Our CEO, Thomas Körmendi
2021 was a landmark year for Elopak.
From listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange to securing a platinum EcoVadis sustainability rating and announcing the acquisition of Naturepak Beverage Packaging, our people worked tirelessly to position Elopak for future growth whilst at the same time pushing towards new sustainability-focused targets. I am incredibly proud of all that was achieved.
As we look forward, we are deeply concerned by recent events in Ukraine. Elopak stands with those who are suffering as a result of the conflict, and we condemn the unprovoked attack by the Government of Russia on Ukraine. On 4th March 2022, the Elopak Board of Directors took the decision to temporarily suspend all activities in Russia until further notice. Elopak’s plant in Fastiv, Ukraine, has been temporarily closed since 24th February 2022, as we work to protect the safety of our colleagues and their families. I would like to take this opportunity to reassure people that we are doing everything we can to support our staff during this difficult time.
A strong start
In June 2021, we were delighted to welcome 3400 new investors on board. Elopak’s IPO saw 18 million additional shares issued, raising EUR 50 million in new equity. As a listed company, we now have greater flexibility to grow and develop so that we can effectively meet the rising demand for sustainable packaging solutions. 2021 was a year marked by challenges, including the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, the volatility of raw material pricing, and the disruptions to our supply chain. Despite this, Elopak delivered its highest-ever revenue of 940 million Euro, up from 909 million Euro in 2020. We maintained a strong EBITDA margin, and net profit for the year stood at 54.1 million.
Investing in innovation
Elopak has a proud history of innovation, and in 2021, we upgraded the Elopak Technology Centre – transforming it into a customer-centric hub ready for another century of innovation. We were delighted to unveil new products such as the more environmentally friendly Pure-Pak® eSense: our first aseptic carton made without an aluminum layer. By eliminating this extra layer, we have reduced the carbon footprint of the carton by 30%. 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, reducing the use of plastics while also delivering on the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive ahead of 2024.
Sustainability at our core
In 2021 we shifted our focus from simply doing less harm towards doing more good, maintaining our focus on the three areas of people, planet, and profit. The roll-out of our new vision, ‘Chosen by people, packaged by nature’, and our mission to remain our customers’ partner and consumers’ favorite across the business supports this positioning both externally and internally.
Carbon neutral since 2016, Elopak stepped up a gear, and our efforts were recognized as we secured a platinum rating from EcoVadis – placing us in the top 1% of more than 75,000 companies rated worldwide by EcoVadis and their network.
We continued to place strong a emphasis on people, working to identify and strengthen initiatives designed to promote employee wellbeing and motivation, as well as keeping them safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021 we developed a human rights framework and performed a human rights risk assessment of suppliers. Meanwhile, efforts to raise safety awareness have contributed to a reduction in the number of recordable injuries by 23% since 2019.
As a champion of the power of collaboration, we were also delighted to officially join the UN Global Compact as a participant. We continue to track our performance against our targets, and I encourage those interested in learning more to read our latest Sustainability Report.
Sustainability-driven growth strategy
As a pioneer of sustainable packaging solutions, Elopak’s growth strategy is centered on investment in innovation; the pursuit of new business opportunities in existing and new markets across both traditional and non-traditional segments; driving the plastic to carton conversion; and driving commercial excellence through margin optimization, value engineering, and operational improvement. Significant progress was made on these fronts in 2021, from the announcement of our intention to acquire Naturepak Beverage Packaging Co Ltd to the roll-out of our popular Natural Brown Board cartons in North America and the reintroduction of an old favorite in the form of the D-PAK™ range of cartons for household products.
We delivered growth in more established segments, pursuing a strategic initiative to develop the UHT business, as well as growing high-value products in new segments like iced tea to boost our aseptic sales. As a result, there was a 9% volume growth in Pure-Pak® Aseptic compared to the previous year, with increased demand for our Pure-Pak® Aseptic systems.
2021 was indeed a landmark year for Elopak from which we have emerged stronger, more pioneering, and with a clearer sense of direction. We look forward to building on this strong foundation in 2022 and beyond.