Packaging giant Mondi targets 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable products by 2025

As part of a new sustainability strategy which it claims is aligned with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of the world's biggest packaging and paper companies has pledged to phase-out products that can't be recycled, reused or composted.

Packaging giant Mondi targets 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable products by 2025

Pictured: Paper production equipment at a facility in Sweden. Image: Mondi Group

Mondi’s new ten-year action plan, called MAP2030, will require sweeping changes across the company’s global value chain. Its focus points are the circular economy, climate action and empowering people.

The new commitment on recyclability, reusability and compostability falls into the first category and has a 2025 deadline. Many other businesses are already working towards this aim in this timespan through initiatives like WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact. Mondi’s group head of sustainable development Gladys Naylor recently wrote a blog for edie outlining the opportunities and challenges of changing packaging materials.

Also on the circular economy piece, Mondi has committed to reaching zero-waste-to-landfill from manufacturing by 2030.

As for climate action, MAP2030 includes science-based emissions targets covering Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) sources. Mondi is aiming to reduce emissions across both scopes, on a per-tonne-of-production basis, by one-third by 2025, against a 2014 baseline. The reduction will then increase to 72% by 2050.

A time-bound, numerical target for addressing Scope 3 (indirect) emissions has not yet been finalised. Mondi has committed to developing such targets by 2025, in line with climate science and the Paris Agreement.

Mondi’s “Creating Empowered People” pillar of the strategy details commitments to increase female representation across all levels of the business to 30%, up from 21% at present; to achieve at least 90% scores in terms of purpose, satisfaction and inclusiveness in the employee survey and to enhance skills and wellbeing. On the latter, Mondi has detailed plans to scale up upskilling programmes and to improve mental health provisions.

Maintaining zero deforestation, safeguarding biodiversity and sustainable water stewardship are also covered by the strategy. Mondi claims that its approach is fully aligned with the SDGs, recognising the intersections between pressing global environmental and social issues.

“MAP2030 will help us to monitor, improve and communicate our performance,” Mondi’s Naylor said.

“Mondi has made a number of strategic sustainability-related investments across its operations in recent years and has invested more than €700m in modernising energy plants and improving energy efficiency since 2013. Over the last five years, we have invested more than €50m in local community initiatives and will continue to provide a similar level of support going forward. We have also set aside a quarter of our forestry landholdings for conservation and the protection of biodiversity and achieved a 100% certification in our own forest landholdings.”


In related news, the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) has this week published a list of the 2,000 companies that have the most influence in contributing to the delivery of the SDGs.

Called the SDG2000, the index represents businesses with a combined $46trn in annual revenue and more than 102 million employees. The WBA measures potential SDG impact based on revenues; product volumes; market share respective to sector and raw materials; ,ability to connect ecosystems through subsidiaries and supply chains; influence on governance and whether the company operates multi-nationally.  

Promisingly, the WBA found that many of the listed companies are working with the world’s most influential investors to either reduce or switch to a net-positive, impact on the environment and society. Investors including The Vanguard Group, BlackRock and State Street are named in the index.

However, the WBA believes that listed companies are not generally embracing the spirit of SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals. This is regarded as the SDG which links all others. Fewer than 15% of the listed companies are engaging with five or more “Allies” – non-corporate entities helping to support SDG-related progress. The WBA lists around 200 Allies, including CDP, the Consumer Goods Forum, the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), UN Global Compact (UNGC) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

“The past year has highlighted the fissures and flaws in the current global operating model; inequalities and tensions have deepened, and it has become clear that we are not on a sustainable path – economically, environmentally or socially,” the WBA’s engagement director Pauliina Murphy said. “Businesses have an opportunity in 2021 to take the initiative as the engines of a global reset, but we need to see them taking genuine, impactful, and accountable actions.”

Join the conversation at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum 

From 2-4 February 2021, edie’s award-winning Sustainability Leaders Forum event is returning in a brand new virtual format. This year, we are delighted to bring you speakers including former Energy Minister Claire O’Neill and World Green Building Council CEO Christina Gamboa. 

This event will allow you to be connected with peers via face-to-face via video chats; be inspired by high-level keynote talks from industry leaders; be involved in a series of interactive panel discussions and live audience polls; and be co-creative in our interactive workshops, whilst also meeting leading technical experts in our dedicated virtual exhibition zone. Rooms, expo booths, private chats, bespoke stages and backstage passes – it’s all possible. 

The WBA’s social transformation lead Dan Neale will be taking part in a session on taking your sustainability reporting to the next level, alongside experts from Beyond Business, Tideway, PMI and Rio AI. 

For a full agenda and to register now, visit: 

Sarah George

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