Huhtamaki and Sustainability

By July 29, 2021 No Comments

Huhtamaki and Sustainability

Huhtamaki believes in protecting food, people and the planet. We embed sustainability in everything we do. For us, sustainability means considering the impact we have – both positive and negative – throughout the value chain, in terms of the environment, social responsibility and governance. We believe that the value of packaging is more than its impact on the planet and that we can make a difference in the food system value chain in several ways. We aim to minimize the negative impacts of our operations and products on the environment while maximizing the positive impacts on our stakeholders, consumers and society.

Huhtamaki India has taken steps to utilise environmentally friendly processes in our manufacturing units. Reducing the need for fossil-based fuels, and harnessing renewable energy, we have installed rooftop solar panels in four of our manufacturing units across India – in Guwahati, Daman, Silvassa and Taloja, with plans to cover more manufacturing plants, in phases. The 750KWp, polycrystalline, Tier-I, BIS-certified rooftop solar panels will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 750 MT per annum, which is equivalent to planting nearly 50,000 trees. All installations are equipped with high-end safety systems and online performance monitoring

Renewable energy is one of the key elements of Huhtamaki’s 2030 sustainability ambitions supporting international efforts to cut global emissions by reducing the use of limited fossil fuels, curbing CO2 emissions, preventing pollution and keeping a check on unsustainable deforestation. We are also working towards becoming carbon neutral in our operations and designing products that are 100% recyclable, compostable or reusable. Our ambition is to be the first choice in sustainable packaging solutions, enabling wellbeing and convenience for people around the world.

Taking care of our water resources, we are involved in two projects that aim at renewing our rivers. In Mumbai, the Mithi River Project aims at rehabilitating this dying river. Huhtamäki Oyj donated Euro 600,000 to this project which aims to stop the flow of plastic from the Mithi River into the Indian Ocean. The Mithi River Project is a global partnership between the United Nations Technology Innovation Labs (UNTIL), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, River Recycle and Earth5R. Through this project, cleaning equipment was installed in the river to lift and sort the waste for recycling. The project uses emerging technologies to collect plastic waste and focused on waste analysis to develop and support ways to valorise waste, by turning it into valuable fuels, chemicals, bioenergy and bio-fertilisers. We also ran awareness campaigns on effective waste management to drive systemic change locally.

The project is one of the initiatives funded by Huhtamäki Oyj as part of its 100-year anniversary to address global sustainability challenges and build and learn from circular economy initiatives.

In Assam, the River Brahmaputra is one of the lifelines providing the much-needed fresh water supply. The River Brahmaputra winds its way through four countries before rolling into the Bay of Bengal. The flux of tourism and the casualness of people have made this riverbank polluted with plastic, paper, metal, glass and other debris. As part of the circular economy network (CEN) initiative, Huhtamaki and international charity organization, Waste Aid initiated the first start-up project – the riverbank clean-up of the River Brahmaputra in Guwahati, Assam. This waste was methodically collected, segregated and sent to be recycled and remodelled into usable items.

This CEN initiative focusses on educating local communities via a cloud-based learning platform, networking events, training programmes and seeks to inspire innovative sustainable solutions through local innovation competitions. This is part of Huhtamaki’s sustainability agenda embedding values of Care, Dare and Deliver.

Circular Economy

The Huhtamaki Circular Economy Start-up Program by Food System 6 (FS6) is a partnership between Huhtamäki Oyj and the impact-focused start-up accelerator FS6. Eight early-stage companies from around the world were selected to participate in the program. This platform aims to accelerate the development of young and promising companies working to deliver innovative sustainable solutions for waste management, sustainable packaging alternatives, new materials innovation, and regenerative production models.

Huhtamaki has partnered with WasteAid, a UK-based waste management charity, to drive community-level circular economy innovation in India, Vietnam, and South Africa. Aside from providing education and training on waste management and circular systems, the project will enable WasteAid to work with key stakeholders to fast-track and amplify local solutions that create value and reduce waste and pollution in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. WasteAid brings its expertise in sustainable waste management to share skills, drive innovation, develop business ideas and create end-markets for recyclable materials.

Huhtamaki Foundation’s pilot Post Consumer Multi-layered Plastic (MLP) Project will convert post consumer MLP laminates to polymer granules which would find its way in processing plastic utility items through injection moulding process into gardening trays, buckets, waste bins and thus aid in circularity. The project would entail predesigned machines which would aid in cleaning the post consumer waste and then segregating into near polymer groupings and then batchwise process those and extrude the polymer and produce pellets for use.

Huhtamaki Blueloop®

Huhtamaki is focused on innovating for reducing environmental impact. We work collaboratively with our customers to understand consumer needs and together, we develop sustainable products. This assists us in developing solutions to accelerate the adoption and scaling of circular flexible packaging.

We worked with innovations in India that make packaging safe, sustainable and convenient. Specifically, during the pandemic, we introduced Recyclable pocket-sachets for sanitizers. This was the need of the hour as health and the environment was imperative. It is designed for recycling and to make sanitizers affordable and accessible to all in India.

Another innovation was Recyclable see-through packs for chips offering dual benefits of pack recyclability and transparency, aimed to inspire consumer trust and communicate product freshness by enabling product previews for consumer inspection.

We innovated a Paper-based lidding & banderole for yoghurt cups, the first-of-its-kind for the Indian yoghurt segment. It includes a paper-based banderole to avoid direct printing on cups, saving inventory costs while offering 360-degree printability, aesthetics and good cup bonding. For reusability and recyclability, the banderole label leaves no residue on the cup when pulled off. With an aluminium-free lid, consumers can easily open this pack without the risk of injury.

Other Blueloop innovations for branding and promotions purposes include Interactive both-side printed flow wraps; a first-of-its-kind Sticker-in laminate for brand promotions, with inner, food-safe pre-fixed stickers, it also offers an anti-counterfeit feature, lowers pack waste, and enables easy handling; Glow in Dark packs interest promotions during festivities and special occasions.

Other innovations include Bottoms Up Pouch serving lightweight, mess-free and a sustainable alternative to rigid bottles. Alu-free, retort & microwavable lids with easy peel. This aluminium-free pack is a first-of-its kind in India preserves product taste, texture, and aroma, enabling a shelf-life of 12 months in ambient conditions.

We imagine, explore new technologies and create solutions that reduce or eliminate barriers to recyclability. Our passion for innovation, supported by our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and R&D centre, ensure that we are ready for the challenges of the future.

UN Global Compact and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

Our Global Sustainability Agenda 2030includes carbon-neutral production and science-based emission targets. Our sustainability focus is in line with the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact initiative, which covers the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption; and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of which we have aligned with the following goals.

  1. SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  2. SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  3. SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  4. SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  5. SDG 15: Protect sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and sustainably manage forests.