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Melanie Strong

Melanie Strong is our Director of Supplier Sustainability. This is a new and very important role as it focuses on reducing emissions from our supply chain, also known as Scope 3 emissions.

Tell us about your new role - why is it important to reduce emissions from our suppliers and how will you go about it?

When we look at the baseline of our Scope 3 upstream emissions, we see that the vast majority of this is coming from our suppliers.

We are starting to roll out education externally with our suppliers to further develop our relations with them and promote collaborative change. This allows us to put positive pressure on them so that they understand that a responsible supply chain is a necessity for future opportunities.

Our Sourcing teams will carry out this positive pressure in various formats and integrate it into existing processes such as supplier negotiations, quarterly business reviews, supplier performance cards, audits, request for proposals, and more. We are also looking into environmental action plans with suppliers to drive initiatives on rethinking the products and services we procure from them. These environmental action plans could consist of changing packaging, raw materials, transportation methods, and more. We must challenge the status quo and work together with our suppliers to make this world a better place for today, tomorrow, and forever.

How do our suppliers welcome this initiative - will this change the way we work with our suppliers in any way?

In this role, and my previous roles at Munters, I have had the opportunity to work with many suppliers from various industries and parts of the world. For our larger suppliers, it is clear that they have been part of our growth journey, which makes it natural to integrate sustainability into the existing business relationships.

Recently, I had the opportunity to present at our Supplier Day event in Stockholm (see picture above). This was a great day with our key suppliers as we spoke about many important topics around sustainability and our expectations.

As we continue on our sustainability journey and develop with our suppliers, it will of course change the way we work with them. We must change. Change is inevitable for growth and the preservation of future generations. But we welcome change with our suppliers in a collaborative and innovative way. Success lies in a secure and sustainable supply chain that ensures the lowest impact on the environment and a more equal society.

What do you see as your biggest challenge - and opportunity in your role?

In this role, the biggest challenge for me will be to create and drive the momentum of change. Change is very scary for many people and progress takes time. I will have to be patient and trust in myself and my team to pursue and move forward as the benefits will advance Munters and improve society.

What do you think Munters should do more - and less of when it comes to sustainability?

Over the past five years, I think we have come a long way when it comes to setting our sustainability strategy, initiatives, and goals. We have committed to tracking our factories’ emissions, developing new sustainable products, increasing employee engagement, gender diversity, and much more. Even amid a global pandemic and extremely high demand for our products, we have sustained our efforts to reduce waste and transition to cleaner energy. 

Over the next year, I look forward to seeing more factories become ISO 14001 certified. Achieving these certifications, as well as ISO 9001, will prove to the market that we are striving to not only build quality products but also care for the planet by having an environmental management system in place.

When it comes to what we should do less of, many things come to mind. We should use less energy and recover energy. Less energy and less waste are how we can live more sustainably. Each of us has a responsibility. The choices we make every day can have a dramatic impact.

What do you do in your daily life to live more sustainably?

As a wife, and mother of two young boys, Edward age 4, and Atticus age 2, I am teaching them about the world every day. As a mom, that is what you do anyways, but we must recognize that it is more than that now. At home, we compost all of our food and our boys now know what that means. For family meals and clean up we use washable towels and when we leave a room, they know I will shout if they do not shut the lights off. My boys know about our solar panels and the power of the sun. They are taught to recycle, reuse and repurpose everything. Because sustainability isn’t just a career for me, it’s my lifestyle, and I am proud of that.

Learn more about how we work to reduce our emissions.

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