Our approach to sustainability is driven by our purpose. We commit to making food safe and available, everywhere and we promise to protect what's good, food, people, and the planet. Our focus goes across the areas of food systems1, climate, nature, circularity, and social sustainability.
We consider impacts not only in our own operations but in the systems that we operate and across our entire value chain, including our suppliers, customers' operations, and the recycling of our packages. From School Feeding Programmes to our circular economy commitments, to our Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, we constantly strive towards safeguarding our own employees and supporting local communities where we operate to help protect the future of our planet and the long-term success of our customers.
We leverage our global reach and scale with our local presence in more than 160 markets to provide, safe, innovative and environmentally sound products each day.
As a world-leading food processing and packaging solutions company with the business within food processing as well as packaging, there are many sustainability topics to address and opportunities to explore. As part of our sustainability approach, we undertake a materiality assessment every two years by applying the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) principle of materiality. This ensures that we keep up to date with changing sustainability priorities and that we continue to focus on the areas that deliver the greatest positive impact on our customers, our business, society and the environment. We conducted our most recent materiality assessment update in 2021 with AccountAbility, an independent ESG advisory firm.
The update identified 14 topics as the most material. These are shown in the matrix below, which highlights the aspects according to priority and relevance to Tetra Pak and external stakeholders. The 2021 Materiality update builds on Tetra Pak’s previous 2019 assessment, in line with GRI frameworks, and creates a foundation for Tetra Pak’s 2022 Sustainability Report.
This matrix visualises the top material aspects according to their relevance to Tetra Pak and external stakeholders, and their level of priority and timeliness (remain in focus/increased visibility/new and further enhanced aspects).
We have also assigned the most relevant SDGs to each brand pillar (Food, People and Planet). This focus on the SDGs builds on our ongoing commitment to the UN Global Compact and its ten principles, to which we have been a signatory since 2004.
Sustainability makes up one out of four pillars of our company strategy for 2030, which will guide our company over the next decade. As part of our internal sustainability transformation, we are fully embedding sustainability across all nine units of our business and the capabilities, processes, systems, and data necessary to create a culture in which all our employees can ‘think and breathe’ sustainability with greater understanding, fulfilment, and impact.
Verification is essential to our sustainability process. Our practices and performance are externally verified and our GHG emissions data is externally audited, as well as published on our global website. Our Sustainability Report follows the materiality approach of the GRI Standards Core guidelines, the most widely adopted international independent framework for sustainability reporting.
We also have an Advisory Panel, formed in 2020, to advise us on our sustainability strategy within the business, broader industry, and beyond. The panel comprises four independent external advisors, who were selected based on their range of experience and expertise deemed necessary to shape and inform a pioneering sustainability agenda that will help us achieve our sustainability goals, including our ultimate ambition to create the world’s most sustainable food package4.
“Collective action, innovative products and operating models and unconventional partnerships will be necessary to accelerate the current pace of change towards a more sustainable tomorrow.”
1Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2022), Circular Economy Introduction, Ellenmacarthurfoundation.org
2The term ‘food systems’ refers to all the elements and activities related to producing and consuming food, and their effects, including economic, health, and environmental outcomes (OECD, https://www.oecd.org/food-systems, 2023).
3Sustainable food systems mean growing, producing, processing, packaging, distributing and consuming food without negatively impacting the planet. Retrieved from OECD. (2019). Accelerating Climate Action. Source: OECD iLibrary.
4This means creating cartons that are fully made of renewable or recycled materials, that are responsibly sourced, therefore helping protect and restore our planet's climate, resources and biodiversity; contributing towards carbon-neutral production and distribution; are convenient and safe, therefore helping to enable a resilient food system; are fully recyclable.