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SIG Combibloc unveils roadmap to become net-positive business

SIG Combibloc has launched a roadmap to become a net-positive business.

Net positive means SIG will contribute more to the environment and society than it takes out.

“We call this going Way Beyond Good. It is part of our business strategy and designed to help our customers and our company meet the growing sustainability demands of fast-changing markets,” says Rolf Stangl, CEO at SIG Combibloc.

Global megatrends, such as population growth, rapid urbanisation, a fast-expanding middle class and the effects of climate change create complex challenges for business that are echoed in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“These trends also provide vast opportunities to build stronger, more resilient and more profitable companies. To seize these opportunities, we are taking responsibility and helping our customers manage the sustainability demands of their markets,” says Rolf Stangl.

SIG has put responsibility at the core of its business strategy and is dedicated to running a responsible company, with responsible products made from responsible sources.

The company has committed to halve its environmental impacts and double its benefits to society by 2030. It starts from a strong base: In August 2016 for example, SIG achieved an industry first by securing sufficient supply of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified paper board to guarantee that all the cartons it produces can carry the FSC label from now on.

Besides that, SIG achieved the unthinkable by turning a carton into a bottle (combidome) – offering bottle-like convenience with the superior environmental footprint of a carton – and creating an aseptic solution that generates significantly less CO2 and saves fossil resources (combibloc EcoPlus).

“Through a combination of responsible sourcing and radical product innovation, we intend to offer packaging solutions that are the most sustainable on the market. We have a clear roadmap on how to go Way Beyond Good, with stretched goals for 2020 and 2030,” says Michael Hecker, Head of Corporate Responsibility

SIG is a member of the Net Positive Project, a group of companies which includes AT&T, Dell, Dow, Kingfisher, Hewlett-Packard Enterprises and Kimberly-Clark. The Net Positive Project is convened by two non-governmental organisations, BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) and Forum for the Future. SIG is a Forum for the Future partner.

Details – Way Beyond Good

SIG Combibloc’s purpose is to partner with its customers to bring food products to consumers around the world in a safe, sustainable and affordable way. SIG is committed to contribute more to society and the environment than it takes out – to be net positive. The company calls this going Way Beyond Good.

How SIG intends to achieve its purpose

Way Beyond Good is part of SIG’s business strategy – the ‘Compass’ that guides everything the company does. SIG focuses on three key areas where it says it can make the biggest difference:

Responsible Company

Ambition: SIG will pursue a net-positive corporate footprint in the long run

2030 Goal: SIG will halve environmental impacts across its value chain and double its societal benefits.

In practice – halve environmental impacts: Lifecycle assessments provide clear evidence that SIG’s biggest environmental impacts lie outside SIG’s operations. Going Way Beyond means working with customers, suppliers and trade associations to reduce the impacts of SIG’s products across the value chain.

For example, SIG has signed the Science Based Targets Initiative to target reductions in its value chain greenhouse gas emissions that support global efforts to keep global warming below 2°C. SIG has already set reduction targets for its own operations. By 2020, it will reduce CO2 emissions from production by

50 % from the 2014 baseline and source 100 % of electricity for its plants from renewables where available – the balance, if any, will be offset according to recognised standards.

In practice – double social benefits: SIG’s contribution to a better society starts with its own employees, enabling the people who work for SIG to prosper and develop know-how that benefits them, the business, SIG customers and society.

Furthermore, SIG Combibloc supports local community programmes that have a positive impact on people’s lives.

Specific 2020 targets include:

Zero harm (no lost-time cases)

Employee engagement score above industry benchmark and Employee Net Promoter Score increased year-on-year

Investment in training and development above industry benchmark

Double the number of community and education programs over five years

Responsible Sourcing

Ambition: SIG will strive for certified sustainable supply of all materials, products and services

2030 Goal: All SIG’s raw materials will come from certified responsible sources and half its spend will be with net positive suppliers.

In practice: SIG customers can already choose to use the FSC logo on any SIG pack. SIG is committed to produce and sell only FSC-labelled packs by 2020. SIG aims to achieve a 100% certified supply of its main raw materials, such as liquid packaging board, aluminium foil and polymers by 2020.

SIG will encourage suppliers to meet ever-tighter social and environmental standards and commit to their own net positive ambitions.

Responsible Products

Ambition: SIG will innovate to devise smarter solutions with proven sustainability across the entire life-cycle of its products

2030 Goal: SIG will offer the most sustainable packaging solutions on the market.

In practice: A priority is to use innovative formats and structures to reduce the amount of material in SIG’s carton packs, increase renewable content (already around 75% on average), and improve the efficiency of filling machines.

By 2020, SIG intends to launch a 100% renewable carton pack and a pack containing up to 50% recycled content. SIG continues to foster pack recycling by supporting the development of recycling infrastructure across its markets.

How Way Beyond Good will contribute to global challenges

Climate change: SIG is committed to further reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with its products and services. This includes energy saving programmes in its own operations, use of renewable materials in product innovation and engaging with suppliers to set and achieve science-based targets.

Natural resources: SIG is committed to contribute more to the environment than it takes out. This means it works to restore natural resources by enhancing efficiency and purchasing materials and energy from responsible and renewable sources.

People and communities: SIG encourages its employees to contribute to their communities and looks to partner with suppliers to promote human rights and prosperous local economies. The company supports communities by contributing to local programmes that make a difference to people’s lives through corporate donations and employee volunteering.

SIG Combibloc aims to engage in programmes where people and the business can make the biggest difference, such as education on recycling. The priorities focus on benefits for communities, environmental awareness and employee engagement.

Rolf Stangl: “Way Beyond Good helps SIG achieve our corporate purpose to work in partnership with our customers to bring food products to consumers around the world in a safe, sustainable and affordable way. We invite those across our whole value chain to join us on this ambitious journey”.