A few years before corporate social responsibility (CSR) became an active working point for many companies all over the world, Prefamac Chocolate Machines was already working on this quite intensively. At the end of 2019, Prefamac Chocolate Machines was one of the first companies in Belgium to receive the status of ‘Pioneer in CSR’ according to the UNITAR program. This 3-year trajectory was concluded with the maximum of the points. “We focus on corporate social responsibility primarily for our customers”.
“We are all proud of the efforts made. Allow us to give a brief overview, starting with our ergonomic machines, then the efforts for the environment and of course also for our own staff.”
- Supporting and respecting entrepreneurs and their employees
“In a previous blog (Our machines also spare your employees) we already discussed the new ergonomic machines that Prefamac recently developed.” Ergonomic machines make it easier for customers to use their creativity for new products with a smaller footprint, for healthier products and with less highly skilled workers… In addition, they ensure that the customers of Prefamac Chocolate Machines can in turn guarantee a contribution to CSR towards their own customers.
The small ergonomic 100L melting kettle, ERGO 100 is a very nice example of this, including the following features:
- Very convenient for the staff to insert the products to be melted – drops in bags or heavy blocks – into the melting kettle at a height of only 1 meter.
- A very strong agitator and a super secured machine, reducing the chance of anything going wrong to a minimum.
- A simple tap on the side and a drain tap at the bottom make it easier to work with the melting kettle and to clean it in any situation.
- The content of 100L does not have to be completely filled. This makes it possible to experiment on a small scale with gluten-free, vegan, sugar-reduced, nut-free, high-protein products… and thus contribute to both healthier nutrition and a smaller footprint.
- The small volume leaves room for a lot of creativity without requiring immediate high investments.
“All our machines are designed according to ergonomic principles. In the coming months we will launch a few new machines. We will keep you posted!”
- Respecting the environment
Prefamac Chocolate Machines also made a great effort for the environment, aiming to do business as responsibly as possible. The actual starting signal to go all out for CSR came in 2017, with the start of a completely new and people-friendly company building. To this end, a number of points of attention were taken into account during the construction of the new building and the landscaping of the garden:
- The roof of the building was fitted with solar panels, so that we can provide our own energy.
- The lighting functions completely autonomously, so that the light is never left on unnecessarily. When people enter, the lights turn on automatically, and when they leave, they go out after a few minutes.
- The various offices have their own home automation for heating in winter and/or cooling in summer, and this is even linked to the alarm system to rule out errors completely. The perceived temperature will only increase when entering an office.
- There is a collection and storage pond for the entire amount of rainwater that ends up on the new building, but also for 50% of the rainwater on the buildings that already existed. This collected rainwater is reused.
- The landscaping of the garden was done with green-bearing and water-absorbing plants. Hardening is kept to a minimum. “We even have an insect hotel to create space for insects in an industrial area.”
- Garden maintenance is done by an organization that works with disabled people.
- Pampering our staff
In order to make the working atmosphere as pleasant as possible and to guarantee the well-being of our staff, we do/did the following:
- In the offices, there are large windows on both sides, with a lot of light and with sun blinds to not hinder computer work.
- Each office is equipped with inspiring modern art, to boost our creativity and to make every room acoustically comfortable. If several workplaces are housed in once office, they are separated from each other with grass-green walls.
- Each desk can be set to a high/low position, so that sitting and standing work or a meeting can be alternated in a few seconds. This work flexibility is especially important for engineers and other administrative staff.
- A brainstorming room including a darts board can be used freely.
- An outside terrace with a large table and benches ensure that the staff can also sit outside undisturbed. In Belgium, nice BBQ weather is rather exceptional. “We should enjoy those beautiful days to the fullest.”
- A culture of continuous learning, improving, in-house training to get the most out of your time … is central to all of our employees.
- Prefamac Chocolate Machines is also strongly committed to internships for both domestic and foreign students, internships where young people can work with Prefamac machines, award ceremonies for professional chocolatiers, ….
- Because the founder of Prefamac Chocolate Machines is a lady herself, no distinction was ever made between men and women. The ratio m/f has always been 50/50 – except in production.
“So much for our brief CSR overview, because we could go on and on about this topic. To conclude, we would like to mention that Prefamac Chocolate Machines is also well represented at knowledge institutions and export and innovation-promoting initiatives. In combination with our CSR-efforts, this makes us – in all modesty – quite a unique company.”
It is difficult to communicate all these efforts extensively to the outside world. “But we have briefly shown you through this blog which extra efforts we, as producers of confectionery machines, are making to do our bit.”