SIG Combibloc Supports Recycling

Swiss-based SIG Combibloc Group AG, a supplier of carton packaging solutions for the food and beverage industry, has published its first Corporate Responsibility (CR) report. According to the information, it includes recycling blocks of pre-melted PE in China and its 2030 goals, focusing on an aseptic carton made from 100 percent renewable materials by 2020.

The concrete sustainability goals which the company aims to achieve are set out in the “Way Beyond Good”. This is what SIG is calling its roadmap to becoming a “net positive” company. The CR Report for 2016 – which follows the requirements of the internationally recognized Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines – provides information on the background to SIG’s corporate responsibility, identifies the management approaches to the SIG material issues, and reports on data and facts from the company’s performance in 2016. “The relevant activities cover the entire value chain, including topics related to the company’s employees, responsible sourcing, responsible production and sustainable products”, the manufacturer underlined.

Goals: Some examples

Through a combination of responsible sourcing and radical product innovation, the company intends to offer packaging solutions that are the most sustainable on the market. As reported, SIG Combibloc’s purpose is to partner with its customers to bring food products to consumers around the world in a safe, sustainable and affordable way. The firm focuses on three key areas where it says it can make the biggest difference:

■ Responsible Company: By 2030 it intends to halve environmental impacts across its value chain and double its societal benefits.
In practice this means that the packaging producer has already set reduction targets for its own operations. By 2020, it will reduce CO2 emissions from production by 50 percent from the 2014 baseline and source 100 percent of electricity for its plants from renewables where available – the balance, if any, will be offset according to recognized standards.

■ Responsible Sourcing: By 2030 SIG Combibloc intends that all raw materials will come from certified responsible sources.
In practice, the company’s customers can already choose to use the FSC logo. SIG is committed to produce and sell only FSC-labeled packs by 2020. It aims to achieve a 100 percent certified supply of its main raw materials, such as liquid packaging board, aluminum foil and polymers by 2020. The manufacturer will encourage suppliers to meet ever-tighter social and environmental standards and commit to their own net positive ambitions.

■ Responsible Products: SIG Combibloc will innovate to devise smarter solutions with proven sustainability across the entire life-cycle of its products.
By 2020, the producer intends to launch a 100 percent renewable carton pack and a pack containing up to 50 percent recycled content. “SIG continues to foster pack recycling by supporting the development of recycling infrastructure across its markets”, the company said.

Waste and recycling

In 2016, SIG’s plants generated a total of 49,868 tons of waste. As reported, most of this was made up of offcuts of the raw materials used to manufacture the packs. It also included 2,731 tons of hazardous waste, such as inks, oil and contaminated cans. Aim is to cut the amount of waste produced through a range of initiatives to improve efficiency and increase reuse and recycling.

For example, a new recycling process has cut polyethylene (PE) waste by 90 percent at SIG’s Suzhou plant in China. The extrusion process melts down granules of PE to create a very thin sheet of plastic coating. Every time the production lines stop, a block of pre-melted PE is left over. This generated more than 490 tons of waste a year. In 2016, a new system was introduced to process the blocks of PE into granules that can be fed straight back into the production process, creating a closed loop system. Now the company intends to replicate this project at its other production plants around the world.

By 2020, the target is to reduce the waste rate (non-product output per million square meters of sleeves produced) by 45 percent from the 2014 baseline. In 2016, the waste rate was the same as in 2014, following a slight increase in 2015.

SIG Combibloc’s Corporate Responsibility Report 2016 can be accessed at

Photo: SIG Combibloc Group AG

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