Elopak, a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment, has recently published its 2020 Sustainability Report. The successes in the report include an 11% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions against a 2017 baseline, marking great progress towards the Science Based Target (SBT) goal of 55% reduction. In addition, Elopak reports on increasing sales of fully renewable cartons for fresh milk in Europe, reaching 18% in 2020, compared to 8% in 2018, as well as the continued use of 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality throughout the company since 2016.
The 2020 report is the company’s first fully digital sustainability report and has been conducted in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. It covers planet, people and profit, setting out the company’s 2020 performance in the context of past progress and future ambitions; sharing case studies that identify some of the drivers behind progress, as well as identifying the remaining challenges as the company works to become Net Zero.
Speaking on the launch of the report, Elopak’s Sustainability Director Marianne Groven, stated, “2020 was an exceptional year in many respects, but critically it marked the beginning of the climate decade. At Elopak we believe that now is the time to shift our focus from simply doing less harm towards doing more good. Our 2020 Sustainability Report sets out our latest performance and ambitions on this front.”
Progress in 2020 was achieved through a combination of innovation and initiatives. For example, at Elopak’s Aarhus facility in Denmark there was a switch from fossil fuel to electric energy on one of the production converters, as well as the adoption of intelligent LED lighting to reduce the power consumption of the facility’s lighting system by 78.4%. Meanwhile, we have reduced the energy per carton by 13% since 2017 and by 23% since 2008.
Prior to 2020 Elopak had already achieved a reduction in the carbon footprint of an average carton with a closure, from 32 gCO2e in 2014 to 25 gCO2e in 2020. The carbon footprint of a carton without a closure is much lower at 17 gCO2e. In 2020 Elopak launched the Pure-Pak® Imagine carton, which is designed with a new easy open feature instead of a plastic screw cap. This carton contains 46% less plastic and is fully forest based.
Elopak maintained its strong focus on people in 2020, investing in the training and education of its employees. The company recorded 5,300 course completions during the year, with 80% employees receiving one or more trainings. Elopak also participated in wider community initiatives, in particular related to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as working with customers to provide milk to food banks in France and donating water boxes to hospitals in Spain.
Commenting on the publication of the report, CEO Thomas Körmendi set out the company’s determination to push its sustainability performance, further stating: “Despite the challenges of 2020 we remained focused on our vision – chosen by people, packaged by nature. Today we celebrate the progress we have made in recent years, including five years of carbon neutrality. However, with the climate decade upon us we must continue our work to advance a low carbon circular economy.”
In recognition of its commitment to advancing sustainability and working collaboratively in pursuit of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Elopak earlier this year announced it has joined the UN Global Compact as a participant.