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Waste paper

First-ever guidance released for integrating plastic impacts into company ESG assessments

Aimed primarily at ESG data and insights providers, the report Integration of plastics impact evaluation into ESG assessments, supports organizations looking to strengthen its reporting and transparency around plastic usage and impact.

“Despite ESG D&I assessors’ recognition of material financial impacts connected to plastics, an absence of reliable and comparable company data makes it difficult to provide an objective assessment of a company’s plastic performance”, says Andrea Dreifke-Pieper, Director, International Economy Unit, WWF. “This new report from WWF will help overcome these challenges by providing guidance on how plastic impact evaluation can be effectively integrated into ESG assessments.”

The report outlines how relevant plastic performance indicators can be developed and integrated into existing ESG analysis frameworks, taking the companies’ position in the value chain, performance on current plastic action, and preparedness for transitioning into account.

“By setting standards for plastic impact evaluation in ESG analyses, ESG D&I Providers can encourage increased reporting and action on companies’ plastic impact. In the long run, this should be transformed into mandatory standardized reporting and full transparency on companies’ plastic footprint”, emphasizes Dreifke-Pieper.

Over the last decade, plastic pollution has risen to the top of the global environmental agenda due to the increasing ecological, social and economic impacts of this complex problem. With this rising tide of awareness, companies are under increasing pressure to disclose relevant plastics usage and management information for investors and regulators. Through interviews with a range of ESG analysts and investors, the report highlights plastic impact evaluation remains limited. While some ESG data and insights providers already report on some aspects of companies’ plastic impacts, this is a new area of work for the majority of data providers and the lack of consistency across different ratings makes it difficult for investors to make informed decisions.

Download the report

First-ever guidance released for integrating plastic impacts into company ESG assessments

Aimed primarily at ESG data and insights providers, the report Integration of plastics impact evaluation into ESG assessments, supports organizations looking to strengthen its reporting and transparency around plastic usage and impact.

“Despite ESG D&I assessors’ recognition of material financial impacts connected to plastics, an absence of reliable and comparable company data makes it difficult to provide an objective assessment of a company’s plastic performance”, says Andrea Dreifke-Pieper, Director, International Economy Unit, WWF. “This new report from WWF will help overcome these challenges by providing guidance on how plastic impact evaluation can be effectively integrated into ESG assessments.”

The report outlines how relevant plastic performance indicators can be developed and integrated into existing ESG analysis frameworks, taking the companies’ position in the value chain, performance on current plastic action, and preparedness for transitioning into account.

“By setting standards for plastic impact evaluation in ESG analyses, ESG D&I Providers can encourage increased reporting and action on companies’ plastic impact. In the long run, this should be transformed into mandatory standardized reporting and full transparency on companies’ plastic footprint”, emphasizes Dreifke-Pieper.

Over the last decade, plastic pollution has risen to the top of the global environmental agenda due to the increasing ecological, social and economic impacts of this complex problem. With this rising tide of awareness, companies are under increasing pressure to disclose relevant plastics usage and management information for investors and regulators. Through interviews with a range of ESG analysts and investors, the report highlights plastic impact evaluation remains limited. While some ESG data and insights providers already report on some aspects of companies’ plastic impacts, this is a new area of work for the majority of data providers and the lack of consistency across different ratings makes it difficult for investors to make informed decisions.

Download the report

Valmet introduces its climate program

Valmet’s climate program includes ambitious CO2 emission reduction targets and concrete actions for the whole value chain, including Valmet’s own operations, the supply chain, and the use of Valmet’s technologies by its customers. The program is aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement’s 1.5-degree pathway and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and Valmet is in process to send its climate targets to the Science Based Targets Initiative for validation.

Valmet’s own operations account for approximately 1 percent of the company’s value chain’s carbon footprint and around 4 percent arises through Valmet’s supply chain. Valmet targets to reduce 80 percent of CO2 emissions in its own operations and 20 percent in its supply chain by 2030. Valmet aims to reach its own operations’ climate targets without emission compensation.

Furthermore, since most of Valmet’s value chain’s carbon footprint originates from the use phase of Valmet’s technologies, the program emphasizes Valmet’s current and future ability to enable 100 percent carbon neutral production for its customers. Valmet targets to enable carbon neutral production for all pulp and paper industry customers by 2030, which requires the company both to develop new technologies enabling fossil free pulp and paper production and to further improve the energy efficiency of its current technology offering by 20 percent by 2030. Today, the customers’ chemical pulp mills utilizing Valmet’s technologies are often over 100 percent bioenergy self-sufficient already. Furthermore, Valmet’s current bioenergy boiler offering enables 100 percent fossil free heat and power production.

“Climate change and global warming are significant challenges that are driving companies to rapidly transform and reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. We believe that technology plays a key role in mitigating climate change and global warming and the transition to a carbon neutral economy. Our climate program covers the entire value chain and with concrete actions we will significantly reduce our own carbon footprint and support our suppliers to do the same. Valmet is also strongly committed to be the preferred partner for our customers on their journey to carbon neutrality,” says Pasi Laine, President and CEO, Valmet.

AF&PA releases guide to further advance paper recycling

The guide provides data on how certain non-fiber elements, such as coatings and additives, impact the recyclability of paper-based packaging.

“Paper recycling is a circular economy success story. Increasingly, consumers are seeking more sustainable packaging, and as a result, brands are challenged to add more recyclable packaging to their portfolio. Combining our industry’s track record on paper recycling – meeting or exceeding a 63 percent recycling rate since 2009 – along with AF&PA’s industry data and statistics, this guide will be a true asset to those seeking to innovate around sustainable packaging. I am confident that a deeper understanding, as to the complexities brands and packaging designers face in balancing design and performance with recyclability, will further advance paper recycling innovation,” said Heidi Brock, AF&PA President and CEO. The findings in the report are the result of an AF&PA member survey of company mills in a range of sectors in the United States and Canada. The survey had a 75 percent response rate. In total, data for 86 mills was reported.

The study included corrugated packaging, bleached and unbleached paperboard cartons, carrier stock cartons, Kraft paper bags, multiwall shipping sacks and molded fiber containers. The study examined numerous non-fiber elements including inks and dyes, adhesives, tapes and labels, coatings and barriers, metals and plastics, foils, wet strength, and non-tree fibers.

Key findings include:

  • Non-fiber elements may present a recycling “challenge” when they slow down the mill’s pulping process, plug screening systems or leave residue on finished paper or paperboard. However, innovations in packaging design and materials, as well as improvements in recycling technology, have made these treatments easier to recycle than historically.
  • Being a “challenge” does not mean “not recyclable.” Each non-fiber element applied to each kind of packaging was rated by some mills as not a “challenge.”

“This technical guidance is not meant to be mandatory or a standard for the packaging industry. Rather, it is an information tool to help individuals and organizations that specify and design packaging to better meet a customer’s recycling needs,” said Brian Hawkinson, AF&PA’s Executive Director of Recovered Fiber.

In addition to data about the impact non-fiber elements have on packaging recyclability, the report includes resources about the recycling process, standards and testing facilities and insights from mills on specific non-fiber elements.

The Design Guidance for Recyclability is available for free

AF&PA releases guide to further advance paper recycling

The guide provides data on how certain non-fiber elements, such as coatings and additives, impact the recyclability of paper-based packaging.

“Paper recycling is a circular economy success story. Increasingly, consumers are seeking more sustainable packaging, and as a result, brands are challenged to add more recyclable packaging to their portfolio. Combining our industry’s track record on paper recycling – meeting or exceeding a 63 percent recycling rate since 2009 – along with AF&PA’s industry data and statistics, this guide will be a true asset to those seeking to innovate around sustainable packaging. I am confident that a deeper understanding, as to the complexities brands and packaging designers face in balancing design and performance with recyclability, will further advance paper recycling innovation,” said Heidi Brock, AF&PA President and CEO. The findings in the report are the result of an AF&PA member survey of company mills in a range of sectors in the United States and Canada. The survey had a 75 percent response rate. In total, data for 86 mills was reported.

The study included corrugated packaging, bleached and unbleached paperboard cartons, carrier stock cartons, Kraft paper bags, multiwall shipping sacks and molded fiber containers. The study examined numerous non-fiber elements including inks and dyes, adhesives, tapes and labels, coatings and barriers, metals and plastics, foils, wet strength, and non-tree fibers.

Key findings include:

  • Non-fiber elements may present a recycling “challenge” when they slow down the mill’s pulping process, plug screening systems or leave residue on finished paper or paperboard. However, innovations in packaging design and materials, as well as improvements in recycling technology, have made these treatments easier to recycle than historically.
  • Being a “challenge” does not mean “not recyclable.” Each non-fiber element applied to each kind of packaging was rated by some mills as not a “challenge.”

“This technical guidance is not meant to be mandatory or a standard for the packaging industry. Rather, it is an information tool to help individuals and organizations that specify and design packaging to better meet a customer’s recycling needs,” said Brian Hawkinson, AF&PA’s Executive Director of Recovered Fiber.

In addition to data about the impact non-fiber elements have on packaging recyclability, the report includes resources about the recycling process, standards and testing facilities and insights from mills on specific non-fiber elements.

The Design Guidance for Recyclability is available for free

AF&PA releases guide to further advance paper recycling

The guide provides data on how certain non-fiber elements, such as coatings and additives, impact the recyclability of paper-based packaging.

“Paper recycling is a circular economy success story. Increasingly, consumers are seeking more sustainable packaging, and as a result, brands are challenged to add more recyclable packaging to their portfolio. Combining our industry’s track record on paper recycling – meeting or exceeding a 63 percent recycling rate since 2009 – along with AF&PA’s industry data and statistics, this guide will be a true asset to those seeking to innovate around sustainable packaging. I am confident that a deeper understanding, as to the complexities brands and packaging designers face in balancing design and performance with recyclability, will further advance paper recycling innovation,” said Heidi Brock, AF&PA President and CEO. The findings in the report are the result of an AF&PA member survey of company mills in a range of sectors in the United States and Canada. The survey had a 75 percent response rate. In total, data for 86 mills was reported.

The study included corrugated packaging, bleached and unbleached paperboard cartons, carrier stock cartons, Kraft paper bags, multiwall shipping sacks and molded fiber containers. The study examined numerous non-fiber elements including inks and dyes, adhesives, tapes and labels, coatings and barriers, metals and plastics, foils, wet strength, and non-tree fibers.

Key findings include:

  • Non-fiber elements may present a recycling “challenge” when they slow down the mill’s pulping process, plug screening systems or leave residue on finished paper or paperboard. However, innovations in packaging design and materials, as well as improvements in recycling technology, have made these treatments easier to recycle than historically.
  • Being a “challenge” does not mean “not recyclable.” Each non-fiber element applied to each kind of packaging was rated by some mills as not a “challenge.”

“This technical guidance is not meant to be mandatory or a standard for the packaging industry. Rather, it is an information tool to help individuals and organizations that specify and design packaging to better meet a customer’s recycling needs,” said Brian Hawkinson, AF&PA’s Executive Director of Recovered Fiber.

In addition to data about the impact non-fiber elements have on packaging recyclability, the report includes resources about the recycling process, standards and testing facilities and insights from mills on specific non-fiber elements.

The Design Guidance for Recyclability is available for free

Life Cycle Assessment Study single use vs. multiple use

A study released by the European Paper Packaging Association (EPPA) reveals that single-use paper-based food and drink packaging used in European quick service restaurants is better for the environment than reusable tableware.

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been carried by Ramboll, the independent Danish consultants to the European Commission, and certified by TUV.

The study used current primary data from the paper, packaging and foodservice industries to compare the environmental performance over a year of typical disposable and reusable food and drink containers used in a quick-service restaurant for in-store consumption.

The Ramboll Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) found that, assuming realistic usage over a year, the energy consumption involved in the use phase of reusable plastic and traditional crockery, during in-store or out-sourced washing and drying, outweighed the environmental impact of single-use paper dishes. The baseline report reveals that reusable tableware generated 177% more CO2-e emissions than the paper- based single-use system, consumed 267% more freshwater, produced 132% more fine particulates matter, increased fossil depletion by 238% and terrestrial acidification by 72%

“The main issues with reusables is the energy and water they consume during washing and drying to ensure they are hygienic and safe for reuse by customers, and this is also confirmed when the most efficient dishwashing technologies are applied. This means that single-use is better for the climate and does not aggravate the problems of water stress, now a growing issue in many European countries” said Mr. Antonio D’Amato, President of EPPA.

Hans van Schaik, Managing Director of EPPA, said: “Ramboll’s research shows that favouring reusable dishes in quick-service restaurants would lead to significant detrimental impacts on climate change, freshwater consumption, fossil depletion, fine particulate matter formation and terrestrial acidification in the Europe, compared to single-use tableware solutions.”

100 per cent of existing single-use paper tableware manufactured by EPPA members and used in Europe are sourced from sustainably managed forests. Paper and board is the most recycled packaging material in Europe with a rate of around 86% (Eurostat 2017).

The European Commission’s flagship Green Deal policy aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and insists on Life Cycle Assessments of products demonstrating their environmental performance before adopting a preferred direction, at a time when key legislation around packaging and packaging waste, and single use is being discussed (i.e. the SUPD Guidelines are expected to be released in the upcoming weeks)

This LCA meets ISO standards and has been independently assessed by Germany’s TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein). While a number of LCA studies have been carried out over time on multiple-use products, the Ramboll’s LCA relies on primary data from both public authorities and the private sector – as opposed to secondary data from outdated databases. The Ramboll’s LCA is also unique in its scope (EU 27 + 1).

TUV Agency, issuing the certificate of validity concerning the critical review, states that “All significant parameters are available and representative and have been systematically derived and duly assessed. All type of approvals have been checked. The assessments and the underlying data collection and calculation procedures are transparent and traceable”.

Mr Eric Le Lay, Deputy President of EPPA, continued, “Our study is based on updated primary data. Despite usual misconceptions due to lack of science-based evidence and system approach, it shows that reusables can carry significant environmental costs which are often forgotten, and that single-use food packaging is preferable for the environment, public health, and the achievement of EU Green Deal goals”.

Life Cycle Assessment Study single use vs. multiple use

A study released by the European Paper Packaging Association (EPPA) reveals that single-use paper-based food and drink packaging used in European quick service restaurants is better for the environment than reusable tableware.

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been carried by Ramboll, the independent Danish consultants to the European Commission, and certified by TUV.

The study used current primary data from the paper, packaging and foodservice industries to compare the environmental performance over a year of typical disposable and reusable food and drink containers used in a quick-service restaurant for in-store consumption.

The Ramboll Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) found that, assuming realistic usage over a year, the energy consumption involved in the use phase of reusable plastic and traditional crockery, during in-store or out-sourced washing and drying, outweighed the environmental impact of single-use paper dishes. The baseline report reveals that reusable tableware generated 177% more CO2-e emissions than the paper- based single-use system, consumed 267% more freshwater, produced 132% more fine particulates matter, increased fossil depletion by 238% and terrestrial acidification by 72%

“The main issues with reusables is the energy and water they consume during washing and drying to ensure they are hygienic and safe for reuse by customers, and this is also confirmed when the most efficient dishwashing technologies are applied. This means that single-use is better for the climate and does not aggravate the problems of water stress, now a growing issue in many European countries” said Mr. Antonio D’Amato, President of EPPA.

Hans van Schaik, Managing Director of EPPA, said: “Ramboll’s research shows that favouring reusable dishes in quick-service restaurants would lead to significant detrimental impacts on climate change, freshwater consumption, fossil depletion, fine particulate matter formation and terrestrial acidification in the Europe, compared to single-use tableware solutions.”

100 per cent of existing single-use paper tableware manufactured by EPPA members and used in Europe are sourced from sustainably managed forests. Paper and board is the most recycled packaging material in Europe with a rate of around 86% (Eurostat 2017).

The European Commission’s flagship Green Deal policy aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and insists on Life Cycle Assessments of products demonstrating their environmental performance before adopting a preferred direction, at a time when key legislation around packaging and packaging waste, and single use is being discussed (i.e. the SUPD Guidelines are expected to be released in the upcoming weeks)

This LCA meets ISO standards and has been independently assessed by Germany’s TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein). While a number of LCA studies have been carried out over time on multiple-use products, the Ramboll’s LCA relies on primary data from both public authorities and the private sector – as opposed to secondary data from outdated databases. The Ramboll’s LCA is also unique in its scope (EU 27 + 1).

TUV Agency, issuing the certificate of validity concerning the critical review, states that “All significant parameters are available and representative and have been systematically derived and duly assessed. All type of approvals have been checked. The assessments and the underlying data collection and calculation procedures are transparent and traceable”.

Mr Eric Le Lay, Deputy President of EPPA, continued, “Our study is based on updated primary data. Despite usual misconceptions due to lack of science-based evidence and system approach, it shows that reusables can carry significant environmental costs which are often forgotten, and that single-use food packaging is preferable for the environment, public health, and the achievement of EU Green Deal goals”.

Life Cycle Assessment Study single use vs. multiple use

A study released by the European Paper Packaging Association (EPPA) reveals that single-use paper-based food and drink packaging used in European quick service restaurants is better for the environment than reusable tableware.

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been carried by Ramboll, the independent Danish consultants to the European Commission, and certified by TUV.

The study used current primary data from the paper, packaging and foodservice industries to compare the environmental performance over a year of typical disposable and reusable food and drink containers used in a quick-service restaurant for in-store consumption.

The Ramboll Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) found that, assuming realistic usage over a year, the energy consumption involved in the use phase of reusable plastic and traditional crockery, during in-store or out-sourced washing and drying, outweighed the environmental impact of single-use paper dishes. The baseline report reveals that reusable tableware generated 177% more CO2-e emissions than the paper- based single-use system, consumed 267% more freshwater, produced 132% more fine particulates matter, increased fossil depletion by 238% and terrestrial acidification by 72%

“The main issues with reusables is the energy and water they consume during washing and drying to ensure they are hygienic and safe for reuse by customers, and this is also confirmed when the most efficient dishwashing technologies are applied. This means that single-use is better for the climate and does not aggravate the problems of water stress, now a growing issue in many European countries” said Mr. Antonio D’Amato, President of EPPA.

Hans van Schaik, Managing Director of EPPA, said: “Ramboll’s research shows that favouring reusable dishes in quick-service restaurants would lead to significant detrimental impacts on climate change, freshwater consumption, fossil depletion, fine particulate matter formation and terrestrial acidification in the Europe, compared to single-use tableware solutions.”

100 per cent of existing single-use paper tableware manufactured by EPPA members and used in Europe are sourced from sustainably managed forests. Paper and board is the most recycled packaging material in Europe with a rate of around 86% (Eurostat 2017).

The European Commission’s flagship Green Deal policy aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and insists on Life Cycle Assessments of products demonstrating their environmental performance before adopting a preferred direction, at a time when key legislation around packaging and packaging waste, and single use is being discussed (i.e. the SUPD Guidelines are expected to be released in the upcoming weeks)

This LCA meets ISO standards and has been independently assessed by Germany’s TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein). While a number of LCA studies have been carried out over time on multiple-use products, the Ramboll’s LCA relies on primary data from both public authorities and the private sector – as opposed to secondary data from outdated databases. The Ramboll’s LCA is also unique in its scope (EU 27 + 1).

TUV Agency, issuing the certificate of validity concerning the critical review, states that “All significant parameters are available and representative and have been systematically derived and duly assessed. All type of approvals have been checked. The assessments and the underlying data collection and calculation procedures are transparent and traceable”.

Mr Eric Le Lay, Deputy President of EPPA, continued, “Our study is based on updated primary data. Despite usual misconceptions due to lack of science-based evidence and system approach, it shows that reusables can carry significant environmental costs which are often forgotten, and that single-use food packaging is preferable for the environment, public health, and the achievement of EU Green Deal goals”.

Life Cycle Assessment Study single use vs. multiple use

A study released by the European Paper Packaging Association (EPPA) reveals that single-use paper-based food and drink packaging used in European quick service restaurants is better for the environment than reusable tableware.

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been carried by Ramboll, the independent Danish consultants to the European Commission, and certified by TUV.

The study used current primary data from the paper, packaging and foodservice industries to compare the environmental performance over a year of typical disposable and reusable food and drink containers used in a quick-service restaurant for in-store consumption.

The Ramboll Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) found that, assuming realistic usage over a year, the energy consumption involved in the use phase of reusable plastic and traditional crockery, during in-store or out-sourced washing and drying, outweighed the environmental impact of single-use paper dishes. The baseline report reveals that reusable tableware generated 177% more CO2-e emissions than the paper- based single-use system, consumed 267% more freshwater, produced 132% more fine particulates matter, increased fossil depletion by 238% and terrestrial acidification by 72%

“The main issues with reusables is the energy and water they consume during washing and drying to ensure they are hygienic and safe for reuse by customers, and this is also confirmed when the most efficient dishwashing technologies are applied. This means that single-use is better for the climate and does not aggravate the problems of water stress, now a growing issue in many European countries” said Mr. Antonio D’Amato, President of EPPA.

Hans van Schaik, Managing Director of EPPA, said: “Ramboll’s research shows that favouring reusable dishes in quick-service restaurants would lead to significant detrimental impacts on climate change, freshwater consumption, fossil depletion, fine particulate matter formation and terrestrial acidification in the Europe, compared to single-use tableware solutions.”

100 per cent of existing single-use paper tableware manufactured by EPPA members and used in Europe are sourced from sustainably managed forests. Paper and board is the most recycled packaging material in Europe with a rate of around 86% (Eurostat 2017).

The European Commission’s flagship Green Deal policy aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and insists on Life Cycle Assessments of products demonstrating their environmental performance before adopting a preferred direction, at a time when key legislation around packaging and packaging waste, and single use is being discussed (i.e. the SUPD Guidelines are expected to be released in the upcoming weeks)

This LCA meets ISO standards and has been independently assessed by Germany’s TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein). While a number of LCA studies have been carried out over time on multiple-use products, the Ramboll’s LCA relies on primary data from both public authorities and the private sector – as opposed to secondary data from outdated databases. The Ramboll’s LCA is also unique in its scope (EU 27 + 1).

TUV Agency, issuing the certificate of validity concerning the critical review, states that “All significant parameters are available and representative and have been systematically derived and duly assessed. All type of approvals have been checked. The assessments and the underlying data collection and calculation procedures are transparent and traceable”.

Mr Eric Le Lay, Deputy President of EPPA, continued, “Our study is based on updated primary data. Despite usual misconceptions due to lack of science-based evidence and system approach, it shows that reusables can carry significant environmental costs which are often forgotten, and that single-use food packaging is preferable for the environment, public health, and the achievement of EU Green Deal goals”.