Elopak, a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment for liquid food, has today published its 2019 Sustainability Report. Among the successes recorded in the report are a 20 per cent reduction in the carbon footprint of cartons with closures since 2014; an increase in the sales volume of FSC™ (FSC™C081801) certified cartons from one per cent in 2010 to 47 per cent in 2019; and the avoidance of 12,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) due to the use of renewable plastics in cartons and closures.
Speaking on the launch of the report, Elopak’s Sustainability Director Marianne Groven stated, “To be sustainable in business is not only possible, it is highly necessary. Maintaining healthy growth without exploiting natural or human resources is essential.”
Sustainability is at the heart of Elopak’s mission to provide consumers with a natural and convenient alternative to plastic bottles that fits within a low carbon circular economy. The company has previously recorded a number of key environmental milestones including the reduction of its emissions by 70 per cent between 2008 and 2018 and the attainment of carbon neutrality in 2016.
In the introduction to the report CEO Thomas Körmendi sets out the context for Elopak’s ever-strengthening focus on sustainability stating, “2019 was a year of many global challenges. We saw teenagers on strike for climate change. We saw the Amazon on fire. We saw hurricanes and flooding, and terrorist attacks. We saw politicians struggling to agree on how to tackle the global challenges ahead. Lately we have also seen how the whole world can rapidly change and adjust to forces greater than ourselves.”
“We recognize our part in the global struggle to preserve the planet for future generations,” Körmendi continues. “In 2019, Elopak strengthened the focus on sustainability, thoroughly embedding sustainability as part of our overall business strategy. A set of goals and strategic initiatives were anchored in the Board of Directors and several projects have been initiated in various business units. Elopak was one out of 87 companies, and the first packaging company, to lead the way towards a 1.5°C future at the UN Climate Action Summit,” he explains.
As one of the first companies to have signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative commitment to keep the rise in global average temperature below 1.5°C, Elopak continues to push itself towards new sustainability goals. These include a 55 per cent reduction of internal GHG emissions by 2030, and a 16 per cent reduction in emissions across the value chain by 2030 from a 2017 baseline, as approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. Other targets include a 70 per cent recycling rate in the EU and Canada by 2025, a sustainability evaluation of key suppliers by 2022, and 100 per cent certified forestry in Elopak cartons.
Innovation is set to play a key role in helping Elopak meet its ambitious targets going forward, with the company increasing R&D spending by 25 per cent between 2017 and 2019. Recent innovation efforts contributed to the launch of Elopak’s most environmentally friendly carton to date – the Pure-Pak® Imagine. Launched in 2020, the carton is a modern version of the company’s original Pure-Pak® carton, containing 46 per cent less plastic and designed with a new easy open feature. It has no plastic screw cap and is 100 per cent forest-based made with Natural Brown Board.