A Look Back On 2021 By Elopak CEO Thomas Körmendi
It has been another productive and exciting year for all of us at Elopak. We have managed to effectively navigate difficult global challenges, notably the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and have emerged stronger for it. We have enjoyed being able to reconnect with colleagues and customers in person but have always maintained the safety and wellbeing of our staff and partners as our top priority. All in all, we can look back on the past year and be proud of everything we have accomplished.
In 2021, we were delighted to unveil several new product innovations, such as the Pure-Pak® eSense: our first aseptic carton made without an aluminium layer. By eliminating this extra layer, we have reduced the carbon footprint of the carton by 30%, while still maintaining full recyclability. Over the summer, we also announced the Pure-TwistFlip™ – a tethered cap that remains attached to the carton throughout its entire lifecycle. This is our lightest cap to date, allowing us to reduce the overall amount of plastics in our products while also delivering on the EU Single Use Plastics Directive.
In addition to these new product designs, this year we were happy to see an old favourite return to the shelves as we reintroduced the D-PAK™ range of cartons for household products Originally produced in the 1990s, these cartons were relaunched in association with Norwegian FMCG company Orkla, bringing the sustainability benefits of Elopak cartons to their Klar range of detergents and hand soaps.
The big news of 2021 was our listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange in June. This involved the release of 18 million new shares, raising €50 million in new equity to help fuel our growth into new markets and allowing us to play an even larger role in the shift towards a low-carbon circular economy.
Shortly afterwards, in October, we announced the acquisition of Naturepak Beverage Packaging, subject to approvals by the relevant authorities. Naturepak is the leading gable top fresh liquid carton supplier in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and this exciting development will reinforce Elopak’s position in the region. It is also an important milestone in our plans to expand the company’s global footprint.
As ever, the past year has seen a number of important sustainability accomplishments for Elopak and I feel immensely proud of the vital progress we continue to make on this issue. In line with the Science Based Targets that we set in 2019 our latest sustainability report showed an 11% decrease in our direct greenhouse gas emissions. We also documented a 23% decrease in the power required to produce our cartons since 2008 and reduced the carbon footprint of our Pure-Pak® cartons by nearly a third from 2014.
In recognition of our sustainability efforts, in November Elopak was awarded a ‘Platinum Rating’ for sustainability performance by EcoVadis, the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. This places us in the top 1% of companies evaluated across all industries – an extraordinary achievement.
Going forward, achieving our sustainability goals will rely increasingly on collaboration. We were therefore very excited this year to become a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, which brings together more than 9,500 companies in 160 countries. This is an important step in Elopak’s sustainability journey, allowing us to work alongside fellow participants to share our experience and take inspiration from others.
Looking ahead to 2022, we will continue to develop and grow as a company based on a strategy of innovation, the pursuit of new business and new markets, and championing the sustainable case for plastic to carton conversion. I look forward to expanding our product portfolio even further and seeing our geographical horizons grow wider. For now though, I would like to say that the past year has been one of our best yet and I am grateful to all of our staff, customers, suppliers and partners who helped make it such a success. I wish you all a joyful festive period and a happy new year.