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Zoi: Stepping outside of your comfort zone

Bravely leaving her home country of Greece for the first time in 2018, Zoi embarked on an exciting 8 month development assignment in Ireland that opened up multiple learning opportunities and accelerated her maturity and career progression. Already working in Quality, her placement enabled her to piece together and better understand the full sustainability agenda. Feeling out of her comfort zone and with many lessons learnt along the way, she had the support of an excellent support network and is looking back on a great experience.

Zoi, why did you join CCH in the first place?

I joined in October 2006 and was already trained as a chemical engineer. I always thought the food industry was interesting and when I saw an opportunity to apply for a role at the Schimatari plant I grabbed it with both hands, especially after getting the friendly feel of the people and environment during the interview process.

Zoi: What did you do before?

I was a Food Safety and Quality Management Consultant with responsibility for the design and implementation of Quality and food safety management systems. Working on several projects with many different companies I was feeling ready and eager to join a manufacturing team and live the everyday excitement of operations.  This is when I found the role at CCHBC. 

Zoi Preveniou

In a nutshell, in operational sustainability or Quality, Safety, Environment, we work hard to keep our consumers fully satisfied, happy and safe when enjoying our products, while keeping our employees healthy & safe whilst they are at work, protecting in parallel the environment and ensuring that we will leave a better planet to the next generations!

Zoi Preveniou Sustainability Manager in Greece/Cyprus

How would you describe your job?

In a nutshell, in operational sustainability or QSE (Quality, Safety, Environment), we work hard to keep our consumers fully satisfied, happy and safe when enjoying our products. And we make sure our employees are healthy & safe whilst they are at work. 

Working in sustainability means that your primary concern in regards to protecting the environment is to reduce our environmental footprint. We do this by enhancing our environmental actions for water, energy and recycling. 

What does that look like?

Starting from the first pillar ‘Q’, Quality and Food Safety is of high focus for our BU and Plants’ teams. We run regular programs and have strict standards to secure premium quality focus and food safety in the whole supply chain, including programs dedicated for our customers. 

Health and safety is paramount to the whole organization and in Greece and Cyprus we have H&S protocols for every job to ensure that everyone is safe and well at work, as well as everyone who enters our premises. 

Protecting our environment comes last but not least. Reducing our environmental footprint & decreasing CO2 emissions in all our activities and contributing to a Word Without Waste, by adopting new technologies for water & energy consumption decrease, increased focus on recycling and waste reduction, reduce of plastic use and increase of recycled PET usage are some of the main actions in our sustainability agenda. 

What is the best thing about working in sustainability?

We are continuously kept on our toes whilst ensuring standards are maintained. You have a multitopic agenda and daily opportunities to learn about many processes and different topics and meet & work with many people inside and outside CCHBC along the way. Proactively keeping up with innovation, good collaboration and teamwork are some of the keys to the success of a role in Sustainability. You are never bored! I love the feeling of being empowered to do what is needed to get the best results meet our increasingly stringent improvement targets while making steady progress towards the Environmental Sustainable Development Commitments set by our Group for 2025.  

Long story short, if you work in sustainability, everything you do is focused on leaving a better planet for the next generations!

What was your biggest challenge so far?

Without a doubt, leaving my beautiful home country of Greece for my 8 month assignment in Ireland was the biggest step I’ve ever taken. I didn’t know anyone and quickly, I needed to learn about the people, culture and the environment on my arrival in Ireland and get up to speed with business needs of my role. I had many struggles, some of them pretty unexpected and funny, like understanding the Irish accent, driving with the steering wheel being on the wrong side 😊 & on the left side of the road. Nothing was like I was used to, but Irish people are so warm and welcoming, so I soon settled down and I embraced everything as a great opportunity for me to move out of what I knew, learn new things and progress! 

All this was possible because of the generous and continuous support and leadership of our Group Manufacturing and Sustainability team. On reflection, I am absolutely grateful I was given the opportunity to experience each and every one of these challenges!

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So, if you've got a drive to succeed, a willingness to learn and a winning spirit, why not join us?