Carton CO2e footprint

Beyond having our value chain climate goal, we also measure the CO2e footprint of our cartons.

The CO2e footprint of a product is the sum of all greenhouse gases emitted during its life cycle. This includes all the raw materials used, the production, the distribution, the consumption, as well as the end-of-life treatment of the product. The climate impact is measured in CO2 equivalents (CO2e).

We get many questions about the carbon or CO2 footprint of our packages. However, we produce many different package types that are filled and sold by different  players in many different locations around the world; each combination generating its own unique CO2 footprints. The end-of-life impact also varies from case to case depending on local conditions; the availability and nature of collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure; as well as on the choices made by the end consumer. To generate lifecycle specific footprints for each of these permutations would be an all but impossible task.

We have used our best endeavours to produce reliable and representative figures based on a lifecycle approach. As with all lifecycle work, results can vary depending on the precise scope of the study, the methodological choices made and the underlying data made.

Cartons Green and Yellow

Carton CO2 calculator

The results from our Carton CO2 calculator show the CO2e footprint of the carton under European conditions up to the moment when the packaging material leaves our factories. An assessment across the full life cycle requires additional data that varies locally, and with each specific product. For example, distribution distances vary depending on where each package is filled and sold; some filled packages are stored chilled while others are not; some packages will be recycled, others are not.

Blue Carton

Tetra Pak carton CO2e footprint

We measure the impacts associated with sourcing and transporting raw materials to our plants, as well as converting the materials into packaging material. These are the areas that we directly control through our policies and actions. Furthermore, these measures enable our customers to make informed climate choices when choosing their packaging. To illustrate the climate impact of an aseptic beverage carton across the life cycle we have produced a life cycle CO2e profile for a typical 1-litre Tetra Brik Aseptic.

CO2 Graph

Indicative CO2e profile of an aseptic beverage carton

This is an example of a CO2e profile across the life cycle of a typical 1-litre Tetra Brik Aseptic package for milk or juice. In producing this CO2e profile, trade-offs have been made between ease of use and specificity. The calculations were made with industry average data and for European conditions.

As with all life cycle based work, results vary depending on the scope of the study and the underlying data used. The end-of-life settings are based on average European waste management conditions with 49% landfill, 19% energy recovery and 32% recycling. The methodology and data employed are based on a 'Carbon Indicator Tool for Beverage Cartons' prepared by the Institute for Energy and Environment Research - IFEU, Heidelberg, Germany for ACE, The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment. IFEU is an independent consultant with long-standing experience in the LCI/LCA business and expertise in packaging-related topics.

The results should not be used to support comparative assertions made to the public nor directly for labelling. Any such use would fall outside of the requirements of the relevant ISO standards.

Cradle-to-Gate results for a number of other carton packages can be generated using our Carton CO2 Calculator.

Carton CO2 Calculator

Do you want more information about Carton CO2 footprint? Please contact us