Huhtamaki's plan to make packaging sustainable

With sustainability being of importance for many businesses today, flexible packaging majors like Huhtamaki are creating a sustainable packaging solution to align themselves with Finland’s carbon handprint concept that was presented at COP27 earlier this month.

25 Nov 2022 | By Pooja Mahesh

Nestlé’s Nespresso to pilot home-compostable coffee capsules on the Nespresso Original

During COP27, we heard about the sustainability agenda and Huhtamaki's approach of meeting consumer expectations on sustainable packaging. Be it: signing up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Also having a 100% carbon neutral production by 2030. And even Nestlé’s Nespresso new coffee capsules have been developed in partnership with Huhtamaki. These capsules are recyclable and made using 80% recycled aluminium. The paper-based coffee capsules are made from wood fibre, responsibly sourced from European forests.

But first things first. What transpired during the recently concluded COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt between 6 and 18 November, 2022.

One of the things, Finland presented the carbon handprint concept at the recently concluded COP27 climate change conference. Their key learnings were presented on 17 November, 2022 at an event organised by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and the business climate network Climate Leadership Coalition.

This received a lot of attention at the conference as Finland has conceptualised a road-map to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. Finnish businesses are also supporting the government’s commitment by increasing their carbon handprint while reducing their carbon footprint have received significant attention.

Carbon handprint is a concept that was developed by Finnish VTT Technical Research Centre and LUT University. It refers to the positive climate impact that using a new product or service has compared to other products or services in the same category. It responds to the need for a method detailing a country’s or company’s ability to create value chain-wide emission reductions. “Carbon handprints can help us to see and measure the benefits of developing new, green solutions. However, it is crucial that a positive handprint must always also mean reducing one’s own footprint at the same time,” said Maria Ohisalo, Finland’s minister of Environment and Climate Change.

It was suggested during the event that with the lead of Finland, interested parties should be invited to discuss on how to best utilise carbon handprint in accelerating climate actions. “On top of heavily reducing footprints, we need emission reductions in value chains. Finnish and Nordic industries are creating solutions that help downstream value chain actors and consumers to reduce their emissions. Carbon handprint methodology is developed to track these downstream emissions reductions in a comprehensive and reliable manner,” said Tuuli Kaskinen, CEO, Climate Leadership Coalition.

One such company that is working towards making the concept an integral part of their business is Huhtamaki, a global food packaging company. Huhtamaki has committed to work with suppliers that have signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) by 2026. The SBTi mobilises the private sector to take urgent climate action. Science-based targets provide a clearly-defined pathway for companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Huhtamaki is also committed to having a 100% carbon neutral production by 2030. In this light, they are working towards ensuring that their sustainable packaging solutions have a positive impact through the food system value chain. “The carbon handprint concept is clear and proactive, and importantly it also provides a platform to drive understanding among our customers on how they can have a positive impact on climate change by making more sustainable product choices,” said Thomasine Kamerling, executive vice president, Huhtamaki.

Huhtamaki’s 2030 sustainability goals focus on two aspects: transitioning to a circular economy and taking climate action. To address the challenges of climate change, the company is focussed on achieving carbon neutral production and science-based emission
targets by 2030. They aim to have all their products to be recyclable, compostable, or re-usable.

Take for example Nestlé’s Nespresso which is piloting home-compostable coffee capsules on the Nespresso Original system in France and Switzerland from spring 2023. The new coffee capsules have been developed in partnership with Huhtamaki. These capsules are recyclable and made using 80% recycled aluminium. The paper-based coffee capsules are made from wood fibre, responsibly sourced from European forests.

Closer home, Huhtamaki India has installed rooftop solar panels to promote the use of Renewable Energy. These have been installed in four locations in India – Guwahati, Daman, Silvassa and Taloja. Through such initiatives, the company looks to invest in the future in technology and innovation, in people, and in the environment.

Huhtamaki has also developed Blueloop, a collaborative platform for making flexible packaging circular. Through the platform they will be looking to develop the knowledge and solutions to accelerate the adoption and scaling of circular flexible packaging. They have also received the EcoVadis Gold medal for their sustainability programme and have been ranked in the top 5% among 75,000 companies.

According to Janne Peljo, senior policy advisor, Confederation of the Finnish Industries, Finnish businesses are strongly committed to the targets of the Paris Agreement. Many are actively reducing their emissions across different sectors as depicted in sectoral low-carbon roadmaps. These offer a strong contribution to the national carbon-neutrality target for 2035.

“Finnish businesses offer a wide range of low-carbon solutions that enable clients globally to achieve significant climate benefits. This handprint of Finnish companies has the potential to be Finland’s most significant contribution to cutting emissions globally,” said Peljo.

Tags : Huhtamaki
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Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?

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Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?

Bagasse and biodegradable boxes

 

23.08%

Corrugated boxes

 

46.15%

Paper bags

 

30.77%

Recyclable plastic (bubble wraps, bio-plastic)

 

0%

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