lots of them have been with us for many years. Furthermore, we are one of the largest employers in the region and have close ties with it. 
We are keen to keep skilled workers in the region and in addition to an economic contribution we are also involved in local social projects.

Our energy management

Our combined heat and power plant strikes a balance between increasing efficiency and reducing pollutants. Although high energy output is required for our technical facilities, we place a focus on protection of the environment and sustainability. Here we are certified according to ISO 50001:2011 (energy management) and have also set ourselves high targets over and above this.

Thanks to the power output from our own combined heat and power plant we are able to supply our company with almost all the electrical energy we need.

With output of 5.3 MW and full utilisation of the waste heat, there are many environmental and economic benefits – first and foremost a saving of 19,000 t CO2 emissions per year!

Packaging materials

In future, Elb-Milch will incorporate the following sustainability aspects into the development and optimisation of packaging:

Responsibility:
The packaging selected should be as sustainable as possible. Packaging made of composite materials or packaging that is difficult to recycle should be avoided wherever possible.  

Recycling:
The focus here is on the use of recycled materials, e.g. R-PET for PET bottles and cans and recycled paper for corrugated cardboard.  

Substitution:
This refers to the switch to sustainable packaging materials such as the switch to FSC-certified paper grades for labels and corrugated cardboard.  

Reduction:
Here we focus on saving packaging materials while maintaining the level of product protection. Our goal is to use less or modified packaging material in certain areas.  

Recovery:
This refers to the use of packaging materials that are easy to recycle. At Elb-Milch, this includes tin cans, corrugated cardboard and transparent PET bottles and cans.  

Further information