The third sustainability report released by Alpla, the global specialists in packaging solutions, provides detailed insights into the company’s development strategy. The report describes the progress of sustainable development from 2016 to 2018, which has then been used as a basis for formulating ambitious objectives for 2019 to 2022.
Alpla’s sustainability record for the past three years is very positive: energy consumption in relation to production volumes was reduced by 6.6 per cent and consumption of fresh water in relation to material usage by 40 per cent. The company even far exceeded its target for using recycled materials: ‘Demand has risen sharply in the reporting period. Alpla has more than 25 years of experience in recycling, both in the manufacture of recyclates and in their processing. That’s why we’re able to offer our customers functioning solutions on both side,’ emphasises Christoph Hoffmann, Director Corporate Strategy, Sustainability & Circular Economy.
The company was also able to reduce its carbon footprint, albeit not as much as planned: ‘We experienced more growth than expected in countries with carbon‐intensive electricity production,’ Linda Mauksch, Sustainability Officer at Alpla since 2012, offers as an explanation for why the carbon footprint objective could not be achieved.
Think global, act local
"Global targets can only be achieved with efforts by all regions," Mauksch says from experience. Alpla has 178 plants in 46 countries. Of these plants, 72 are ‘in‐house’, meaning they are directly part of the customer’s operations. This approach reduces transport routes and carbon emissions. Many plants have planned and implemented their own sustainability projects. The sustainability report outlines successful examples of such projects in India, Brazil and Portugal.
Innovations and ambitious objectives
As an innovation leader, Alpla can also point to several flagship initiatives in the area of product development: from bottles made entirely of recyclate and the home‐compostable coffee capsule to the Simple One, a HDPE bottle that is up to 60 per cent lighter than standard bottles. From 2022, the company wants to bring at least three innovations to the market each year.
It also aims to reduce its carbon footprint absolutely by 10 per cent - even with its projected annual growth of three per cent.
Circular economy as a success factor
In 2018, another partnership in Wolfen (Germany) joined the three PET recycling plants in Mexico, Austria and Poland. The four sites deliver 70,000 tonnes of food‐grade PET recyclate per year.
With its New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, Alpla has committed to manufacturing 100% recyclable products by 2025 and investing 50 million euros in the expansion of recycling activities. The volume of processed post‐consumer recycled materials should rise to 25 per cent of total material usage by this time.
Recycling completes the circuit that starts with ‘design for recycling’. ‘This is the key to sustainable packaging solutions,’ the Executive Board asserts in the sustainability report.