Good Corporate Citizenship Leads to Brand Credibility

Perfetti Van Melle is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of confectionery and chewing gum. Its products and brands are enjoyed in over 150 countries. Perfetti Van Melle India has popular brands such as Happydent, Center Fresh, Alpenliebe, Mentos and more in its stable. 

 As part of its corporate responsibility agenda, Perfetti is undertaking several global initiatives including region-specific innovation/reformulation of products to enhance consumer experience. Manufacturing processes are also being optimized to minimise impact on the environment. Energy from renewable sources, in particular, briquette/bio-mass boilers are already in use at many of its manufacturing sites. The company is also tracking its manufacturing carbon footprint on a global level and stringent environmental targets have been set to improve operational sustainability.

SOURCE: Global Sustainability Report

For Rajesh Ramakrishnan, Managing Director at Perfetti Van Melle India, responsibility comes from within. He along with his daughter already run a non-profit called “My Daughter is Precious”, which raises awareness that daughters are precious, they need to be valued and educated. According to him, “responsibility is about commitment and about taking the chosen path consistently over time”. This attitude extends to his work at Perfetti as well. He says, “In today’s day and age, a company is required to invest in its social responsibilities as well as its commercial objectives to build a credible image as a good corporate citizen.” The company is following an ecosystem approach to responsibility which involves every stakeholder.

 Perfetti India works in three main areas, as part of its corporate responsibility – education, water conservation and environment. Rajesh says, “In education, we support government schools near our factories. Our efforts include not only improving quality of education but also improving their infrastructure, technical as well as physical. Further, water conservation and taking measures to reduce carbon footprint are not only the need of the hour but are also a measure to determine efficiency and efficacy of the operating processes. Access to water clean drinking water was identified as a pressing issue near the company’s Chennai and Manesar plants. Steps were taken by the company to install RO’s to service about 500 families in Chennai, and pipelines were laid in village Nakhrola (near Manesar) to provide 500 residents access to water at their door-step. The company has also been recognised by several renowned industry bodies for its contribution towards water management & conservation, at operational as well as technological levels. This is testament to its commitment and concern towards preserving and caring for the environment.

SOURCE: Global Sustainability Report

Another area of focus is plastic packaging, in which Perfetti India and other companies are working overtime to find sustainable and viable solutions. Strengthening this commitment towards creating a sustainable future, the Company has also started working on the principles of “reduce, reuse and recycle” plastics and is already having an aggressive EPR program as required under the Plastic Waste Management Rules.  The Company is also undertaking innovative ways to create gifting solutions out of the unutilized packing material. Towards this end, Perfetti has recently tied up with an NGO that has been providing people with ‘special abilities’ shelter, education and employment opportunities over the past decade. Through the joint initiative titled ‘Parishram’, the organization aims to create a scalable and sustainable model to incentivize reuse of unutilized packaging material and help augment earning & employment opportunities for differently abled individuals.

In conversation with Rajesh Ramakrishnan, Managing Director at Perfetti Van Melle India. For the Responsible Future blog