Green deal
6. September 2021

Interview with Carsten Diekmann

Mr. Carsten Diekmann is the Managing Director of Georg Utz AG, Bremgarten (CH). He has a successful history of working in the packaging and plastic industry. Worked in the past for companies in Germany, Scandinavia, UK and now in Switzerland. He is skilled in Logistics, Negotiations, Operations Management, Supply Chain Optimization and Sales Management. Heart and soul, passion and expertise are important components of daily work and orientation for him. He focuses on people who makes a good and successful team.

1. Your company focuses on the optimization and automation of various internal processes. Can you please tell us about the key solutions you have implemented at Georg Utz, which help to increase the performance and efficiency of the enterprise, whilst bearing in mind your zero-waste goal?
Our company is focused on the development and production of returnable & reusable packaging solutions produced out of plastic. Mainly, we use the raw materials Polyethylene (HDPE) and Polypropylene (PP). The Utzgroup converts approx. 65.000 to of raw material per year into high quality products for the logistic and supply chain. We as a group of 8 production plants on 3 continents implemented already years ago several Utz technical- and production standards. We work with international KPI´s and share our knowledge in so called Working Groups between the production plants in different disciplines. The process starts with a standardised ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning) followed by a modern state of the art MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and even the production and machine parameters of our injection moulding machines are getting permanent analysed, optimised and archived during the production run. We work with modern injection moulding machines from the Austrian and Germany manufacturer ENGEL and Krauss Maffei. New technologies of production or product applications are getting developed at one production plant and then distributed at a specific project milestone to all the other production plants for implementation and use for their local markets. This will give us a large time and quality advantage to be in front of our competitors. The strategy is, that we add all the production steps like printing, welding, barcode labelling, laser marking, quality control and assembly work into the fully automated production cell to increase efficiency and quality of production and product. The plants are all ISO certificated with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001. Sustainability and climate friendly or climate neutral products are embedded in our strategy and company DNA. Every year we measure our sustainability activities together with our long-term partner and we prepare every year a sustainability report, monitor our carbon footprint and the improvements.

2. The Reduction of carbon footprint is definitely a hot topic in connection with the EU Green Deal. How does your manufacture contribute to sustainable consumption patterns?
Yes, that is correct, and this is also embedded in our strategy and daily activities. We try to reduce our energy consumption through investment into new modern and less energy consuming production machines and equipment. We use energy out of renewable sources (e.g. 100% water power in Switzerland) and we produce part of our energy with on premise photovoltaic equipment. Every injection moulding machine works with modern control units to monitor and optimise the energy consumption, the machine settings and machine parameters. Production waste will be separated and recycled wherever possible. Quantities and type of waste will be analysed and monitored. A few of the main relevant KPI´s are also available for all our team members to get there a buy in and attraction. Our long-term objective is carbon neutrality. Thanks to our climate strategy, we know what we must do. We want to approach this objective one step at a time.
3. Without a doubt, the recycling management is the resource model of the future. Can you please tell us a little more about your strategy for the coming future? 
At Utz, sustainability is tradition. The founder of the company realized that there must be a harmonious balance between economy and ecology. This is how we have always promoted the benefits of recycling management to our customers. Utz began to develop its know-how for the use of secondary raw materials already in the 1970s and continues to do so today. Headlines like Rethink Plastic, Reuse Plastic, Recycle Plastic and Create Circular economy drives our daily activities and we are aware of our responsibilities and the impact we can deliver as a global company with 1.200 members of staff. The careful use of all resources is firmly anchored in the Utz Group’s mission statement. Plastic is our material. It not only has excellent technical properties – it also enables us to produce lightweight yet robust products. It is also 100 percent recyclable. Through local production, we ensure short transport routes on three continents. In reusable logistics, we recognize the optimal application for our products, which are all designed for long-term use. For all of us at Utz, sustainability has been a matter of the heart for three generations. We are proud of the fact that we can actively contribute to climate protection with our products.

The Utzgroup is a family-owned company, with over 60 years of experience in the manufacturing of returnable plastic containers, pallets, component holders and specific customer solutions. Working closely with their customers and logistics experts, the company develops and manufactures innovative products using both thermoformed and injected moulded processes for complex materials handling operations. Along with their U.S. facility, The Utz Group has manufacturing plants in Switzerland, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Poland, China and Mexico. The Utz Group is able to create relevant, international solutions that are efficient and environmentally friendly. Company’s experience and international reach across multiple markets make us the best choice in our industry.