Climate action depends on food systems decarbonisation

The way we source and dispose of food is pushing us beyond the Earth’s planetary boundaries – the limits within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has defined a “triple challenge” facing our food systems:

  • Ensuring food security and nutrition for a growing population.
  • Supporting the livelihoods of millions of people working in the food supply chain.
  • Doing so in an environmentally sustainable way. Expanding food production to meet the demand of a growing population without exerting more pressure on natural resources.

Our ambition, set out in our latest Sustainability Report, is to contribute to secure, resilient, and sustainable food systems that provide access to safe, affordable, and nutritious food, and minimise food loss and food waste across our value chain.

However, we cannot achieve resilient and accessible food systems alone, and that is why we are proud to engage with government stakeholders, policymakers, industry stakeholders, and key opinion leaders to work together to help transform food systems.

"Feeding humanity within safe planetary boundaries is thus critical for our chances to solve the climate crisis and secure manageable conditions for human development."

Johan Rockström, Director
The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Member, Sustainability Advisory Panel, Tetra Pak

Our role in the food systems transformation

We believe that the food processing and packaging industry has a critical role to play in transforming the food systems, namely in driving carbon down at every step of these systems.


To address multiple challenges in the food value chain, we have defined four key pathways for change that align with the critical transitions required for food and land transformation proposed by Food and Land Use Coalition. These pathways guide our roadmap for developing innovative and integrated actions and solutions that support the decarbonisation of food systems.

Person cutting vegetables at the stalk.

The Four Pathways for Change

A Glass of Milk

Enable transition towards more sustainable dairy1

We focus on supporting the transition to a more sustainable dairy industry, recognizing the crucial role of dairy production in our food systems. The dairy sector is an important contributor to livelihoods, food security and nutrition but also a considerable user of land, water and energy, and generator of emissions. By addressing its environmental impact and contributing to its long-term sustainability, we can build toward a more resilient future.
Fruit, vegetables, leaves and soup on a table

Deliver healthy food for a healthy planet

By 2050, the global population is expected to have grown by more than 25% from its 2020 level to approximately 10 billion.2 With food systems already accounting for more than one-third of greenhouse gas emissions and deeply reliant on resource-intensive industrial and agricultural practices, simply expanding these practices and consuming resources at the current rate is not sustainable.3 Plant-based and new food sources and innovative technologies provide possible solutions to these issues, and by investing in alternative protein technologies we can offer alternative pathways to food production that are less resource-intensive .4
Soybean products

Reduce food loss and waste

Part of the challenge of a growing population is the inefficiency of today’s food systems. Globally, food systems generate more than one-third of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions , yet one third of all food produced worldwide is not consumed.5 6 We aim to reduce loss and waste in food systems by developing equipment, processes and solutions that prevent food from being spoilt during production, by working with partners to turn by-products into added-value ingredients and by continuing to offer a variety of aseptic packaging solutions that enhance shelf-life.
Tetra Pak package portfolio image with category designs

Scale access to safe nutrition through sustainable packaging

Recognising the vital role food packaging plays in ensuring food safety and accessibility, we are committed to scaling access to safe nutrition by developing and offering aseptic food packaging solutions that extends shelf life and preserve food quality without the need for added preservatives or refrigeration. We are working on supporting circularity through investments and collaborations to increase recycling capacity and infrastructure, as well as investing on the design of our carton packages to increase the fibre content and use of recycled materials.7

Tetra Pak at UNFSS

Logo for the United Nations Food Systems Summit Stocktaking Moment.


The first ever UN Food Systems Summit Stocktaking Moment took place in July 2023, assessing progress of the implementation of national food system transformation pathways developed in the context of the 2021 Food Systems Summit.


We were delighted to participate in the UNFSS +2 Stocktaking moment, bringing forward our position that no national climate action plan is complete without including the role of food systems.


Our industry has an important role to play in driving the solutions required to bring comprehensive change to food systems. We are present at these high level forums to engage, and to share our knowledge and expertise with both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders.


Eija Hietavuo, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Katarina M. Eriksson, Food for Development Director, and Federica Fabiani, Head of Public Affairs & Government Relations for Iberia and South Europe, S&C, were in attendance in Rome. In addition to numerous fruitful meetings and engagements, Eija spoke at the Food Systems for the Planet leadership dialogue and the FAO-hosted side event Private Sector Ambition, Action and Accountability towards Food Systems Transformation: Where are we now and where do we need to go next? In these sessions, Eija further detailed Tetra Pak’s Food Positive pathways and shared our key collaborative efforts towards achieving the goals of the pathways. Eija also recognised the value of our collaborative efforts, including the establishment of the Dairy Processing Task Force, our partnership with WBCSD in the protein diversification area, our partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and our involvement in the “super porridge” school feeding project in Kenya.

We were also proud to be included six times in the Database of Good Practices for Food Systems Transformation.


Climate Week NYC and the SDG Summit

Building on the momentum generated by UNFSS+2, we are looking forward to further collaboration at Climate Week NYC and the SDG Summit.

In New York, we will encourage partnerships, share knowledge, and inspire innovation. It is only by combining our collective efforts that we can shape a future where resilient food systems are a central pillar in all climate action, contributing to building a more equitable and sustainable world for generations to come.

Our team is led by Lars Holmquist, Executive Vice President, Sustainability and Communications and Eija Hietavuo. Across the week, we will further elaborate on our Four Pathways to Change and our contributions to climate action. 

Logo for the 2023 SDG Summit
Tetra Pak Sustainability Report

Committed to the Future

Our annual Sustainability Report provides a comprehensive picture of how we are collaborating across the globe to contribute to the sustainable development of the food & beverage industry.

Woman in the sunset

Purpose drives our sustainability approach

Our sustainable approach is driven by our purpose, and we focus on food systems, climate, nature, circularity, and social sustainability.

Sustainable dairy is defined as a dairy industry that emits less greenhouse emissions by introducing technologies, equipment and best practices in production and processing to safeguard nutrition security and sustain a billion livelihoods for tomorrow, while helping secure a future for us all



4 New food technologies to feed the growing population | Tetra Pak Global

5 Crippa, M. et al. Food systems are responsible for a third of global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Nature Food 2, 198–209 (2021).

6 Scialabba, N. Food wastage footprint & Climate Change. (2015).

7 Ellen MacArthur Foundation. (2022). Circular Economy Introduction. Source:, What is a circular economy? | Ellen MacArthur Foundation