Vajda-Papír wins the 2021 Composite Factory of the Year Award - The leading manufacturer of hygiene paper products wins in several categories
One of the world's most modern hygiene paper mills, Vajda-Papír's Dunaföldvár mill, has been awarded the top prize
Hungary's leading manufacturer of hygiene paper products, the Vajda-Papír Group, has won the seventh edition of the 2021 Factory of the Year Composite Award with its Dunaföldvár mill, one of the world's most modern hygiene paper mills. The professional grand prize was awarded by Gyula Pomázi, President of the National Intellectual Property Office. According to Attila Vajda, Managing Director of Vajda-Papír Ltd., the award is a recognition of the management's efforts over the past 22 years and of the more than 600 employees of the group, who have worked hard in several shifts during the pandemic to ensure a high level of quality to meet the surge in demand. The Factory of the Year competition, organised by GyártásTrend Magazine and its publisher PPH Media Ltd, assessed the manufacturing companies that entered the competition and the winners of the categories announced, based on a complex set of criteria.
Attila Vajda emphasized that it is a great achievement that Vajda-Papír won the Factory of the Year 2021 award by competing in several categories - Production, Best Management Processes, Energy Efficiency, Industry 4.0, Innovation - and was the best in several of them. According to the CEO, it is thanks to the excellent collective, the factory employees, that the results of the modernisation and improvements in recent years were presented to the audit committee and they were able to win the best in several categories and the main prize with their factory in Dunaföldvár. Commenting on their achievements in each category, he said that companies that are successful in the industry in the long term operate in an integrated production structure, i.e. the production and processing of the base paper is carried out within a group of companies. To this end, since 2018 the group has been producing a significant part of the hygienic base paper needed for its production in its Dunaföldvár plant, and by the summer of 2022, the Vajda-Papír Group will complete its new factory in Dunaföldvár, thus tripling its base paper production capacity and ensuring the company's further growth with a world-class base paper production machine.
Attila Vajda said that the Dunaföldvár mill, which is one of the world's most modern hygiene paper mills, was inaugurated in 2018 with an investment of HUF 15 billion, and the development and expansion has been underway practically since its opening. The scale of the plant, which has just won national recognition, is reflected in the fact that the reinforced concrete used to build the foundations for the machine halls and the building structures weigh several times more than the Chain Bridge, and the plant has a warehouse covering two football pitches.
"The investment in the plant expansion, which will be financed by the issuance of our green bonds and state support, will be a strategic advantage for the company, as it will increase the group's production capacity by 50 percent, i.e. by 70,000 tonnes, and the installation of a line for the production of base paper will complete the supply of the company's own raw materials for its hygiene products," said Attila Vajda.
He added that, among other things, a number of new steps have been taken in the management of raw material production and supply to minimise the environmental footprint of the manufacturing processes. He mentioned that the provision of own-produced raw materials - by eliminating the need for transportation - results in significant fuel savings, thus reducing emissions. All external suppliers reach the factory within 500-1500 km by road. Taking this into account, more than 400,000 litres of fuel can be saved by producing the raw material locally," said Attila Vajda.
He also reported that they have reduced operational carbon emissions and enhanced sustainability in manufacturing and operations. The latest and most environmentally friendly technologies have been incorporated into the mill, and production is also energy efficient: 1 tonne of base paper is produced using up to 26% less electricity and 70% less water than the average paper mill using previous technology. The office and social premises in Dunaföldvár are already heated with waste heat from the process. All paper industry by-products from the production process are used.
The use of packaging materials has also been reduced, and packaging materials include 100% recyclable and recycled plastic. The company has increased the proportion of recycled materials in the majority of plastic primary and secondary product packaging to 60 percent, reducing new plastic use by almost 600 tonnes.
The 22-year old Vajda-Papír Group is Hungary's market leader and the largest manufacturer of hygiene paper products with the largest output, with sales increasing from HUF 52 billion to HUF 57 billion in 2021. The majority of the ten percent increase in turnover was generated by the Hungarian mills, with the Norwegian subsidiary contributing EUR 16.7 billion to the performance. Group EBITDA was HUF 2.7 billion and profit before tax HUF 1.5 billion. Both the growth in exports and the expansion of the product range contributed to the good results.
The Factory of the Year competition was open to any company of any size with a manufacturing unit in Hungary, and a company with more than one manufacturing unit could apply. Companies with a manufacturing unit in Hungary could enter the competition in 9 categories, each of which was judged separately.
The overall Factory of the Year Award is only open to a factory that has submitted a valid entry in more than one category and has won at least one of the categories. Vajda-Paper was the winner in several categories in the SME sector. The composite Factory of the Year Award was awarded separately to SMEs with annual net sales between HUF 3-15 billion and to large companies with annual net sales above HUF 15 billion. The main sponsor of the competition is Vodafone.
Vajda-Papír was founded 22 years ago as a family business, employing around 650 people at group level. In addition to sales in Hungary, the company's tissue paper products are exported to more than 30 countries worldwide. In 2013, the company also opened a subsidiary in Norway, creating more than 130 new jobs.