Tetra Pak updates its environmental policy to increase focus on recycling, renewablesTetra Pak has just updated its corporate environmental policy to incorporate a greater focus on the use of renewable resources, recycling, communication, and energy efficiency. The new policy, in effect as of January 1, 2005, replaces its predecessor which had been in effect since 1997.
The new policy commits the company to striving to maintain or increase the total percentage of materials from renewable sources in its carton packaging. "It is our ultimate goal that all wood fibre in our liquid packaging board shall come from forests independently certified as managed in accordance with principles of sustainable forest management," says the document.
Recycling will continue to be a major program of the company worldwide. "We are committed to facilitate and promote local collection and recycling activities for post-consumer carton packages. In addition, we endeavour to support our customers on finding environmentally acceptable solutions for their packaging material waste. And in terms of product development: all our packages shall be suitable for recycling. New developments will include, when needed, the development and identification of appropriate recycling technologies," says the policy.
The company has further pledged to ensure that all of its plants have environmental management systems certified to ISO 14001. Its manufacturing facilities, says the policy, will be developed, designed and operated a manner that: minimizes environmental impacts; addresses past contamination; promotes the efficient use of resources; reduces our contribution to climate change; and manages waste properly, including maximizing recycling of factory waste.
Tetra Pak also intends to step up communication on key environmental matters with the communities in which it operates. Bi-annual corporate environmental reports will be issued, to communicate the company's environmental performance, challenges and progress to stakeholders.
The new policy will insist on a commensurate level of environmental responsibility from suppliers, pledging the company to "work together with our suppliers to ensure that they maintain an acceptable environmental performance and drive continuous improvements in this area." Also with regard to fibre sourcing, Tetra Pak will require board suppliers to have full knowledge of the origin of fibre sources used for the paperboard they provide and to avoid any sourcing from illegally harvested wood or intact and high conservation value forestlands.
The policy endorses a life-cycle analysis approach to the product development process and emphasizes renewability, striving to maintain or increase the use of materials from renewable sources and to consume the minimum amount of raw materials needed to ensure the protection of the product, and the integrity and functionality of the package.
The new policy may be viewed on Tetra Pak Canada's Web site, www.tetrapak.ca.