Amcor pledges to cut waste, emissions and energy use

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Greenhouse gas Carbon dioxide

As part of its latest sustainability initiative global packaging giant Amcor has pledged significant reductions in energy use, waste and CO2 emissions.

The Australia-based company, which is active in the food, medical, pharmaceutical and personal care markets, says that the latest targets build on its long-term sustainability plans set out in its operating model ‘Being Amcor’.

The operating model highlights a sustainability framework that incorporates a Social Responsibility value, a Code of Conduct as well as an Ethics Policy that outlines five principle domains: economy, workplace, marketplace, efficiency and the environment.

Sustainability targets continue to evolve

“Our approach to sustainability continues to evolve and move beyond compliance and operational efficiencies to one that will drive sustainability across the supply of packaged goods,”​ said Ken Mackenzie, Amcor managing director and CEO.

The latest sustainability targets have been established using 2010/2011 as the baseline, and the aim of the company is to achieve the reductions by fiscal year 2015 / 2016.

The new environmental targets are:

  • 10 per cent reduction in greenhouse emissions
  • 50 per cent reduction in waste to landfill
  • 25 per cent reduction in potable water at the company’s Australian sites

Worldwide water reduction and longer-term greenhouse targets

The plan to reduce water use also includes a target for the implementation of active water management to be in place at all the company’s production facilities worldwide by the end of this year.

There is also a longer-term dimension to the targets, with plans to reduce greenhouse emissions by 60 per cent by fiscal year 2029/2030; this figure is calculated from the emissions for the year 2005/2006 – figures that are all on the ISO greenhouse gas reporting standard.

Amcor says that the progress for its targets will be recorded in its annual sustainability report, which is assessed by an assured third party, while environmental data will continue to be supplied to third party indices such as The Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Sustainabilty key to the future of packaging

Sustainability in packaging has become one of the hottest industry topics, with many packaging companies striving to draw attention to initiatives and renewed targets that aim to enhance the environment as well as operating efficiencies.

Last month the Dupont global survey was published. It interviewed over 500 packaging professionals who cited sustainability as being the most important issue for the industry at present.

Of those respondents working on sustainable packaging, 65 percent said their efforts are focused on design for recyclability or use of recycled content; 57 per cent are focused on weight reduction; 41 per cent rely on renewable or bio-based materials and 25 per cent say they are focused on compostable materials.

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