Tetra Pak highlights packing and energy efforts in sustainability report

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

About 20% of Tetra Pak's major global sites are now running on 100% renewable power.
About 20% of Tetra Pak's major global sites are now running on 100% renewable power.

Related tags Sustainability Packaging Tetra pak

Processing and packaging manufacturer Tetra Pak has released its 20th annual sustainability report, which gives a comprehensive look at the company and how it protects ‘food, people and futures’ in the realm of packaging sustainability.

Tetra Pak pouches are a leading method of eco-friendly packaging for dairy products and beverages. The company prioritizes sustainability efforts and constantly works to improve its “development, sourcing, manufacturing and transportation activities.”

Committing to 100% renewable power 

In 2017, Tetra Pak said, it reduced its overall climate impact by 13%, despite a 19% increase in packages sold. It also had its climate impact reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative in 2016, making it the first company in food packaging to do so.

Under the SBT, Tetra Pak committed to reducing its operational GHG emissions by 42% by 2030 and by 58% by 2040, from its 2015 levels.

“The science-based targets allowed us to align our climate goal to the level of decarbonisation needed to keep global temperature increase below 2°C and to look beyond our existing commitments and set a course of action all the way to 2040,”​ Tetra Pak said.

Tetra Pak factories in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and South Africa all hit a goal of running on 100% renewable power in 2017, resulting in about 20% of the company’s major sites now running on 100% renewable power.

Mario Abreu, VP of sustainability at Tetra Pak, also weighed in on the recent plastics ban movement that’s seen major companies like Starbucks and McDonald’s eliminate single-use plastic straws and replace them with more environmentally friendly options.

“We know that we must be part of this conversation because although it is a small amount, we do use plastic in our products,”​ Abreu said.

“While we are still working out exactly how Tetra Pak will be contributing to solving this problem in the long run, we have already pledged our support for the EU’s new Plastics Strategy and made a commitment to develop a paper straw by the end of 2018.”

Solar advantages and shelf-safe drinks

Its carbon reduction strategy relies on this renewable energy, proven in 2016 when Tetra Pak committed to RE100 to source 100% renewable electricity by 2030. The report reveals the company has already reached 50% renewable electricity consumption in the two years since.

To achieve this, Tetra Pak purchased International Renewable Energy Certificates (I-RECs), which is “an international standard for issuing, tracking and redeeming renewable energy certificates (RECs) in countries where tracking systems for RECs do not yet exist.”

They also invest in solar power and have seven solar panel installations at facilities worldwide, and shared that by 2019, all of the company’s electricity consumed in the US will be from renewable sources.

Tetra Evero, the world’s first aseptic carton bottle, launched in North America in 2017 as a packaging solution for shelf-safe beverages that can be stored for up to one year without refrigeration. It eliminates the need for refrigerated transportation and is ideal packaging for beverages sent to aid in natural disaster relief. The report detailed its success in partnering with its beverage customers to assist victims of hurricanes in the US since its launch. 

Dennis Jonsson, president and CEO of Tetra Pak, said, “Food in a Tetra Pak package can be transported and stored for several months, without the need for either refrigeration or preservatives. This significantly improves access to food for people around the world and we act to make sure this potential is fulfilled.”

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