The carton packaging supplier is looking at the raw materials it uses.
Michael Hecker, head of group environment, health and safety, SIG Combibloc, said the company is also considering the effect of cartons on key global issues: emission of greenhouse gasses, and consumption of fossil fuels and energy.
“When assessing the environmental impacts caused by a long-life food packaging, the key factors are the choice of material used to manufacture the packaging and the quantity of the material used,” he told FoodProductionDaily.
SIG Combibloc claims cartons are the most environmentally friendly packaging option.
Packs use ‘significantly fewer’ fossil resources, because 70% of the material comes from wood, a renewable resource. The packaging can save CO2 emissions by up to 63% and consumption of fossil resources by up to 69%, the company said.
“We’re setting ourselves ambitious targets to further reduce the ecological footprint of our products and our production processes,” said Hecker.
“We are looking very carefully at the raw materials with which we work. It is here that we have the most effective opportunity to contribute to saving the environment.”
Carton packs are associated with organic brands and products, which are used by consumers who expect strong environmental credentials, added Hecker.
“These days, consumers look at food packaging differently from the way they did some years ago,” he said.
“More and more consumers are beginning to understand that packaging not only has a protective function, but it should also be a sound and workable choice in environmental respects.
“Consumer surveys have shown in the consumer perception, carton packs are associated with high quality, organic products and gourmet brands.”
SIG Combibloc is a supplier of carton packaging and filling machines for beverages and food. In 2012 the company had a turnover of €1,620m with around 4,950 employees in 40 countries. The company is part of the New Zealand based Rank Group.
SIG Combibloc commissioned the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) to obtain figures on the environmental performance of carton packs.