Tetra Pak aims to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its own operations by 2030, with the ambition to achieve net zero GHG emissions for the entire value chain by 2050.

A statement from Tetra Pak said the company was founded on the idea that a package should save more than it costs, with sustainability always at the core of how the company operates as a business.

Since 1999, the company has been collecting data on energy use and GHG emissions from across the organisation on an annual basis, with its emissions accounts audited by an independent third party since 2013.

Tetra Pak executive vice president packaging solutions and commercial operations Lars Holmquist said the company’s GHG targets would drive transformation across the sector and the entire value chain.

Tetra Pak executive vice president packaging solutions and commercial operations Lars Holmquist
Tetra Pak executive vice president packaging solutions and commercial operations Lars Holmquist

“We have consistently delivered on our climate goals, right from the first goal set in 2002, again in 2005 and we are on track to meet our 2020 goal. In 2017, we were the first company in the food and beverage industry to have our climate impact reduction targets approved by the SBT initiative.” Holmquist said.

“More recently, we joined the European Alliance for Green Recovery, the first pan-European call for mobilisation on post-crisis green investment solutions. Today, we're once again leading the way... The planet's greatest environmental challenge demands nothing less from us.”

Tetra Pak said it would focus on four key areas to reach net zero GHG emissions across its own operations by 2030, and to realise its 2050 ambition along the entire value chain.

First, the company is to focus on lowering energy-related emissions through energy conservation, improvements in energy efficiency, installing on site solar photovoltaics and purchasing renewable energy. Since 2011, Tetra Pak has invested over €16 million in energy efficiency, preventing energy use from increasing by 23 per cent over this period. To date the company has installed approximately 2.7 MW of solar PV (or about 8000 panels), delivering low carbon electricity whilst saving operational costs. A member of the RE100 initiative, Tetra Pak has gone from 20 per cent use of renewable electricity in 2014 to 69 per cent in 2019, and it is on track to achieve its 2020 target of 80 per cent.

Second, Tetra Pak said it would partner with suppliers and other stakeholders along the value chain to significantly reduce carbon footprint. Tetra Pak is working with suppliers to cut upstream carbon emissions, including setting ambitious renewable energy targets and increasing the use of renewable and recycled materials, which are critical to make a low carbon circular economy possible.

A Tetra Pak site with solar panels installed on the roof

Third, the company said it would work to accelerate the development of its low carbon circular packaging and equipment portfolio and working to help customers achieve their emission reduction targets. A step change in investment levels in sustainable innovation is helping the company to realise its ambition of a fully recyclable package made solely from renewable or recycled materials as well as to offer processing and packaging lines with minimal carbon footprint.

And fourth, Tetra Pak is to develop sustainable recycling value chains, via collaboration with customers, waste management companies, recyclers, municipalities, industry associations and equipment suppliers. Tetra Pak's vision is that all beverage cartons can be collected for recycling, and zero beverage cartons become litter or are sent to landfill.

Holmquist said, “Ten years ago we set a climate goal to cap our 2020 impact across the value chain at 2010 levels, while growing the business. This helped us save 12 million tonnes of GHG emissions to date. We believe that our ability to set and demonstrate progress in line with science and societal expectations, our innovation drive and the collaborative approach across the value chain put us all on the right path to achieve our new ambition.”

The company has set emissions reduction targets in line with 1.5°C, according to the Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative across scopes 1, 2, and 3.

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