Pulp & Paper Industry Kicks off 2022 with Major Sustainability Developments

By Fisher International

Pledges toward net zero emissions have become common as global companies and industries look to address concerns about climate change – and the Pulp and Paper industry is helping lead the way with various initiatives. We wanted to share a few of the most exciting developments in this monthly roundup of industry sustainability projects that are making headlines as we begin a new year.

Sustainability Milestone Reached: Voith Will Be Operating Climate Neutrally at All Its Sites as of January 1, 2022
Voith has achieved an ambitious sustainability goal: As of the beginning of 2022, Voith has successfully reduced the CO2 emissions at all its sites to “net zero.” Therefore, the Group’s operations will be climate neutral from January onwards.

This success confirms Voith’s pioneering role in the decarbonization of industrial production. All Voith sites worldwide undertook enormous efforts to achieve this major accomplishment. Increased energy efficiency and the comprehensive use of renewable energy sources were key factors in reaching the Group’s CO2 reduction goals.

Smurfit Kappa Extends Better Planet Packaging Portfolio with Innovative New Solution for Fast Food
Smurfit Kappa has developed a new, entirely sustainable packaging solution for fast food following close collaboration with independent packaging consultant Juozas Baranauskas. The Twin Kraft Grease Guard MB12 packaging solution, created for Lithuanian fast-food restaurant Fresh Post, is part of Smurfit Kappa’s rapidly growing Better Planet Packaging portfolio of products, which offers sustainable alternatives to existing single-use plastic solutions.

The new Fresh Post food box is made from Smurfit Kappa’s Twin Kraft Solid Board, which is a paper-based mono-material specifically designed for food packaging. By integrating the company’s MB12 technology, the recyclable material can adsorb mineral oils, keeping food safe whilst simultaneously protecting aroma and taste. The 100% FSC certified pack is created in an energy-efficient manner with significant reduction in both electricity and water compared to the previous solution. 

(Photo: Smurfit Kappa)

Mondi Sets Plans to Transition to Net-Zero by 2050
Global packaging and paper leader Mondi has accelerated plans to take climate action by committing to transition to Net-Zero by 2050. This next step builds on almost two decades of progress, including a 45% reduction in specific greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions against a 2004 baseline and science-based targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2019.

Mondi’s Net-Zero plan, which was developed to align with SBTi’s new Net-Zero Standard, commits to reducing GHG emissions across Scopes 1, 2 and 3 in line with a 1.5°C scenario. Mondi submitted its Net-Zero commitment to the SBTi in December 2021 and has signed up to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5oC, the world’s largest and fastest-growing group of companies committed to taking urgent climate action aligned with 1.5°C.

The Cotswold Co Closes Loop on Cardboard Packaging
The Cotswold Co, a quality furniture company trading for 25 years, is collaborating with DS Smith to create a longer-term roadmap as part of their commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.

Customers can now take advantage of the Packing Removal Service whereby all cardboard packaging is taken from the customers home upon delivery. This material is returned to the distribution center, where it is baled and collected by DS Smith Recycling. The baled cardboard is delivered to a DS Smith paper mill for pulping. This finished paper is converted back into corrugated double wall cardboard packaging for customers receiving items from The Cotswold Co.

(Photo: Cotswold Co.)

Cascades Ranked 18th Most Sustainable Corporation in the World
For the third consecutive year, Cascades has been recognized as one of the world’s 100 most sustainable corporations, according to the prestigious Global 100 index, produced by media, research and financial information products company Corporate Knights. Cascades ranks 18th among the 6,914 public companies analyzed worldwide with more than USD1 billion in revenues and first among the 34 other organizations in the Packaging category.

The company’s notable progression in the rankings reflects Cascades’ objective to always do more for the well-being of the people and communities in which it operates and the planet — a commitment that Cascades is further intensifying with its most recent Sustainability Action Plan.

Domtar Pursues Net Zero, Enlists Help from NYU Stern School
Domtar is doing their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a path toward becoming a net zero emitter by 2050. Thus far, that has been achieved largely through switching to carbon-neutral and lower carbon-intensive fuels, energy and operational efficiency projects, a greener electrical grid and, in 2020, lower production output. While these efforts have positioned them well for a lower-carbon economy, more needs to be done, especially if they plan to reach net zero by 2050.

Domtar enlisted graduate students at the New York University Stern Center for Sustainable Business (NYU Stern CSB) through a Sustainability Signature Project (SSP), which offers MBA students an opportunity to explore research-driven questions that have real-world business implications. Using a data-driven approach, the students made recommendations to Domtar to help leaders better understand the net zero landscape and potential steps on their pathway toward a net zero goal.

(Photo: Domtar)

AF&PA Releases Sustainability Progress Report
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) recently released its Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 Sustainability Progress Report which highlights the paper and wood products industry’s sustainability achievements. AF&PA members met or surpassed most of the sustainability goals, including a 24.1 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

“AF&PA was among the first to establish comprehensive, quantifiable sustainability goals for a manufacturing industry,” said AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock. “Our remarkable progress is the result of our members’ commitment to sustainability. Through innovations in manufacturing processes and products, our industry has helped create more value for people who rely on our products every day, while being good environmental stewards.”

DS Smith Accelerates Carbon Reduction Plans with 1.5°C Temperature Alignment Commitment
DS Smith announced their ambitious commitment to align their global operations to a 1.5°C scenario as set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. The roadmap to 1.5°C has been submitted for verification by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

To achieve this, they are accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions for their own operations, as well as those of their partners and suppliers, by committing to reduce their Scope 1, 2 and 3 Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 46% on an absolute basis by 2030, compared to 2019 levels. These targets will keep them, a member of the UN’s Race to Zero initiative, in line with their prior commitment to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Smurfit Kappa Adds the Missing Ingredient to Sustainable Recipe Box
Smurfit Kappa has collaborated with leading UK recipe box company, Mindful Chef, to reduce the company’s carbon footprint by making their packaging more sustainable. Mindful Chef experienced a huge increase in demand for its home-delivered recipe kits during the pandemic. The company, which has been climate neutral since 2020, is committed to making every aspect of its business as sustainable as possible.

Experts at Smurfit Kappa’s Experience Center in Yate came up with a 100% recyclable alternative that was better for the environment while still maintaining the required temperatures over extended periods. The new solution encompasses corrugated cardboard insulation packs, with a 30% lower carbon footprint than the previous insulation, in a snug, two-piece telescopic design.

(Photo: Smurfit Kappa)

Airnov’s Environmental Focus Reflected in New Sustainable Packaging That Aims to Reduce Plastic Waste
Airnov Healthcare Packaging, a global leader in controlled atmosphere packaging, has introduced a new, sustainable packaging option to help reduce plastic waste. The new packaging takes aim at plastic pails, which are harder to recycle than carton boxes and use non–renewable resins for production. Cardboard originates from trees that can be replanted, and if not recycled, naturally decomposes.

The new offering not only targets plastic consumption but aims to reduce transportation emissions by using double–stackable cartons. The new carton is more durable than standard cardboard, allowing pallets to be double stacked with 50 percent more material in the same footprint as a single pallet.