GLOBAL – SIG Combibloc has announced an environmental strategy that aims, by 2015, to reduce CO2 emissions in its production plants worldwide by 40%, energy consumption by 35% and specific waste volumes by 25%.
The Switzerland-based company, which is part of the New Zealand Rank Group, also plans to increase the percentage of FSC-labelled carton packs to 40% by 2015.
Rolf Stangl, SIG Combibloc’s CEO, said, “Our goal is to further reduce the carbon footprint of our products and our production processes. And to help us meet this challenge, we have all the information at a glance: the life-cycle of our packaging, from the acquisition and processing of the raw materials, right up to the disposal or recycling of the carton packs after use. Independent, critically audited life-cycle assessments conducted by noted specialist institutes help us to precisely identify those parameters in the life-cycle of our carton packs where we can make changes to produce the greatest possible benefit for the environment.
“For us, that means 'sustainable development' in the original sense of the term, beyond just a short-term image boost. In this way, we will ensure that our system of carton packs and the filling machines that go with them continue to provide the basis for one of the most environmentally-advantageous packaging solutions available for long-life foods”.
For SIG Combibloc, that means taking effective action at those stages of the life-cycle where the most far-reaching environmental benefits can be achieved; this includes the type of material and the overall weight of the package - key factors that impact on the production of greenhouse gases, the consumption of fossil resources and the responsible management of the sources of renewable raw materials.
Controlled sources; certified worldwide
This is why the beverages and food carton packaging and filling equipment supplier wants to look very carefully at the raw materials on which its carton packs are based. Stangl explained, “We aim to increase as far as possible the fraction of wood, a renewable, regenerating raw material, in the composition of our carton packs. When selecting the materials we use, we ensure that the raw paperboard is manufactured from wood that can be verifiably shown to originate from controlled and responsibly managed forests, guaranteeing full traceability all the way back to the forests of origin.
“We require all our suppliers of raw paperboard to have their production sites certified in accordance with the internationally binding chain-of-custody criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council for a full chain of custody verification”.
SIG Combibloc claims to have been the first manufacturer in 2009 of aseptic carton packs worldwide to have all its own production plants and sales organisations CoC-certified to the FSC's standards. In Europe, the first SIG Combibloc carton packs with the FSC label went on sale in 2009. FSC-labelled carton packs from SIG Combibloc are now available in a number of other regions, such as Asia.
“Our production plants produce more than 20 billion carton sleeves each year. Our goal is to increase the percentage of our carton packs that are FSC-labelled to 40% by 2015,” said Stangl.
While the production volume of SIG Combibloc's production plants increased by around 23% between 2004 and 2009 and looks set to continue to rise, due above to the positive growth in the company's non-European markets, Stangl said the company still plans to implement systematic reduction at its facilities
“We still have our sights set on systematic reduction – reduction in CO2 emissions, energy consumption and waste accumulation. By 2015, we aim to have reduced CO2 emissions by 40%, specific energy consumption by 35% and specific waste quantity by 25% in our packaging plants world-wide”.
To achieve this, the company has implemented environmental management systems in accordance with ISO 14001 at all production plants.
Other environment-related corporate objectives of SIG Combibloc include reducing the weight of the composite structure and the closures and developing filling machines that offer clear gains in efficiency. “When creating upgraded versions of our filling machines, we will continue to act with the environment clearly in mind,” said Stangl.
“In forthcoming generations of machines, we aim to reduce the specific energy consumption, in comparison to the respective predecessor model, by a further 20%, and water consumption by 25%”.