Sustainability is the demand of the hour and has been the prime concern of all manufacturers doing business all over the world irrespective of their size of operation. Every human activity has a corresponding social and environmental consequence and this makes it all the more important to undertake certain measures which can make positive contribution towards human development. Manufacturing is one of the largest contributors towards environmental and social damage (Kluin, 2014). Hence, it is the greatest concern for them to address issues of sustainability. This has brought to light the relationship between manufacturing operations and natural environment and its influence over the decision-making among industrial communities. Managing business operation so that they are sustainable requires a balance between economic and environmental, societal goals. Such initiatives require policies and practices which can support its implementation (Rosen and Kishway, 2012).

Many dairy processors, farmers, cheese manufacturing company and consumers have expressed their concern regarding energy consumption by this sector and the issue of global sustainability with respect to milk and cheese production. The utilisation of energy is directly related to the cost of production, thus, affecting the profitability of the concerned firms. There has been a growing concern regarding within the consumers and purchasers regarding the environmental impact of the various dairy products that they are purchasing from the market. Now-a-days if an organisation is not transparent regarding their business operation or provides very little knowledge regarding the effect of their business operation upon environment and societies then it only degrades their reputation as a brand towards their target customer (Isik and Yasar, 2015). It is a fact that much of the energy consumption is associated with the production of green house gases. Hence, using less energy directly impacts not only the improvement in climatic conditions but also helps in saving more money for organisations increasing its profit margin.

Overview of Bergader

Bergader is one of the oldest Cheese manufacturing companies in Germany. The company is based in Bavaria and has been in the business since 1902 (Bergader, 2016). Basil Weixler had led the foundation of this company in the form of a small cheese dairy in his village. He had a keen sense of popular tastes which he utilised in making high quality cheese. The vision statement of the company tells a lot about its passion for cheese which says that a good company reflects the characteristics of good cheese since with passage of time both attains maturity. However, the small cheese dairy took the shape of a company under Basil Weixler’s daughter, Charlotte Steffel. Although the company has undergone many transformations Bergader Edelpilz, one of the many cheese qualities produced by the company has not been put for any modifications. It started manufacturing blue cheese in the year 1972 which became highly popular and changed the future of the company towards betterment. The company is also in the production of Rauchkäse, a variety of German smoked cheese under the name “Bruder Basil” (Bergader, 2016a).

Purpose of the project: This briefing report focuses on the environment and social issues that are to be addressed by Bergader and analyses cost and benefits of undertaking an environmental Improvement programme. Detailed account has been provided upon the various components of the concerned programme.

Environmental effects of Bergader

One of the main environmental concerns for cheese manufacturers is the emission of green house gases (GHG) and Bergader is no exception to this. Green house gases are responsible for ozone layer depletion which subsequently leads to global warming.

The process of cheese production and delivery of the manufactured cheese encompasses various sources of emission of greenhouse gases. The highest percentage of cheese GHG emission takes place at dairy farms during milk production and estimates have revealed the percentage to be as high as 90% (Opio, et al., 2013). Contemporary dairy practices have been estimated to produce about 1.2 kilogram (kg) of CO2 equivalent to one kg of milk while Bergader with the help of modernised techniques the level of carbon dioxide emission is not much lower raising concerns in the management and consumer base. Bergader requires almost 10 pounds of milk to produce only one pound of cheese with its upgraded technology. While analysing various sources of greenhouse gases were found within the dairy practices of Bergader.

  • When cows eat, microbes present in their rumen break down the food which results in the production of methane (commonly referred to as, enteric methane). This enteric methane is expelled as burp to the atmosphere and is regarded as the major source of greenhouse gas emissions.
  •  Nitrous oxide is another greenhouse gas which is released in the atmosphere when farmers apply fertilizers and manure to the fields as a part of rearing cattle.
  • While producing hard cheese (one of the most common varieties) produces the second highest percentage of GHG, producing about 0.4 to 0.6 kg of CO2 per kg of cheese.
  • The next level of GHG emissions are added when deliveries of the manufactured cheese are made to the retailers due to the combustion of fossil fuel during transportation. The packaging, mostly made from plastics, is discarded after consumption adding to environmental pollution.
  • When the wastage is dumped at landfill sites, its decomposition also releases CO2 and methane.

Social effects of Bergader

Bergader is also engaged in cattle rearing which implies that the milk to produce cheese is obtained by the company from its farms employing local people. The local villagers who are employed in Bergader obtained their livelihood from their employment at the company but they are also at the end of maximum exposure of high level of GHG affecting their environment.

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