The PackSynergy network becomes climate-neutral

As part of its sustainability strategy, PackSynergy – Europe’s leading network of mid‐market, owner‐managed packaging wholesalers – has signed a framework agreement with ClimatePartner.

The aim is to achieve climate neutrality, on the one hand of the corporate carbon footprint (CCF) of partner companies and on the other, of the product carbon footprint (PCF) of large sections of the product and process portfolio. More partners and the first product groups are on course to become climate neutral this year.

PackSynergy – The European Packaging Network is collaborating with ClimatePartner, one of the leading climate protection solution providers, as part of its sustainability strategy. “We want to shape the future together and set a good example with our network”, emphasised PackSynergy CEO Thomas A. Baur. “That’s why we’ve made sustainability a key factor for our group. With the cooperation of ClimatePartner, we are taking the next step. Both the group as a whole and individual partners will commit to selected climate protection projects throughout the globe. At the same time, we’re aiming to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions and achieve climate neutrality at corporate and product level. Parallel to that, we’re backing the UN’s sustainable development goals. The fight against poverty and improving living conditions in threshold and developing countries are just two of the best‐known SGDs.”

Two‐pronged approach to climate neutrality

Both PackSynergy and its 20 European member companies are pursuing two distinct climate neutrality approaches with their environmental initiative. The first of these involves the corporate carbon footprint (CCF) of network members. The second relates to the product carbon footprint (PCF) of the principal products in the packaging and material portfolio. “As regards the product carbon footprint we’ve defined seven uniform product groups as the standard for our partner companies. In addition, our branded products are also to become climate‐neutral,” Baur comments.

Partner companies already active

Huwald Liebschner is visible confirmation that climate protection is already an integral part within PackSynergy. This Hamburg‐based packaging wholesaler has been climate‐neutral since 2010. As Hans Brüchert, Managing Director of Huwald Liebschner, explains, his company wanted to “fulfil our responsibility for future generations from an early stage and act accordingly. It was important to us from the outset that our employees and customers, too, should support this idea and turn environmental awareness into a tangible reality.” Horna Verpackungen, another PackSynergy partner in Grafenrheinfeld in northern Bavaria, is likewise already climate‐neutral. The firm had its carbon footprint analysed for the first time last year and is constantly seeking to avoid and reduce.

Danish partner STOK Emballage currently focuses on the measurement and mitigation of carbon emissions. “The joint sustainability initiatives with PackSynergy are high on our agenda”, says Rasmus Stok, CIO of STOK Emballage. “We want to take the lead here and contribute actively in sustainability projects driven within the European packaging network.”

UK member Samuel Grant Packaging is enthusiastic about the new climate partnership. Group Managing Director Andrew Grant reports that “climate protection has traditionally been a matter of concern for us. We collaborate closely with our customers and we look at their production and distribution processes end‐to‐end, to help them get maximum use out of the resources available. We endeavour to reduce not only the packaging volume but also the amount of new material used. For us, committing packaging materials to climate neutrality is another significant milestone in our efforts to strengthen the PackSynergy network.”

Clear positioning and knowledge transfer regarding sustainability

Thomas A. Baur sums up the association’s sustainability path: “We’re eager to send out yet another clear signal in the European packaging market with this latest initiative, and with our industry think tank we can continue making an active contribution to sustainability in the future.” Mira Nägele, project manager for Knowledge Management adds: “We encourage an active exchange on sustainability within our network, to enable us to achieve more faster. Individual pioneers of the network share their know‐how with other partners in project groups as well as regular, virtual workshops. These are deliberately not restricted to mere climate issues. We want to broaden and deepen our expertise in this way and create synergies for more sustainability. We’re talking about improved living conditions today and tomorrow – for us and for coming generations.”

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Written by Kevin Gambrill