Tetra Pak, which has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations by at least 40 percent by 2030 from a 2015 baseline, is the first company in the food packaging industry to have its climate impact reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.
The news comes as a growing number of companies are realizing business value from greenhouse gas emissions management.
Working with the Science Based Targets initiative, Tetra Pak also set a goal that by 2040, emissions will be down 58 percent compared with a year ago.
To achieve these targets, Tetra Pak said it will focus on three areas:
- Driving energy efficiency, aiming to reduce energy use by a further 12 percent;
- Purchasing electricity from renewable sources, investing in renewable energy projects and renewable electricity certificate schemes;
- Installing onsite renewable energy systems such as solar panels.
In addition, the company pledged to reduce GHG emissions across the value chain by 16 percent per unit of revenue by 2020 from a 2010 base-year. To this end the company produces packaging that helps its food and beverage customers reduce their carbon footprint.
For example, last year Tetra Pak launched a carton bottle made up of more than 80 percent renewable materials in the US market with JUST water. JUST said an independent life cycle analysis found the new water bottle saves from 47 percent to 74 percent in carbon emissions compared to traditional light- and heavy-weight PET bottles, respectively.
Since the Science Based Target initiative’s launch in 2015, 208 companies have committed to set emissions reduction target in-line with climate science. Of those 208, 33 companies have had their targets approved by the initiative, which is a partnership between CDP, the World Resources Institute, WWF and UN Global Compact.
In addition to setting science-based targets to reduce their emissions, companies are also realizing business value from these GHG management strategies. An SCS Global Services blog post highlights ways in which companies can ensure their approach can be sustained financially in the long run.
These business benefits includes boosted brand value and sales from marketing campaigns focused on a product’s GHG benefits, which can reach new customers and strengthen relationships with existing clients.
“For example, CTC Global Corporation of Irvine, California, manufactures a high-efficiency transmission line conductor that reduces electrical line losses and GHG emissions by roughly 30 percent, an accomplishment certified by SCS,” the environmental management company writes. “CTC actively markets the GHG benefits of its conductors to potential customers.”
SCS cites a 2015 Nielsen survey of 30,000 people in 60 countries that found 66 percent of global consumers will pay more for sustainable products, up from 55 percent just the year before.
More recently, research released last month by Unilever that found a third of consumers (33 percent) are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good.
Unilever says this represents a potential untapped opportunity of $1,024 billion out of a $2.7 trillion total market for sustainable goods.
Unilever has first-hand experience with making money from marketing its sustainability credentials. It’s one of at least 10 global companies that generate a billion dollars or more in revenue annually from sustainable products or services.
Companies can also extra revenue — or create entirely new revenue streams — through carbon credits, SCS writes. “In 2015, carbon credits generated over $275 million on the voluntary market, and significantly more on mandatory ‘compliance’ markets such as those operating under the cap-and-trade program in California.”
For example, the Big Sky Dairy in Idaho used revenue from carbon offsets to help install a biogas generator, which uses manure from its 4,700 dairy cows to generate 1.3 MW of energy.