Our President and CEO, Dennis Jönsson, describes how we are consolidating our long-term progress on sustainability to build momentum and lead the way towards a secure and sustainable future.

​​​​​​​​Forging the way ahead​​

PROTECTS WHAT’S GOOD™ is our brand promise. It is grounded in protecting food, our company’s core purpose, but also extends to protecting people and to protecting the future of our business, our customers’ businesses and the planet we all share. It’s a promise that guides and motivates us every day and, as our business and the world around us continues to change, so our brand promise continues to take on new meaning

Throughout this report, you will see how we map our strategy to our most important issues, and to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where we know we can have the greatest impact. The SDGs provide an invaluable common framework for organisations across all industries and sectors to work together for a better future. This work also builds on our ongoing commitment to the UN Global Compact and its ten principles, to which we have been a signatory since 2004.​

Recently planted tree

When it comes to sustainability, Tetra Pak has a hard-earned reputation for working with partners to establish new baselines for environmental performance. We strive to make cartons with the lowest environmental impact possible and are committed to reducing the use of fossil-based plastics in our packages while increasing the use of renewable materials.

Anti-plastic sentiment is growing louder and stronger globally, with particular concern most recently focused on the issue of marine pollution. We agree that something must be done to urgently fight the problem of plastic littering, and we have committed to help address the issue on two specific fronts.

First, we will support initiatives to drive major improvements in waste management and recycling infrastructure worldwide, while simultaneously raising consumer awareness on the importance of recycling and impact of littering.

Second, we have bolstered our efforts to find new packaging solutions that will reduce the potential for plastic litter. Right now, our particular focus is on the small packages that we supply with attached plastic straws. It’s a very popular format that uses less plastic and has a lower climate impact than virtually any other portion package available, so simply switching to alternative formats is not a good environmental solution. Our aim, therefore, is to replace the plastic straw with one made from paper, or to find a completely non-detachable solution. Although that sounds pretty simple, it is anything but; developing, validating and industrialising such innovations will probably take several years.

In the meantime, we will continue to look for ways to tackle plastic waste. We are active supporters of the EU’s Action Plan for a Circular Economy and, in January 2018, pledged our support for the EU Plastics Strategy. This means that we have committed, amongst other things, to increase the use of plastics made from renewable feedstock and to work with industry partners to ensure that there are solutions in place across Europe so that all components of beverages cartons can be fully recycled.

Of course, change doesn’t just come from within. We are at the forefront of sustainable business because of our similarly-focused customers. In 2018, Tetra Pak was included on the CDP Supplier Climate A list for the second time. By taking action to mitigate climate change in our operations and supply chain and disclosing our performance data, we can contribute to our customers’ sustainability targets.

Making food safe and available the world over is another critical priority for our business. In Kenya, we’re working on a groundbreaking public-private development partnership to scale up dairy development and meet the country’s growing demand for dairy products in an environmentally and socially sustainable way.

Meanwhile, a little closer to home, in 2017, our new Diversity and Inclusion Panel developed an action plan to make sure we fulfil our aspiration of a work culture in which diversity is integral, evident and valued for the benefits it brings us. As a result, we now have a strategy and roadmap in place.

I’m proud of achievements like these but – as ever – there is still more we can do. Early last year, we set up a Sustainability Forum to bring together our business’s collective expertise and experience and take bigger, bolder strides towards our goals.

This report describes our holistic value chain approach to sustainability and we have structured it in chapters that correspond to our three pillars of food, people and futures.​

Protecting Food

Our vision to make food safe and available everywhere remains clear and strong. Our processing and packaging solutions provide food safety, quality, flavour and nutritional value, and extend shelf life. Food in a Tetra Pak package can be transported and stored for several months, without the need for either refrigeration or preservatives. This significantly improves access to food for people around the world and we act to make sure this potential is fulfilled.

Last year, we helped get milk to 20,000 school children in Burundi, creating a virtuous circle of health, development and school attendance. Similarly, in Senegal – a country where 25 percent of children don’t get the nutritional food they need – we are working with local dairy farmers to get more milk into schools. This has already led to an 8.8 percent increase in enrolment. Meanwhile, we’re also working with partners in China to set a new benchmark for milk safety in schools.​

hand picking up a milk carton

Protecting People

Although protecting food is the number one way we protect people, there’s much more to keeping our brand promise than this. We want to safeguard and empower those at Tetra Pak and to support communities wherever we operate.

I cannot overstate the fact that Tetra Pak’s success is down to our people. More specifically, this success is both rooted in and continues to depend on the diversity of our workforce. Our business’s healthy future also depends on the young talent we recruit and train.

The new Future Talent Programme led to the successful hiring of 172 graduates in 2017 and I’m thrilled that we’re on track to hire another 218 this year.

Our long-term commitment to health, safety and wellbeing continues to deliver progress towards our goals. Following a detailed analysis of our local health and wellbeing programmes in 2017, our focus for 2018 will be noise at work and mental wellbeing.​

Workers handling carton packages

Protecting Futures

For Tetra Pak, protecting the future of our planet is inextricably linked to ensuring the ongoing success of our customers. As a business whose packaging, processing and services solutions optimise the use of resources, our position on circularity is built around renewable materials, responsible sourcing and – through resource efficient products and processes – doing more with less. Within this, we take a value chain approach to recycling and are building a wide range of stakeholder partnerships to keep delivering progress against our ambitious objectives.

We continue to work to reduce our climate impact across our business and value chain. Our goal is to cap our 2020 impact at 2010 levels, regardless of business growth; in 2017 we saw a 13 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, despite a 19 percent increase in packages sold. Increasing our use of renewable electricity is key to this progress. We are now at 50 percent renewable electricity, which means we are on track to fulfil our public commitment to RE100 and reach 100 percent by 2030.

Finally, in our work towards responsible consumption and production, we are partnering with stakeholders to drive improvement in human rights, labour standards and environment, and to fight against corruption. We’re making good progress against all our objectives, but one particular milestone stands out for me: since the introduction of the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) label on our first package in 2007, we have now produced 350 billion FSC-labelled packs, 92 billion of which were delivered in 2017 alone. By communicating with consumers in this way, we are raising the bar for sustainable sourcing across our industry and beyond.​

children carrying a recycling bin full of recyclable bottles and cartons

From firm foundations to a secure future​

Our Sustainability Forum consists of 10 senior leaders who represent the entirety of Tetra Pak. As this group consolidates our expertise and experience, it is driving progress across our business. We continue to focus on optimising the processing, packaging and services solutions that deliver sustainable value for our customers today, while also shaping the future of on-the-go packaging in an increasingly environmentally conscious world.

Time and again, our approach to sustainability has helped us grow while meeting the needs of our customers. And when there’s room for improvement, we take the opportunity to learn and grow. I hope everyone at Tetra Pak knows they have a role to play in these achievements and that they share in my excitement for the momentum being created for our future.​

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