The food industry is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, which are a major cause of climate change. As many countries around the world are committing to net-zero emissions and are putting in place regulations and taxes to help achieve that goal, companies that reduce their carbon footprint now will be in a better position to meet those regulations and avoid paying unnecessary taxes. Being seen as a responsible and sustainable company can enhance the reputation and branding of a food company. This can lead to more positive public perception, a more loyal customer base, and a more attractive investment proposition. There are several ways that companies can make their packaging more environmentally friendly:

1. Use more sustainable materials:

Companies can use packaging materials that are biodegradable, such as paper and plant-based plastics, or that can be recycled more easily, such as aluminum and glass. Other examples include bioplastics. These are plastics made from plant-based materials, such as cornstarch or sugarcane. These plastics can be biodegradable or compostable and can be used in place of traditional petroleum-based plastics.

2. Reduce the amount of packaging used:

Companies can minimize the amount of packaging needed by using smaller packages or by designing packaging that uses less material. There are several flexible packaging solutions made with sustainable materials like multilayer films, which are composed of different layers of different materials that can be separated and recycled. This is still being researched but can be a good solution for food packaging.

3. Increase recycling and composting:

Companies can encourage customers to recycle or compost their packaging by providing clear recycling instructions and labeling on packaging. Some companies are experimenting with edible packaging, such as packaging made from seaweed or other edible materials. This type of packaging can be a good solution for food packaging, as it eliminates the need to recycle or dispose of the packaging.

4. Use digital technology:

Companies can also use digital technology like QR codes and augmented reality to reduce their packaging waste by providing additional information about the product online rather than printing it on the packaging.

5. Use of renewable energy in manufacturing and transportation:

Companies can reduce their carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power in the manufacturing and transportation of their products.

6. Partner with other organizations:

Companies can partner with organizations that are working on sustainable packaging solutions to learn from their expertise and to support their efforts.

What should food companies keep in mind?

It is important for companies to have a roadmap for achieving net zero emissions. It’s important to note that every company has different packaging types, depending on the product they have, so a tailored solution would be the best option in most cases. But having a plan can help communicate a company’s commitment to reducing its emissions and achieving net zero emissions to its shareholders, employees, customers, and other stakeholders. It allows the company to explain what it is doing and why, and to solicit input and support from these stakeholders. It is also important to be future-ready and avoid disruptions in business.

The Global Summit on Scope 3 Emissions Reduction will bring together key industry experts to learn more about reporting strategies & carbon data management in a small-scale, industry-driven event, on 20-21st April 2023 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The two-day, hybrid event features in-depth case studies of supply chain transformation, carbon accounting, and networking breaks dedicated to exchanging insights and expertise on tackling Scope 3 emissions. Visit and or follow us on our social media to track other energy use and decarbonization events.




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