Elopak Presents Sustainability Story at Dairy Innovation Summit 2020

Elopak’s Director Sustainability Marianne Groven this week addressed the Dairy Innovation Summit 2020. Speaking on sustainable packaging innovations for the sector, her presentation was entitled ‘The Role of Packaging: Leaving your product unchanged and the planet unharmed.’

Groven shared Elopak’s sustainability story, covering the company’s achievements to date and targets for the future.

“Within the sustainability area we have already achieved quite a lot. We started with environmental reporting back in 2008 and over 10 years we saw a 70 per cent reduction in our GHG emissions, due to for example the sourcing of renewable electricity. We have also avoided emissions due to the use of renewable PE offering… and we have also compensated for our all our company emissions since 2016,” Groven explained.

She stressed the strong focus on ethical business conduct, both internally and across the supply chain.

“Our solution has less plastic than bottles. We are based on good wood. We are low carbon. We are renewable and we are easy to recycle… This is what we call Packaging by Nature®,” Groven explained.

She went on to set out why beverage cartons offer a good alternative to plastic bottles, drawing on the latest research and explaining how Elopak is working to reduce its environmental footprint even further so they can help consumers make conscious choices.

During the presentation Groven presented the findings of recent Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) looking at the environmental credentials of cartons, demonstrating how they outperform PET, including PET with recycled content. A 2018 study cited shows that in the case of UHT milk, cartons result in 70.7% less CO2 emissions and in the case of fresh milk 83.6% less CO2 emissions in comparison to disposable PET bottles.

Groven stressed the important role of innovation in delivering solutions for the future and helping the company to achieve further reductions in environmental impact, while maintaining food safety. She also set out some of the key trends driving the move towards more sustainable options.

“What we see is that more and more frequently consumers choose environmentally friendly packaging,” Groven stated.

She went on to give examples of dairies moving from plastic bottles to Elopak’s Pure-Pak® carton with Natural Brown Board, such as Levmilk Dairy in Slovakia and Saaremaa Dairy in Estonia. She also gave the example of Norwegian dairy, TINE, that has moved from a white carton with a cap to a Natural Brown Board carton without a cap, resulting in a carbon footprint reduction of around 40 per cent.

Groven also highlighted the recently launched Pure-Pak® Imagine, the company’s most environmentally friendly carton to date. Available in Natural Brown Board and with no plastic closure it contains 46 per cent less plastic than a typical carton.

“To summarise, our cartons are convenient. They are sustainable and they are authentic. We aim even higher for the future with our ambitious sustainability program,” Groven explained.

“We think we can help consumers make conscious choices,” she concluded.

The Role of Packaging: Leaving your product unchanged and the planet unharmed. By Director Sustainability, Marianne Groven