The emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere has many negative effects, the most prevalent being global warming. The average temperature on the planet’s surface has increased by 1 degree since pre-industrial times.
In 2021, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) launched its Net zero Standard, the first framework for corporate net-zero target setting in line with climate science. The term net zero was previously not defined and could have been applied to carbon neutrality through offsetting or compensation. The new framework requires near-term and long-term targets focusing on rapid, deep emission cuts across the value chain. By 2050, emissions must be close to zero, and any residual emissions that cannot be eliminated must be neutralized through carbon removals.
The SBTi recommends investments outside the value chain to help mitigate climate change elsewhere. There is an urgent need to scale up near-term climate finance; however, these investments should be in addition to deep emission cuts, not instead of them. Companies should follow the mitigation hierarchy, committing to reduce their value chain emissions before investing to mitigate emissions outside their value chains.
Science Based Targets initiative
Elopak has worked systematically to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions since 2008. We have publicly reported our emission data every year and made significant emission cuts through several reduction initiatives, including the increased use of renewable electricity. Since 2016, we have sourced 100% renewable electricity and have been a member of RE100. Since the same year, we have been a carbon-neutral company, offering carbon-neutral packaging to our customers. In 2019, Elopak was an early adopter of the SBTi’s initiative to cut Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, keeping the global average temperate increase below 1.5°C.
Elopak supports the SBTi and took part in the Net zero Road Test with 80 other companies during the summer of 2021. We see it as imperative to reach net zero by 2050 first and foremost by delivering on our near term targets and to stay on track towards the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting the consequences of climate change on the people on this planet.
Elopak has updated our near-term targets on the path to net zero, committing to reducing absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 42% by 2030 from a 2020 base year. In addition, we pledge to continue sourcing 100% renewable electricity. We have also committed to reducing scope 3 GHG emissions by 25% by 2030 from a 2020 base year (read about the changes in our targets here).
In parallel, Elopak will continue to support sustainability projects in developing countries through our carbon neutrality program (read more below).
Our approach is firmly embedded throughout the company through our sustainability program, commitment to the SBT initiative, and RE100 membership. We are reporting in line with the GRI framework, the GHG protocol, and CDP.
Multiple stakeholders confirm the importance of climate and emission reductions, which further strengthens our motivation and drive to deliver on our targets.
42% reduction of Elopak’s direct emissions (scope 1 and residual scope 2) by 2030
25% reduction of value chain’s emissions (scope 3) by 2030
a) Scope 1 and 2 emissions (tonnes CO2e)
b) Change in scope 1 and 2 emissions (% from 2020 baseline)
c) GHG emission intensity (g CO2e/ produced carton)
d) Energy intensity reduction (% from 2017)
e) Change in energy consumption (% from 2017)
f) Scope 3 emissions (tonnes CO2e)
g) Change in scope 3 emissions (% from 2020 baseline)
h) Carbon footprint of cartons (g CO2e/fresh carton in EU market)
i) Emissions offset since the start of Elopak’s carbon neutral program (tonnes CO2e)
GRI 305-1 and 305-2
a) 7 676 tonnes CO2e
c) 0,76 g CO2e/carton
f) 679 178 tonnes CO2e
h) 25 g CO2e/carton
i) 303 802 tonnes CO2e
Scope 1 + 2 emissions
Natural gas, propane, heating oil, waste incineration, wood
Energy consumption accounts for the majority of our internal CO2e emissions. These are not easy to directly replace with low-carbon energy sources. Therefore, we are focusing on energy efficiency initiatives in our factories and projects to replace fossil energy with renewable sources. In 2021, we saw a 10 % reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions since 2020, due to initiatives such as replacing gas with renewable electricity, especially on heating of buildings. Read more here.
Electricity, district heating
Renewable electricity means sourcing from renewable sources such as hydro, wind, or solar power. This is highly beneficial compared to finite, fossil energy sources, which have considerably higher emissions.
To source renewable electricity, companies can either directly invest in new renewable generation capacity or use certificate systems. Elopak has chosen the latter and is purchasing energy certificates to cover 100% of our electricity consumption. The electricity consumed should be sourced within the same market as it is produced to increase local capacity and supply.
In 2021, Elopak started sourcing certificates closer to our sites. In addition, we are engaging with Becour to follow the power plants serving our plants through a new online platform (read more here).
We used the following sources for the supply of renewable electricity at our sites:
Guarantees of Origin (GO)
Embretsfoss Hydropower plant, Norway
International Renewable Electricity Certificates (I-RECs)
Funtovo wind farm and Abakanskaya solar plant, Russian Federation
International Renewable Electricity Certificates (I-RECs)
Krzecin and Piecki wind farms, Poland
Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
Cameron wind park, USA
In 2015, Elopak became the first packaging company and the first Norwegian company to join the RE100 campaign, committing to sourcing 100% renewable electricity from 2016 onwards for all fully owned production units and offices worldwide. We are proud to be one of only a few companies in the RE100 campaign to reach this goal at this early stage.
The RE100 Annual Report for 2021 states that 61 of the RE100 members (up 8 from 2020) have announced reaching 100% renewable electricity.
Scope 3 emissions occur in the product value chain outside the reporting company. The emissions are part of someone else’s scope 1 and 2, but they occur because a product enters the market and is therefore also reported by its producer. A life cycle approach to the value chain is important to ensure that all emissions related to products are included
There are many categories for scope 3 emissions, all of which are presented and described in the methodology chapter, read more here. Although all categories are estimated and reported in the data tables, we will highlight the categories included in the scope of our Science Based Targets, namely raw materials, business travel, transport and distribution, and filling machines in operation. These are the most relevant categories where Elopak can make an impact through value chain collaboration.
In 2021, our scope 3 emissions remained unchanged from 2020. Each category is presented separately below.
The main source of our scope 3 emissions lies in the raw materials of our products. Emissions from this category slightly decreased from 2020 to 2021, mainly due to a decrease in volume. The carbon footprint of our cartons have gradually decreased over the past years.
LCA study in Americas
A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) carried out by Anthesis Ltd. demonstrated that the average Pure-Pak® carton presents a lower carbon footprint than a typical HDPE bottle or PET bottle in the North American market.Read more
UBA approval of German LCA
The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has confirmed the ecological advantages of the beverage carton.Read more
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to global travel restrictions, affecting both 2020 and 2021. In Elopak, most work has been done through online meetings, meaning less business travel. Working online has several benefits, such as saving time, costs, and emissions. Elopak encourages employees to choose online meetings when possible, even when travel restrictions are lifted.
Elopak saw a 6 % decrease in emissions from business travel from 2020 to 2021.
Transport and distribution
One of our priorities the last two years has been to focus on improving the fill rate of our transports.
With improved KPI reporting tools, we can pinpoint and monitor improvement potentials. The graph above shows the average fill rate of trucks from our production plants in the Netherlands (TRN) and Denmark (AAR), both with significant improvements through 2019-2021. This success results from dedicated cooperation between several parties, particularly the focus of order handlers to ensure customer deliveries fill the size of the transport equipment. Fill rate is measured by calculating how much of the floor space of the transport equipment we fill.
Our plant in Montreal, Canada, has implemented some successful logistics initiatives impacting sustainability, including acquiring a pool of reusable pallets, replacing the need for four new pallets a day to handle parts of their internal logistics processes, and replacing 720 single-use waste containers per year with reusable containers.
Emissions from transport were reduced by 9% from 2020 to 2021, mainly due to less material transported. Per tonne material transported, the emissions were reduced by 5%. Use of rail and sea transport was slightly increased in 2021 compared to 2020.
Filling machines in operation
Elopak provides filling machines to many of the world’s leading beverage manufacturers. Our filling machine portfolio offers a wide range of efficient and reliable solutions for Ambient, Extended Shelf Life, and Fresh distribution.
The machines feature a space-saving, compact design with a capacity of up to 14,000 cartons per hour in different formats and hygiene classes. They require minimal manpower and include the option of fully automatic material loading, offer exceptional flexibility, and have low utility consumption and operating costs. With the fastest possible change-over of format, design and volume, in addition to specially designed and proven filler valve models, the machines enable an extended product line ranging from non-carbonated soft drinks and liquid dairy products to medium and high viscous products.
Our development efforts recently also extended towards the option of filling both the aseptic and ESL products on the same filling line. With the E-PS120A hybrid filling machine, this exceptional level of operational flexibility can bring even more value to our customers.
Enhancements to both new and existing filling machines address the energy consumption of the individual steps in the carton filling and sealing process. An example is a conversion kit released in 2021, which concerns the efficiency of electrical components powering the top sealers on our aseptic machines. With newly designed power cables, the dissipation rate could be reduced by 50%, reducing the total energy used.
We offer our customers research and development support during the entire project lifecycle, including the new package and product development, comprehensive after-sales services, technical training, and maintenance support. In 2021, this capability was further strengthened by investments in the infrastructure of our Test Centers.
In 2021, emissions from filling machines in operation increased by 10%. This is due to more machines being sold/leased in 2021 compared to 2020.
Optimizing transport packaging
Through a specific customer-focused project, we have been looking at ways to reduce transport costs and packaging material.Read more
Aseptic alu-free machine
2021 marked further expansion of Elopak’s filling machine portfolio in the fresh and aseptic segments.Read more
To meet our ambitious emission reduction targets, we have built a roadmap to 2030. The new near-term targets set stricter requirements for our value chain emissions, and we had to strengthen our focus on joint initiatives with our value chain partners.Moving forward
Since 2016, Elopak has offset all emissions from our operations and offered carbon-neutral cartons to our customers. The carbon-neutral approach is stepwise: First, we measure, quantify, and publicly report our emissions, then set emission reduction goals and work continuously to reach them, before lastly offsetting the remaining emissions by supporting projects outside our value chain.
In the past six years, Elopak has offset all emissions from our manufacturing processes, transport, and business travels. By expanding the scope to include raw materials, waste and distribution, we are offering carbon-neutral packaging to our customers. Elopak was the first to offer CarbonNeutral® Packaging for beverages and liquid foods.
The term net-zero could previously be used to describe carbon neutrality through offsetting outside the value chain. The Net Zero standard from Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) redefines this term, and Elopak follows this development. Still, we recognize the urgent need to help mitigate climate change through beyond value chain mitigation. Such investments should, however, be made in addition to emission reductions, not instead of them.
Elopak supports several projects outside the value chain that provide third-party verified carbon emission reductions. We choose projects with multiple benefits, not only contributing to reduced greenhouse gas emissions but also improved livelihoods and health and societal benefits.
When engaging in voluntary carbon credits, compliance is of utmost importance. Read more about our verification approach here.
Emissions are offset by supporting projects outside our value chain
Company emissions for 2020:
This project is building the long-term resilience of small-scale farms in Western Kenya. By equipping local farmers with the tools and knowledge to use sustainable techniques, they are able to reverse poor soil quality that is affecting their crop yields and have a better chance at withstanding ever more unpredictable weather in the region. The project employs a team of local field officers to introduce practices such as planting crops between a variety of trees to offer shade from strong sun, shelter from wind and to stabilise the soil and increase water retention. These techniques build resilient food systems and at the same time sequester carbon, allowing the farmers to receive carbon finance through a transparent distribution scheme. The project also establishes village savings and loan associations, ensuring better financial security for communities in the project area.
We need to tackle the amount of waste that is produced and we also need to scale existing solutions that make waste disposal more sustainable today. Waste from landfill sites emits large amounts of greenhouse gases, in particular methane, which over 20 years is many times more potent than carbon dioxide. The purpose of the project is to capture this gas and prevent it from being released freely into the atmosphere. Once captured, gas is used as a fuel for electricity generation and hence displaces fossil fuel-based electricity. Looking to the future, the project also contributes to improving solid waste management practices through a remediation program to close landfills – and increasing recycling in Mexico. The project contributes to a range of Mexico’s sustainable development goals, specifically by:
- expanding clean and efficient technologies;
- generating clean renewable energy;
- creating employment opportunities;
- improving waste management practices and preventing environmental pollution.
The Isangi project in the Congo Basin protects over 187,000 hectares of one of Earth’s most biodiverse rainforests from deforestation. As carbon sinks, forests play an important role in climate change mitigation. This project helps to alleviate local poverty by promoting sustainable economic opportunities and developing educational initiatives to bring a brighter future to remote communities.
Packaging emissions for 2021:
This Gold Standard certified project in the coastal region of Kenya, provides clean drinking water to small rural communities through the repair and installation of boreholes.
Using a vertical pipe casing and well screen, the boreholes can extract clean water from the ground and communities no longer have to purify water by boiling it. This project is based around Kilifi County which is on the coast, north of Mombasa. So far more than 60 boreholes have been rehabilitated, benefiting about 37,000 people. With easy access to clean water, families no longer have to collect firewood for boiling, saving time and reducing deforestation.
Without a functioning borehole, women spent an average of 2 hours 50 minutes per day collecting water, which reduced to 47 minutes per day after the borehole in the region was rehabilitated.
As an add-on to the water project, Elopak supports the planting of mangroves in the same region. As it takes time for trees to grow and capture carbon, these are not calculated into the actual carbon emission offsetting. Mangroves are estimated to store up to four times more carbon than rainforests, making them a highly effective natural climate solution. The project is also creating local jobs and new opportunities for the locals.
Over 80% of Kenya’s mangrove forests have disappeared. On Mtwapa Creek, near Mombasa, the mangrove forests have been destroyed to provide fuel and income for local communities. The deforestation has been so severe there is space for at least 100,000 trees. A local conservation group based in the area is raising seedlings to restore the coastal mangroves.
In order to present a new alternative to local communities, beehives are installed in the trees – providing a new income source from the sale of honey. Medicinal honey is in high demand and particularly valuable in the markets.
An efficient, easy-to-use stove, reduces fuel use by 50%, reducing the health impacts of indoor air pollution and saving money.
Many countries rely on biomass or charcoal for cooking, which is a root cause of poverty, poor health, gender inequality, and environmental degradation. The stove used by this project is popular for its ease of use and robust design, being durable yet portable. By reducing charcoal fuel consumption by over 50 percent compared to traditional stoves, households throughout Ghana are able to realise significant financial benefits, leaving more to spend on essential items like family health and education. Investment in the project has established a local production facility based near Accra, with over 20 local technicians and artisans trained at stove manufacturing, and a distribution network generating income for more than 200 retailers.