Elopak finalised the certification in April for its main converting sites in Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands so that 25 per cent of its drinks cartons sold globally can now carry the FSC logo.
To achieve this certification, Elopak had to confirm that the wood fibres in the cartons produced at the sites are traceable. This meant that its suppliers had to obtain forestry certification themselves to demonstrate that the raw materials come from well managed forests.
Elopak is now building on this first step by pursuing full European certification and then worldwide certification. By 2018 the company said all its converting operations will operate with full FSC certification. Elopak has also made a commitment to the EU that by 2015, 100 per cent of its board supply will be controlled and traceable.
Explaining why these targets are set so far in the future, environmental director Sveinar Kildal told FoodProductionDaily.com that the implementation speed of certification can be slow because Elopak needs to ensure that all its suppliers are in compliance.
This process takes time, especially in certain parts of the world where sustainable forestry practices are not well established. Kildal said that Nordic countries have a long history of replantation dating back to forestry laws in the 19th century. This gives these countries a major head-start when it comes to implementing FSC certification.
Tetra Pak, Elopak, and SIG Combibloc, which together account for four fifths of the global drinks carton market, have all made commitments to obtain 100 per cent FSC certification. All three have agreed to secure chain of custody certification for all their carton manufacturing plants by 2018. Kildal said Elopak is on track to achieving this goal ahead of schedule.