- Delivering on its brand promise — Protect What’s Good — Tetra Pak is expanding carton recycling, creating bio-based caps for its products and increasing consumer-related initiatives regarding sustainability issues, according to the company’s just-released 2017 Sustainability Report.
- The company is making strides against many other sustainability objectives as well, including: having the first aseptic package to attain the highest class Vinçotte certification for renewable materials; having 100% of its carton paperboard coming from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified and other controlled sources; achieving a 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, despite 19% more packages sold; and committing to using 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
- Finding that 70% of people surveyed claim they feel happier when making eco-minded choices, Tetra Pak launched what it calls the Renewable Living Campaign, according to an email sent to Food Dive. In doing so, the packaging company has reported making significant progress in garnering the attention of consumers with the goal of increasing the understanding about resource scarcity issues, renewable resources and how to live responsibly.
Consumers increasingly expect companies to be transparent, responsible and good stewards for both the community and the environment. Positioning a brand as environmentally conscious is no longer a bonus, it's a growing necessity. Some studies have found consumers are willing to pay more for products that align with their personal beliefs and shop at stores that have a sustainability-focused mindset.
Sustainable business practices have become ubiquitous across the food industry. Fundamentally everyone from manufacturers to retailers to packaging suppliers now has company-wide sustainability goals in place. Providing regular updates on progress being made is rather commonplace, especially among publicly held firms and others wanting to get the word out about their accomplishments.
Packaging is a good place to center sustainability efforts in a food industry somewhat notorious for creating plenty of waste. Companies can position greener packaging as a reflection of their brand's commitment to the environment, and use packaging and product overhauls as an opportunity to improve design and overall appearance. According to Nielsen, 63% of consumers say renewable packaging is a key driver in purchase decisions. Consequently, packaging firms like Tetra Pak are conspicuously in the spotlight to respond to market and consumer pressure.
As part of its commitment to sustainability, Tetra Pak now secures all its paperboard from FSC-certified sources. The company also is increasing the quantity of responsibly sourced renewable materials it uses, including bio-based polymers. A key example is the bio-based plastic caps developed for its aseptic cartons, such as those used by JUST water. The carton bottles, and now caps, are made with more than 80% plant-based, renewable materials.
“It’s no secret that consumers today love products that are good for them and the environment," Chris Gretchko, Tetra Pak’s VP of marketing, previously told Food Dive in an email. "People are looking for a solution and that’s what Tetra Pak cartons — essentially paper-based bottles — offer. These packages are made mainly from renewable materials and people can feel good about purchasing and drinking from them."
But these kinds of innovative sustainability efforts are likely just the start. Expect Tetra Pak, other packaging companies, as well as a host of players across the food sector, to continually seek more ways to use and advance cardboard and bio-based food packaging in the future.