Elopak has a RE100 goal to be 100% powered by renewable electricity from 2016. Kristian Hall, Director Corporate Environment, explains what’s driving Elopak to be the first packaging company in RE100.

Why does Elopak wish to become ‘100% renewable’? 

"We joined the campaign to show leadership in the area of renewable electricity, to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and to bring us closer to our Future Proofed Packaging vision of becoming carbon neutral in our operations. It also strengthens the position of our cartons as a low carbon packaging choice for liquid food. And it is the right thing to do, with regard to fluctuating energy prices, depleting raw materials and climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels."

Why do you think RE100 is a good initiative to join? 

"As energy supply is the biggest source of global greenhouse gas emissions, it’s crucial that we are able to decarbonise the sector. Renewable power is the main way to achieve this. We are happy to be able to contribute to the transformation, and we are also interested in learning more about how other companies are tackling this issue."

How easy was it to decide on your 100% goal? 

"Elopak has been investing in energy efficiency at our plants for several decades and we are reaching a stage where a lot of the potential has already been tapped. Electricity consumption is the largest source of Elopak’s greenhouse gas emissions and purchasing renewable power is the next step.

"A solid business case was made to top management, focusing on the benefits of reducing our corporate carbon footprint and moving closer to our goal of becoming carbon neutral. This involved good dialogue between our Corporate Environment team and top management, which is strongly committed to improving environmental performance."

What plans do you have for switching to 100% renewable electricity? 

"Elopak will purchase Guarantees of Origin certificates or 'GOs' for businesses in Europe and Renewable Energy Certificates - RECs - for our businesses in North America. We are purchasing for business units where we have financial control, so in practice this is all business units except for two joint ventures.

"With the new I-REC standard coming up, we are also able to source renewable power also outside of Europe and North America. I-RECs are an exciting development, but the market is still in its infancy, and the availability is still limited. We are looking forward to seeing this market mature further."

Why do you think it is important for companies to play a role in accelerating demand for renewable electricity, and what would get more companies on board?

"It is crucial that businesses step up to the plate to mitigate climate change and deliver concrete greenhouse gas reductions. It’s good that renewable electricity purchases are now incorporated into the updated Scope 2 Guidance of the GHG Protocol, which we use as a basis for corporate greenhouse gas reporting. But it is crucial that reporting standards include the reporting of market mechanisms, such as renewable energy certificates, as this encourages businesses to invest in renewable power and be transparent about their purchases." 

How else are you helping to drive forward the transition to a low carbon economy?

"Elopak produces beverage cartons with a low carbon footprint, which are sourced from predominantly renewable materials. Recently, we launched cartons where the coating and closures are produced from polymers made from renewable raw material. Thus, we are moving ever closer to our vision of a fully renewable raw material supply, as well as a renewable energy supply."

Read more in Elopak's latest Environmental Report.

Last updated: April 2016