At Tetra Pak, our approach to sustainability is shaped by our brand promise: PROTECTS WHAT'S GOOD™. Clearly, that's about protecting food through the processing, packaging and servicing activities that have long been the core of our business. But it goes further. It is also about protecting people: our own employees, as well as the communities in which we work and society as a whole. And it is about protecting futures: by developing the products and services that will support the future business growth of our customers; by acting and operating in ways that best protect the future of our environment; and by driving a sustainable growth agenda that best ensures the future success of Tetra Pak.
We have long realized the importance of balancing each of these commitments. And we have also come to recognize that the only way to achieve this is through collaboration, innovation, determination and a strong sense of obligation across the entire company.
That is why we have a well-defined corporate governance framework, which includes our Charter of Responsibility, core values and Code of Business Conduct, setting out the behaviours and standards we expect of all those working on the company's behalf. And it is why, since 2004, we have been a signatory to the UN Global Compact, committed to ensuring that its 10 principles on environment, labour, anti-corruption and human rights are embedded within our day-to-day operations.
The release in 2015 of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals has brought renewed focus on the role that businesses like our own must play in helping provide solutions to the global issues of our time. Several of these goals have very clear links to our own business, or to activities we already have under way focused on making a positive difference.
Of course, this is only a starting point. Building a sustainable business requires joined-up thinking and action on many different levels. It involves working closely with customers, suppliers, governments, NGOs and society as a whole to explore ways in which we can make a lasting positive difference. It requires a commitment to continuous innovation, developing technologies and materials that will drive efficiency, cut waste, lower consumption of finite resources and reduce environmental footprints, while continuing to meet the ever-widening needs of the market.
And it demands an absolute determination to succeed; a shared belief among all employees that sustainability makes sense, not only in terms of protecting food, people and futures, but also in relation to the long-term aspirations we have for our company – and for ourselves.
For many years, our processing and packaging solutions have played an important role in protecting food; keeping it safe, preserving its nutritional value and maintaining its quality. Finding sustainable ways to feed a fast-growing population is one of the most pressing development challenges facing the world today, making our vision – to make food safe and available everywhere – more relevant than ever. We continue to develop new ways, in collaboration with our customers and other parties, to make that vision a reality.
The Tetra Laval Food for Development team supports governments and customers around the world with school feeding programmes, providing milk and other nutritious drinks in Tetra Pak packages to tens of millions of children worldwide. The health benefits for children are well documented; but studies have also shown that these schemes have a very positive impact on a child's capacity to learn and, at the same time, help to stimulate the local economy.
Economic stimulus also lies at the heart of our Dairy Hub initiative. These schemes bring together smallholder farmers, link them with dedicated dairy processors and provide them with training, expert advice and modern facilities, with the aim of improving both yields and quality. For the farmers, it means an improved livelihood. For the local community, it means better access to safe, affordable milk. For the dairy processor, it means higher quality and quantity of raw milk supplies. And for Tetra Pak, it means new opportunities to bring healthy, nutritious products to millions of people with relatively little purchasing power.
We also continue to work with customers and partner organizations on another important aspect of food protection: eliminating waste. The UN Food & Agriculture Organization estimates that almost a third of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted – around 1.3 billion tonnes per year, or 4.5kg of food every day for each of the 800 million people who go to bed hungry. In this area our industry can, surely, do more.
More than 23,500 people work for Tetra Pak. They are the engine of our success, which is why we regard ensuring their safety, welfare, well-being and continuous development as an investment rather than a cost.
Our injury and illness rate among employees and contractors remains exceptionally low, but we recognize the imperative to continue to aim for zero. With this in mind, our global occupational health and safety management policy is designed to ensure proper focus and consistent performance across the whole of the company. Our goal is very simple: that everyone who works for Tetra Pak returns safely to their home at the end of each day.
When it comes to our employees, protection is also about ensuring that we retain the outstanding talent we already have working for us across the globe and help them deliver to the very best of their abilities. After all, Tetra Pak's workforce is a primary source of competitive advantage. These are the people who develop and implement our strategy, differentiate our products and services, ensure operational excellence, shape our reputation and drive our sustainable growth agenda. That is why we continue to focus significant resource on a broad array of training, coaching and mentoring programmes to support individual development needs at every level, and in all parts of the company.
Equally important, we continue to work to improve the diversity of our workforce, particularly in terms of gender mix, which has long been a challenge within the manufacturing sector. We also strive to ensure the workplace environment across our organization is both respectful and inclusive; an environment in which employees know they have every opportunity to achieve their full potential, regardless of who they are or where they are from.
Of course, protecting people does not stop at our fence line, and we accept that we have a duty of care that extends far beyond our own organization. With that in mind, we play an active part in the communities in which we operate, from providing apprenticeship schemes and supporting local supplier development, to health education and emergency relief.
There are many examples of Tetra Pak projects, initiatives and innovations that are helping customers to grow their business, while enhancing the environmental performance of their products or operations.
Our award-winning Tetra Rex® Bio-based package, for example, is made entirely from plant-based materials and marks a significant step towards our goal of 100% renewable packaging. But it is by no means the end of the journey, and we continue to look for ways to extend the fully renewable concept to other parts of our portfolio, without compromising safety, quality or functionality.
We continue to develop our partnership with the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™). The number of FSC-labelled Tetra Pak carton packages appearing on store shelves continues to climb, and our full Chain of Custody certification means that we can now deliver FSC-labelled packaging material from anywhere in the world.
Recycling also remains in sharp focus: new reporting guidelines across the whole company are helping to ensure the accuracy and robustness of our data and improve the data collection process, as we work towards our goal of doubling our 2010 recycling rate to 40% before the end of the decade.
In all of our activities, we are guided by our long-term environmental objectives, including our ambition to keep carbon emissions below 2010 levels, and by our determination to be seen as leaders in the area of sustainability. We are members of the global business network, RE100, and have pledged to work towards procuring 100% renewable electricity by 2030. We have joined CE100, signaling our commitment to support the long-term development of a circular economy: one that is restorative and regenerative by design. And we continue to report to the CDP, including into its forests programme.
On that note, please read on and explore the rest of the website, which gives greater insight into the progress we're making in all areas of our sustainability journey; our commitment to continuous improvement; and the achievements of our remarkable employees, on which our continued success depends.
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