Carbon & Energy
Climate change is one of the biggest global challenges and presents businesses of all sizes and in all industries with both a unique range of market opportunities and a significant array of challenges.
We recognise that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change and that the effects of climate change are likely to have far-reaching impacts on the environment, on societies and on the continued economic viability of agriculture and of many industrial processes.
The paper industry employs energy-intensive processes and most of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our operations come from the energy we produce and consume at our paper mills. Therefore our main focus is on controlling and reducing emissions from our own operations. The most effective way for us to reduce our CO2 emissions is to further improve our energy efficiency and to switch to cleaner sources of energy, including an incremental increase in the share of renewable energy in our total energy mix.
The direct correlation between energy usage, cost and carbon emissions continues to drive our focus on energy efficiency, which also delivers improvements in the carbon footprint of our products. Investment and innovation by the manufacturers of our capital equipment, plant and machinery continues to provide further opportunities to improve. Nevertheless, other factors such as greater automation in our factories, light-weighting and our performance packaging programme, and a more specialised product mix in our paper mills will all increase energy inputs per tonne of product, resulting in a potential worsening of the carbon intensity ratios that are commonly used in our sector.
Our indirect CO2 emissions are significantly influenced by the energy mixes used in the national grids of the countries where we operate.
Our carbon footprint
Since 2004 we have calculated the corporate carbon footprint of our business, with the aim of identifying the main sources of fossil CO2 emissions across our operations.
We report our emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to reducing society’s carbon impact. Reporting to CDP demonstrates publicly our commitment and progress towards lowering our carbon footprint, by measuring and disclosing our carbon intensity per tonne of production.
Many customers ask us to calculate the carbon footprint purely of their share of our overall production. Our view on this is that whilst it might be mathematically possible to perform such a calculation, it would have very little relevance in helping most stakeholders to fully understand the overall impact of packaging on the environment. There are too many variables beyond the control of any single packaging manufacturer. Owing to our closed loop recycling model, there is the risk that arbitrary decisions to apportion emissions incurred or avoided at various stages of the packaging supply cycle would compromise any analysis and might even skew decision making. That is why, as supply cycle and packaging strategists, we advocate taking a whole life cycle approach to the carbon footprint of products and the packaging required to get those goods to market.
The most significant environmental impacts associated with our logistical operations are the CO2 emissions generated during the transport of raw materials and products. Other environmental impacts related to our logistical operations include emissions of sulphur compounds, nitrogen oxides and noise. Our logistical operations are mainly performed by third-party external logistics service providers. We actively promote transport solutions with good environmental performance.