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Tetra Pak: Accelerating de-carbonisation and collaborations to pioneer a sustainable future

The consequences of climate change – drought, floods, and unreliable access to water and energy – have a destabilising effect on economies and communities around the world. This is a complex challenge given the expected growth of the worldwide population to 9.1 billion by 2050 – translating to +70% food availability. Therefore, the role of food sector in tackling climate change is becoming even more imperative. Tetra Pak, a leading food processing and packaging solutions company, has chosen to focus on an innovation pathway driven by renewability and recyclability, to ensure that the world’s future is not a hungry one.

Tetra Pak is a company with a vision: To commit to making food safe and available, everywhere. And it promises to do so in a way that protects what’s good – protecting food, protecting people as well as protecting the planet. As a purpose-driven company, Tetra Pak is working to maximise the use of renewable materials and to source them responsibly in a way that protects biodiversity, while minimising the carbon emissions across its value chain. The leading food processing and packaging solutions player is also driving an active recycling agenda and enabling greater access to safe food whilst reducing food waste.

Adolfo Orive, President and CEO, Tetra Pak, comments: “In order to minimise our climate impact and at the same time ensure food security for the future, we take a full life cycle view of our solutions.”
Founded on the philosophy that a package should save more than it costs, and having sustainability as a fundamental building block of its 2030 strategy, Tetra Pak is accelerating decarbonisation across its operations by replacing high-carbon, fossil-based materials with low-carbon, renewable and responsibly sourced materials. Executive Vice President of Packaging Solutions and Commercial Operations, Lars Holmquist, explains: “Our cartons are made of approximately 70% paper, which comes from responsibly managed forests, which regenerate and take up carbon dioxide as they grow.” The cartons themselves are recyclable. They are collected and recycled where efficient waste management and recycling infrastructure is in place, then given a new life by making new products, such as tissues, stationery items, roof tiles. Additionally, the company is engaging with efforts to decarbonise the energy used during its operations; with a clear commitment of achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and using 100% renewable electricity across its operations by 2030, and a further ambition of net zero GHG emissions across the value chain by 2050. Against this backdrop, accelerating the development of a low carbon circular packaging and equipment portfolio and working to help customers achieve their emission reduction targets play a vital role, and Tetra Pak has committed approximately €100 million per year over the next 5-10 years to offer more sustainable packaging solutions.

Laurence Mott, Executive Vice President Development and Engineering, adds: “The most critical ingredient for success is collaboration, and more partnerships mean faster solutions.” Tetra Pak is working closely with suppliers, customers and relevant stakeholders across the value chain to address a complex and multi-dimensional issue such as climate change. For instance, in early 2021, the company established a new collaborative innovation model with leading paperboard suppliers, including Stora Enso, Klabin and BillerudKorsnas, together with research institutions, universities and start-ups, to collectively tackle numerous sustainability challenges in the food packaging industry.
Tetra Pak’s ambition is to deliver the world’s most sustainable food package. This means creating cartons that are fully made from renewable or recycled materials, are fully recyclable and carbon neutral. Packages for ambient distribution of food, that can meet the most stringent food safety requirements and regulations.

Around 70 years ago, Tetra Pak introduced the aseptic technology, as such creating a significant impact on driving food access. With the current climate crisis and the potential food security challenges, the food packaging industry needs a major step change in its evolution. With a strong sustainability foundation and bold ambitions to lead the sustainability transformation, Tetra Pak is determined to continue to pioneer a sustainable future that protects what’s good – Food, People, Planet.

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