For Violeta Shamirian, digitalisation and sustainability are two sides of the same coin. As a Senior Product Owner, she not only manages the introduction of new projects of our global production, but also pushes resource conservation through digital processes to the extreme. She has almost achieved her goal of rendering our production completely paperless. To take on her dream job at Spread Group, Violeta moved from Yerevan to Leipzig in 2017. At the time, she had already gained six years of professional experience as a product owner in various IT companies, as well as a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering.
Spread Group: How do you personally define sustainability?
Violeta Shamirian: For me, sustainability is a question of attitude. We should not claim to want to change the world in one day. Even if it is sometimes difficult – we’re at the the eleventh hour in terms of climate change – we should honor any small progress we make. It is up to us to act now, to use our resources much more consciously and to pay more attention to the social balance in the world. I see economic and political forces having a special responsibility here, because they have it in their hands to set the necessary economic and social incentives.
Spread Group: What motivates you to live a more sustainable lifestyle?
Violeta Shamirian: My everyday life. There are some areas where I am sustainable and some where I am not. Since my family and many friends live in Armenia I need to book a flight if I want to visit them. In exchange, I try to offset those emissions by being more environmentally friendly in other places. I avoid everything that is double packed and triple packed. I like to shop at the weekly market or in shops where I can buy loose and unpackaged goods. If I can, I also try to buy biodegradable cat litter and avoid ordering online if I can get products I need in shops.
What I love most about Germany is recycling. It’s great that it has become so widely accepted among the population here. In Armenia, we don’t have the infrastructure for it yet, but I hope we can create it soon.
The social component of CSR is also close to my heart. I regularly donate to various good causes to support people in need. At some point in my life I volunteered as Project Developer with Action India, an organization that works for women’s rights in India. I would love to do more of such projects.
Spread Group: What sustainability projects have you and your team already implemented?
Violeta Shamirian: As employees, we are at a point in the value chain where we can directly influence the use of resources. In the area of paper, we have made a huge leap forward by using only one sticker in production instead of the previous average of 3 sheets of paper per average order. Now we use sticker sheets each containing 30 stickers. That – in combination with our digital processes – enables us to produce 10 orders with one sheet of paper instead. We source the remaining paper we need for administrative use is procured from sustainable forestry.
Our production staff had to get used to this change. Using paper sheets they could tick off once a job was done made things very easy. It was a simple process, but not a very sustainable one. By switching from paper sheets to barcode stickers, the process is now much more efficient in terms of sustainability and also operational aspect.
Spread Group: What specific sustainability goals have you set for yourself?
Violeta Shamirian: In order to completely replace the paper stickers that are currently still needed, RFID radio frequency identification needs to become a good and very sustainable option. We are currently looking into how we can implement this. I hope that the decision will be made in favor of this advanced solution.
Spread Group: What do you recommend to all readers who would like to further explore the topic of “sustainability”?
Violeta Shamirian: Stay open to technology, at least as far as it supports sustainability. I firmly believe that digitalization will be the key to greater sustainability. And, of course, do your part when making decisions in your professional and personal life.
- Corporate Social Responsibility at the Spread Group: www.spreadgroup.com/sustainability