Operations manager, Sebastiaan Lem, is working daily on the pursuit of sustainability at Kornelis Caps & Closures. The process starts with a single conviction that step by step becomes widely supported by every level of the organization. At the end of the day, sustainability is about much more than a slightly thinner closure.
Sebastiaan Lem (38) has been working for four years at the company where he once did his graduation internship. Between the gaps lies a career at FrieslandCampina, where he was a successful planner, team leader and assistant production manager. The birth of his child changed everything. Lem did not want to keep taking long trips, a must in his Benelux position at FrieslandCampina, so he knocked on the door of Kornelis Caps & Closures in his hometown.
The starting point
The operations manager emphasizes that sustainability always starts with a conviction, a belief that you leave the world just as good or preferably better for future generations. After becoming a father himself, he is even more convinced of this theory. “You have to use that starting point in order to be able to have the right discussions. Because it really is a matter of principle. Sometimes sustainable projects are more expensive, but they always pay for themselves. Sustainability is much more than just making your product more sustainable. Processes and methods must also be more sustainable, and then there’s the human factor.”
As operations manager, Lem is responsible for production team leaders, TD, the quality department, machine counters, process specialists, mold makers and R&D. He is a spider in a web that can monitor sustainability at all levels.
To be achieved, sustainability must be widely supported, that’s why it has to start in the workplace. “We have taken a very broad approach towards sustainability here. First, we look at which departments and employees can contribute. For example, R&D can look for weight reduction, which saves raw materials, whereas specialists can reduce waste and scrap in the production process. Both have been implemented a Kornalis, in fact, we halved the waste in our production process within a year. And we keep improving" explains Lem.
It all sounds logical, but Lem says he was a fish out of water when joining Kornelis. “The emphasis is on safety, then on quality and lastly on quantity, and people had to get used to that. The first major step we have taken is shifting responsibility to the workplace. That's where everything starts. We have freed up people to work sustainably, just like a prevention officer who is concerned with quality, health, safety, and the environment.”
“What we find very important here, and which is perhaps often forgotten, is the sustainability of employees. The health and well-being of your employees is essential and that is why we will be removing a night shift from mid-2022 on. The goal is to get rid of all night shifts in the long run, because we want to get people healthy to the age of 70”, says Lem. This vision also has to do with the labor situation in the region. There is a relatively large plastic processing industry, while labor is scarce. Those who want to grow cannot rely on the labor market. Automation and gaining the loyalty of people is the solution. “We spend our money on sustainable machines, which allow us to work with fewer people, and we don't tempt people with money. On the other hand, we want to gain the people’s trust by offering good conditions across all areas, which is where removing a night shift becomes significant.”
In a nutshell, it is all about knowledge, skills, and the behavior of employees, shifting and preventing faulty production. “Prevention is sustainability” says Lem. When asked what has been achieved of the sustainability goals on a scale from zero to 100, the operations manager says that he is at 60 to 70%. “We now have a solid foundation. We have made great strides and now we need to continue fine-tuning. This is done in all kinds of ways, such as using more mono-materials and looking for other sustainable solutions, such as an insert in the cap that can be recycled.” New techniques are being used in collaboration with waste processors. More sustainable solutions are also being looked at in technology, such as solutions to work without glue to facilitate recyclability and food-safe packaging.
Kornelis looked for ambassadors for sustainability within the company, and spontaneous applications arose. Employees check whether there are unsafe situations, report them and come up with suggestions for improvement. Although customers keep expecting more. “For example, ethical audits take place, looking for bribery or corruption within the workplace and assessing how you treat your staff. These are all matters we want to have properly managed, because plastic closures belong to a market in which public opinion can make or break you. Sustainability is reflected in all aspects of the company and that includes people. That is our greatest asset.”
Closing in on sustainability through smart planning and smart technology
Kornelis is proactive when it comes to sustainability. The Dutch caps and closures manufacturing company takes CSR very seriously and has been implementing changes across the business in its facilities. Since 2016 the company has been one of the most modern closure factories in Europe and proactively implemented Research and Development to ensure that it stays at the forefront, always seeking out the next steps.
Why choose a temper-evident seal?
For a growing number of products and markets, a seal is indispensable. A temper-evident seal offers the consumer certainty and reliability. At Kornelis, we can supply caps and closures together with a wide range of seal types and sizes. When selecting the seals, we select environmentally conscious materials wherever possible.
Kornelis extends IML options to include 63mm plastic cap
Renowned caps and closures manufacturer Kornelis has updated one of its popular caps, the 3360 model, to a form part of its collection that is moulded from the inside, rather than the outside. This means that this cap can now benefit from in-mould labelling, in order to make it easier to create a pre-decorated item.
Kornelis shakes up its closure offering with an updated sprinkle cap
Kornelis' latest sprinkle cap benefits from a 63mm diameter, with a continuous thread to ensure that the cap provides a strong presence on top of its food packaging container. The plastic cap is ideal for protecting the food substance as it offers excellent protection and resistance qualities, in addition to the option of using a custom colour to fit brand colours.
Kornelis's vibrant 82mm caps can benefit from IML
Committed to providing high-quality closure solutions for packaging, Kornelis presents a solution which is ideal for crowning the top of food jars. Kornelis has thoughtfully designed its 82mm screw cap in a way which means that it can only be moulded from the inside and allows the option decoration through in-mould labelling.
Kornelis produce new range of flip-top caps for international sauce brand
Leading manufacturer of caps and closures, Kornelis, has delivered yet another solution to meet the multiple requirements of its customer. The needs of the project were such that different caps were required for the customer’s A-brand and private label products, as well as the varying viscosities of the sauces.
New custom made solution for spices
Leading caps and closures manufacturer, Kornelis, has delivered another excellent jar and cap combination to bolster the product range for a Belgian supplier of spices. Adding to the existing 230ml jar, which Kornelis has supplied for several years, there is now also a transparent 125ml PP jar.
Softline cap from Kornelis is a ‘cool’ closure for Italian ice cream
An Italian ice cream supplier for AH recently launched their luxury ice cream to the market. Looking for the right packaging to make their high-end product stand out among the competition and to reflect the qualities of their ice cream, they turned to Kornelis caps & closures.
Kornelis' new tube cap adopted by leading Dutch food brand
Kornelis, the Dutch designer and manufacturer of plastic caps has launched a brand new tube cap which is already making its mark in the food market. The new PE tube cap has been incorporated to seal the Zaanse tubes of mayonnaise ensuring freshness and product integrity until the consumer opens the cap.
New dosing cap provides fitting choice for plant food
To those who may not know, a dosing cap is a cap which offers pouring capability. Cap specialist Kornelis knows that there is far more to designing a closure than providing the functionality of a closure and its new dosing cap has been produced especially for measuring and pouring plant feed.
Kornelis' new production facilities are well underway
The fast growth of Kornelis made this new construction necessary. Behind the current building rises a new hall of 50 by 70 meters. Most of the groundwork was completed in the past months and in the meantime the roof has been established. December will be used for completing the concrete floor.
Kornelis "Kopje Cultuur"
Last weekend Kornelis "Kopje Cultuur", the yearly culture festival for Steenwijkerland and its surroundings took place. The weekend was packed full with activities. Also this year the organization has succeeded in offering the visitors a varied program. Exposures, workshops, various music genres and theatre performances with national, international and regional allure passed the program. As the main sponsor we are proud to enable this event!
Kornelis releases a useful new 43mm sprinkle cap
In the food market, there are many closures dedicated to providing easy dispensing of loose, dry products, like spices, herbs, decorative toppings for baked goods, and others. Kornelis provides a wide array of solutions for this sort of product, not least of which is the firm's latest 43mm sprinkle cap.
Kornelis' Multi-Tab liners provide security and ease of use in one product
Kornelis has been recognized as a market leader on numerous occasions for its contribution to sealing technologies and their implementation in packaging production. One of Kornelis' areas of greatest expertise is in liners designed to provide an extra layer of security to consumers as well as a barrier to prohibit premature staleness or spoilage. Recently, the company's Multi-Tab liner has garnered attention as a unique market offering for companies wishing to provide a very high level of security and functionality.
- Juan Pablo Rueda
- Created 22 Aug 2022
- Modified 17 Oct 2022
- Hits 1173