Tetra Pak commits to science-based emissions target

Swedish food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak has today (2 February) pledged to reduce emissions by 58% through a partnership with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBT).

Working with the SBT, which calls on companies to set emission reduction targets in-line with reaching the 2C pathway established by the Paris Agreement, Tetra Pak will work across its value chain to reduce emissions by 58% by 2040 against a 2016 baseline.

The target includes an earlier goal to reduce operational emissions by 40% by 2030 against 2015 levels and slash emissions across its value chain by 16% per unit of revenue by 2020. The supply chain target will be benchmarked against a 2010 baseline.

Tetra Pak’s vice president of environment Mario Abreu said: “The collaboration with the SBT initiative has helped us accurately define our greenhouse gas emission targets and set a direction for the company in a scientific way. The new targets ensure we are able to openly and accurately demonstrate the contribution we are making to a low carbon economy among customers and other stakeholders.”

The Swedish firm is known for its bio-based cartons and becomes the first company within the food packaging industry to have its emissions targets approved by the SBT initiative. To reach the goals, Tetra Pak will attempt to reduce energy use by a further 12% and generate or purchase electricity from renewable sources – including from an array of onsite solar systems.

More than 80% of Tetra Pak’s carbon emissions related to products derive from suppliers and customer sites, which use the firm’s processing and packaging facilities. Despite a 16% growth in production since 2010, the firm has worked with suppliers to cut emissions by 15% in the same timeframe.

Scientific approach

SBT was established in 2015 as a partnership between the World Resources Institute (WRI), CDP, WWF and UN Global Compact. It encourages companies to set targets in line with the goals and spirit of the Paris Agreement and so far, 208 companies have joined – 33 of them with approved targets from the initiative.

Commenting on the announcement, WRI’s Cynthia Cummis said: “The SBT initiative provides a science-based methodology for companies who are serious about incorporating sustainability into their business practice and want to do their part in avoiding the worst impacts from climate change. Tetra Pak is the first packaging company to complete our target review process and we are very pleased to see them join a growing number of companies that understand the benefits of transitioning towards a low-carbon economy.”

Science-based targets are rising in prominence amongst businesses with ambitious sustainability agendas. A recent edie survey conducted on members of the edie Leaders Club – an exclusive, membership-based group of professionals that are responsible for leading their company’s sustainability strategy – found that the initiative is embedded in more than half of respondent’s CSR strategies.

Matt Mace

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