”Doing things right should be easy”

That’s according to Maria Smith, Environmental Manager at Northern European food provider ICA, who has been recognized as Coor’s “Environmental Star of the Year” with Stefan Gideskog, ICA’s Facilities Manager, in recognition of the company’s high commitment to environmentally friendly services. “Sustainability work should be run on a structured and simple footing to achieve long-term and effective results,” adds Maria.

This is the second consecutive year that Coor has presented its Environmental Star of the Year award, inaugurated to reward active environmental work by Coor's customers. Staffan Ebenfelt, President of Coor Sweden, says that most customers run good environmental and sustainability work on their own core operations and are also interested in environmentally friendly solutions for their support services.

"A lot of our customers want to take a focused approach to their sustainability work, which we find encouraging and stimulating. Because we saw there was no structured process for environmental work in our segment, we developed our own tool, Coor Green Services, which helps us environmentally audit our customers' support services."

ICA, this year's Environmental Star, is an example of this goodwill, which succeeded in improving its results markedly on the previous year. In the 2011 audit, ten ICA sites achieved the Silver standard and three Gold. Stefan Gideskog, ICA's Facilities Manager, confirms that Coor Green Services is a tool that helps ICA's environmental work.

"We were really keen to get our environmental work in our FM operations going on a structured footing. Coor has an attractive working method that is helping us change our conduct and that can have a positive effect with fairly low work input."

− ICA has been working actively on sustainability in its core business for a long time. "We've done very well, but sometimes we're not so good at telling people about it, so receiving this award is really great. It makes our environmental work more visible and confirms ICA's environmental commitment. It feels amazing to get this award," commented Maria Smith, Environmental Manager at ICA Sweden.

According to Maria, the recipe for success is to understand that everyone does the execution. Tools have to be simple and you have to practice what you preach.

"Actually, a lot of it is about common sense, but getting access to a tool that lists all the possible environmental improvements is fantastic, so all you need to do is execute them."

Stefan Gideskog thinks that every one at ICA is willing to do the right thing, and this is one contributor to it achieving such good results at its sites.

"The initial assumption of service users is that everything should be thought through and right in the workplace. That printer paper is environmental, that we save electricity where we can, and so on. Nowadays that's a starting-point—a hygiene factor."

"ICA is a very worthy winner of "Environmental Star of the Year." It's an active customer that sets high standards, resulting in a high and consistent environmental standard at its sites," concludes Staffan Ebenfelt.

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