Decarbonising our global food system requires reducing the carbon footprint throughout the food value chain. Efforts should therefore focus on action in four key areas: packaging, operations, customer operations, and raw materials.
An essential step towards combating climate change is reducing GHG emission. Keeping global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels requires deep, rapid and sustained GHG emissions reductions in all sectors.
To ensure the evaluation of our value chain impact and the endorsement of our net zero plans by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)1, we proudly became one of the initial 59 companies enrolled in the initiative. This accomplishment now as the basis for our strategic targets.
To achieve our ambitions and targets, we are working to reduce emissions upstream2 in collaboration with suppliers, in our own operations, and downstream3 by working with our customers and other stakeholders.
Collaborating with our major base materials suppliers, responsible for 90% of our base materials4-related GHG emissions, we're actively helping to improve climate, biodiversity, and circular practices through the 'Join us in Protecting the Planet' initiative. Our goal: reduce supplier emissions by 50% by 2030 from 2019 levels. In our material usage, we're innovating beyond fossil fuels, exploring plant-based plastics and fiber-based barriers to replace conventional materials. Learn more here.
Beyond production and distribution, we’re also looking at ways to reduce our suppliers' transport footprint. For instance, innovations in alternative lightweight paper-based carton packages enable more efficient stacking and larger truckloads compared to alternatives – reducing the total distribution and operational footprint for our customers. For Tetra Recart, for example, up to 20% more units can be transported per truck.
On the production side, more than 120 energy-saving and emission-reduction projects have been facilitated at customer sites. They are resulting in a proposal for more than 1,000 equipment upgrade solutions, effectively helping to reduce carbon emissions at our customers' operations since 2016.
In 2022, the Sustainability Agile Development Programme explored ways to reduce water and product loss through recovery solutions. Now we are exploring ways to reduce GHG emissions on dairy ambient processing lines. In addition to looking at integrating full-scale decarbonisation in food plants.
We are accelerating the development and deployment of processing and filling solutions with 50% fewer emissions per unit of production5, which can reduce the impacts and emissions of our customers’ production processes. Read more here.
To understand the carbon footprint of our products throughout their lifecycle, life cycle assessments are conducted to identify areas for improvement and guide decisions related to material sourcing, production processes, and end-of-life management.
Our decarbonisation efforts focus on avoiding and mitigating GHG emissions across the value chain and carbon compensation to balance unavoidable residual emissions through nature-based solutions and other initiatives.
The strategic ambitions and 2030 targets we have set include:
1The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) helps companies set realistic, impactful emission-reduction targets to help prevent the worst impacts of climate change and, at the same time, future-proof business growth. Targets are considered ‘science-based’ if they are in line with the latest climate science and the Paris Agreement goals – limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Source: https://www.tetrapak.com/about-tetra-pak/stories/net-zero-science-based-targets
2‘Upstream’ refers to the early stages in the operations of a business or industry, as exploration and production in the oil business (opposed to downstream). Source: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/upstream
3‘Downstream’ refers to the latter part of a process or system: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/downstream
4Base materials are the materials we use to produce the packaging we sell to food and beverage producers, including paperboard, polymers, aluminium foil and inks.
5Compared to 2019 for best practice lines.
6Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling consumed by the reporting company. Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain.
7The target boundary includes land related emissions and removals from bioenergy feedstocks.
8Scope 1 covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling consumed by the reporting company. Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain.