05. June 2024

Elopak sustainability report 2023 – advancing our sustainable growth

2023 has been an important year in advancing our sustainable growth. We have expanded our market presence, announced a new production plant in the US, and continued our path to become a net zero company by 2050.
Our combined annual and sustainability report provides information about our progress and goals regarding people, planet and profit. This article gives the most important results.

Read the full report here.

Sustainability

The way we work:

As a global corporation, Elopak is committed to work systematically with all aspects of sustainability, from the wellbeing of our employees, initiatives to mitigate climate change, responsible sourcing of raw materials, to responsible business conduct, upholding the highest ethical standards in all our business operations.
Being sustainable means finding the balance between what is good for the people, the planet and the profit.
Infographic: Components of Sustainability

Our sustainability targets:

Our sustainability targets remain the same as last year, safeguarding our long-term commitments to key global challenges such as climate change, scarce natural resources, diversity, safety and responsibility in supply chains.

1.

Elopak offers a top-quartile motivating workplace by 2025

2.

85 % of employees have individual targets and documented competence development plans

3.

Target the same distribution in gender diversity across all hierarchical levels
“We are in the business of combating climate change and driving a more circular economy, and it is our obligation to leave behind a better earth for the next generation. Being sustainable is core to our organization and we ensure economic growth without exploiting the resources or the people of this planet.”
thomas körmendi, ceo of elopak

Renewability

Renewability is important to Elopak, because we are part of this world, and we have an inherent responsibility to maintain the scarce resources of out planet.
Since our primary raw material originates from the forests, we take responsible forest management very seriously.
Elopak has an ambitious goal of 100 % renewable or recycled content materials in our cartons on the European market by 2030.

Naturally renewable – maintaining living and viable forests

Elopak sources all its paperboard from verified and controlled sources. In 2023, we sold 55 percent FSC™-labeled cartons (80 percent of the sales volume in Europe) (FSC® C081801). While the number in Europe is increasing, global numbers decreased slightly as the new markets historically have less demand for FSC-labeled cartons. However, we see an increased demand and expect volume growth for FSC™ also for the new markets.

Fossil-free – with certified renewable polymers

In 2023, the share of fully renewable fresh milk cartons in Europe was 30 percent. This percentage is unchanged from 2022. Our self-defined goal is to have 50 percent of all fresh milk cartons in Europe fully renewable by 2025

100 percent of renewable polymers Elopak supplies are certified according to ISCC PLUS.

Net Zero

Elopak has worked systematically to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions since 2008, and we have publicly reported our emission data every year.
In 2016, we became a member of RE200 and have been a carbon neutral company since. In addition, we offer carbon neutral packaging to our customers. We are sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity throughout all our sites.
Elopak was on of the first non-pilot companies to have its near- and long-term emission reduction targets verified since the launch of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) Net Zero Standard in October 2021.

Average footprint per carton

More environmentally friendly cartons include brown board as well as the use of bio circular polyethylene. Comparing the carbon footprint of brown board vs. bleached board, the 2023 volume of brown board has contributed to an emission reduction of more than 2,100 tons.
Carbon footprint of an average Elopak PE carton with closure. Based on internal cradle-to-gate calculations in Elopak's DEEP tool, version 14. The figures refer to an average 1-liter PE-coated carton with closure sold in Europe for fresh dairy products.

Carbon neutral

Elopak has been a carbon neutral company since 2016. With our carbon neutral program, we have been measuring and reducing our emissions as far as possible fo many years. We reach carbon neutrality by offsetting residual emissions from our own production processes, transport of raw materials and finished goods as well as from business travel. By widening this approach, we can offer carbon neutral packaging to our customers. In fact, we were first to offer carbon neutral cartons for beverages and liquid foods.

Elopak supports projects outside of the value chain that can provide third-party verified carbon emission reduction credits. In doing so, we are contributing not only to reduced emissions, but also facilitating positive effects on local livelihoods and the environment.

Building the road to 2030 with Science Based Targets

In 2019, we were one of the first companies to commit to the 1.5° goal of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). In 2021, Elopak took part in the Net-Zero Road Test with 80 other companies, and during that process updated our near-term targets in line with the new standard. In 2022, we had our net zero targets approved.

In terms of plant efficiency, waste was kept at historically low levels in 2023. Elopak was also able to cut its scope 1 and 2 emissions according to plan, amounting to a cut of 1,115 tons (13 percent) versus 2022 and 2,829 tons (33 percent) versus 2020. 

The goal is to reduce the absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 42 percent by 2030 from a 2020 base year. In addition, we pledge to continue sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity. The scope 3 GHG emissions will be reduced by 25 percent by 2030 from a 2020 base year.

Recycling and circular economy

Elopak cartons are recyclable with existing technology. There are capacities in about 20 paper mills across Europe.
Elopak supports requirements for recyclability and circularity, which are evident in regulatory developments all over the world and particularly in Europe.
We are a member of multiple associations and industry partnerships to support the continued improvement of the collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure for our paper-based cartons.

Recycling

Our cartons contain fibres of very high quality that can be recycled up to seven times. It is our goal to make national collection and recycling facilities more widely available and easily accessible, so that more people can recycle. Therefore, Elopak works together with industry peers to increase and strengthen the collection and recycling of cartons across our markets.

Overview on beverage carton recycling

By 2030, on average 70 percent of all beverage cartons are to be recycled in the EU and in Canada. Both the private sector (e.g. in Italy, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic) and the beverage carton industry have invested heavily in the recycling of the paper as well as the non-paper fraction of beverage cartons.

Examples are the PolyAl recycling plants by Palurec GmbH in Germany and Recon Polymers in the Netherlands.
This year, we celebrated 15 years of structured sustainability work. In recognition of our dedication, we received an A+ score for our ESG reporting from Position Green, placing Elopak in the top 5 percent of companies best prepared for the introduction of the European Sustainability Reporting Standards.
We achieved an EcoVadis Gold rating for our performance with a score that places us in the top 2 percent of all rated companies worldwide.
Sustainability Report 2023 – Full report
Case Milk & More
Milk & More, UK

In addition to the classic glass bottle, Milk & More now also offers its customers fresh milk in Pure-Pak® cartons with natural brown board. In good old British tradition, they are delivered directly to the doorstep by the milkman. Each product variant is presented as a different façade of a home.

Case Joerd
Arla JÖRĐ, UK

JÖRĐ is Arla’s plant-based brand that has existed since 2020. It has now been relaunched as Arla JÖRĐ, making it a sub-brand of Arla. The product range includes oat drinks in various flavours, whose packaging designs have also been revised as part of the rebranding. 

Case Yoplait
Yoplait, France

Yoplait, the world’s largest yoghurt franchise brand, launches its first pourable and spoonable yoghurt in the Pure-Pak® Sense carton. The packaging is made from 78% renewable materials. With its 750 gram size, the carton replaces 6 plastic yoghurt pots and saves 50% packaging.

Case PlainB
plain b, Germany

Following the successful launch of plain b’s refill hand soap with the apricot fragrance last year, two new fragrances are now available: ‘Northern Lights’ and ‘Forest Harmony’. Compared to conventional plastic hand soap dispensers, the D-PAK carton saves 82% plastic.