News

Packaging the Future: Plastipak’s Commitment to ESG

September 26, 2022

Since our inception, Plastipak has been committed to creating dynamic packaging solutions that meet the needs of our customers around the world. With detrimental climate impacts looming over the heads of consumers, Plastipak has become increasingly conscious of the sustainability of our products and the impact of our operations. As a result, we launched “Packaging the Future”—a sustainability initiative that acts with the environment and future as the primary motivation. As a part of this initiative, Plastipak has introduced four pillars related to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals—environment, innovation, citizenship and accountability.

Environment

Our first pillar—Environment—highlights the importance of reducing the impact of our operations on the environment. One of our most significant goals within this pillar is the reduction of Plastipak’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

As of January 2022, our operations in Europe are run on 100% renewable energy and seven of our North American plants are certified as emissions-free.

Supporting this mission, Clean Tech UK partnered with BioteCH4— a leading operator of anaerobic digestion facilities in the UK— to create a system where local food and agricultural waste is collected and turned into fuel to power the PET recycling plant. This clean energy has aided in reducing our Scope 2 emissions, while simultaneously reducing waste.

In addition, Plastipak has adopted the Wipe Out Waste initiative which has an end target of zero waste to landfill for all of our plants. Plastipak Brazil, for example, now reuses, recycles or composts 100% of its materials rather than sending them to the landfill. As of the end of 2021, 44% of Plastipak’s sites have achieved zero waste to landfill and expect to have all sites reach this goal by the end of 2023.

Innovation

Innovation in products and circularity is at the heart of Plastipak’s operations. As a leading producer of plastic packaging, we continue to carry out this mindset by developing circular solutions that protect the environment.

Since founding Clean Tech Recycling over 30 years ago, our company has had great success in keeping HDPE and PET out of landfills and giving them a second, third or fourth life through bottle-to-bottle recycling.

Additionally, Plastipak has the capacity to support our customers’ efforts in reducing virgin resin usage and increasing PCR content in their packaging by operating our PCR resin production plants. Having this capability in-house allows Plastipak to keep up with the increasing PCR content demands, without compromising product functionality and brand integrity.

 Another internal resource—Plastipak’s Creative Packaging (CP) Studios—serve as centers where Plastipak associates and our customers can collaborate to devise designs and prototypes for the next generation of product solutions. CP Studios allow customers to see the proposed product designs in digital shelf spaces and against current market offerings to see how they measure up  before a final solution is launched. 

Citizenship

The third pillar is Citizenship, which prioritizes the people that surround us both at work and at home. An important part of our ESG mission at Plastipak is engaging our associates and communities in safe and sustainable efforts and we are committed to ensuring safe, fair and equitable conditions for all.

We accomplish this by focusing on employee health and well-being, creating an atmosphere that promotes associates’ growth, and engaging with our communities to support those in need. We regularly review our policies to ensure that they are not only current and compliant with local regulations but go beyond what is required. In addition, Plastipak offers personal development opportunities like leadership training, competitive benefits and online training opportunities—each encouraging associates to engage in their personal growth.

Beyond our valued associates, Plastipak strives to have a positive impact on improving the communities in which we live and operate. We continually participate in community investment initiatives across the globe such as scholarship programs, corporate sponsorships and partnerships with local schools to support organizations and individuals in reaching their highest potential.

An initiative that hits close to our mission as a packaging company is educating our communities about the importance of recycling. Plastipak recognizes that real environmental change comes when everyone works together, and by educating the communities where we operate on the importance of sustainability and recycling, we can work towards a goal of a global alliance.

Accountability

Supporting our overall ESG mission, the Accountability pillar ensures that the highest standards of integrity and fairness are upheld throughout our enterprise and value chain. We strive to show our value for responsible sourcing, diversity within our business and supply chain and upholding standards for the highest business ethics.

At Plastipak our most valuable asset is our people, our internal policies reflect employment-related laws and the importance of providing the best environment for associates. Plastipak works to identify and resolve ethical matters by engaging in proactive communication with our associates and stakeholders.

An important step in accountability involves encouraging and embracing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) at Plastipak. In 2021, we created a new Diversity Manager position to formalize our DE&I strategy and set goals for continued improvement. 

In an effort to promote diversity externally, Plastipak established policies in the early 1990s to ensure we engage with a diverse network of suppliers. In 2021, over 200 million dollars were spent on goods and services from more than 40 women-and-minority-owned suppliers.