Weekly Roundup: Smurfit Kappa receives ESG recognition, SIG purchases ASI-certified aluminum for carton packs
10 Feb 2023 --- This week in industry news, Smurfit Kappa was recognized as a top Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performer and SIG purchased 100% of the aluminum for its aseptic carton packs with certification to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI). Meanwhile, Cruz Foam announced the launch of a new series of earth-friendly protective packaging products.
In brief: Smurfit Kappa
Smurfit Kappa was recognized as a top ESG performer by leading research and analytics company Morningstar Sustainalytics. Following a thorough analysis of global companies, Smurfit Kappa’s 2022 ESG Risk Rating improved, seeing the FTSE 100 listed company positioned in Sustainalytics’ list of top rated companies both for the industry and regional categories. The ESG Industry Top Rated badge received by Smurfit Kappa is a global benchmark and reaffirms Smurfit Kappa’s ESG Risk Rating as “low-risk.” The rating was determined by several factors, including the company’s financial strength, circular business model and geography. In addition, Smurfit Kappa received the Regional Top Rated badge, which covers Europe and categorizes Smurfit Kappa’s ESG Risk Rating as “low-risk.”
Smurfit Kappa also announced its full year results for 2022, showing a year-on-year (YOY) growth in earnings (EBITDA) of 38% to €2.3 billion (US$2.5 billion) before tax, in spite of the widely-anticipated post-pandemic slowdown in corrugated box sales. Revenue increased YOY by 27%, from €10.107 billion (US$10.8 billion) in 2021 to €12.815 billion (US$13.7 billion). The EBITDA margin for the year was 18.4%, with a net debt-to-EBITDA ratio of 1.3x. Return on capital employed was 21.8%.
In brief: Sustainable sourcing
SIG announced an “industry first” for responsible sourcing by purchasing 100% of the aluminum for SIG aseptic carton packs with certification to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) standards globally from January 2023. SIG claims to be the only packaging provider to offer aseptic cartons with ASI-certified aluminum and enable customers to include the ASI label on its packs. Through ASI certification, SIG is demonstrating its commitment to source aluminum for its packs responsibly. By requiring all its aluminum suppliers to meet ASI standards, SIG is helping to improve performance in supply chains and drive lower-carbon aluminum production. This in turn supports reductions in the value chain carbon footprint for SIG and its customers.
NatureWorks, the manufacturer of low-carbon polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymers made from renewable resources, has held a cornerstone laying ceremony to celebrate construction of its new Ingeo manufacturing complex in Thailand. The event commemorated the progress made to date on the new fully integrated biopolymer facility and featured a ceremonial groundbreaking that mirrored the ceremony held in Blair, US, in 2000, when NatureWorks began construction of the world’s first commercial scale PLA manufacturing facility. The new plant, located on the Nakhon Sawan Biocomplex in Nakhon Sawan Province, is designed to be fully integrated and will produce the full portfolio of Ingeo biopolymer grades, with production sites for lactic acid, lactide and polymer. It will add an annual capacity of 75,000 metric tons.
Cruz Foam announced the launch of a new series of earth-friendly protective packaging products including “highly” performant solutions to meet specific customer needs for shipping fragile and temperature-sensitive goods for consumers and businesses. Cruz Foam’s patented compostable foam “outperforms” equivalent plastic-based products and exceeds current industry standards for sustainability. These new products aim to replace plastic bubble wrap, bubble mailers and plastic foam coolers to deliver superior performance while meeting customer sustainability requirements. The brand’s designs integrate fiber and corrugated paper to create “the industry’s first and only” foam-based recyclable packaging.
In brief: Miscellaneous
Aimplas, the Plastics Technology Centre, opened enrollment for its online courses on transformation processes and plastic recycling technologies made available through its platform Plastics Academy. The new Chemical Recycling course is targeted at technicians in the plastics industry, raw materials, waste managers, recyclers and technical students interested in becoming familiar with and exploring the possibilities of chemical recycling. The Mechanical Recycling course is targeted at purchasing, sales, quality and production personnel and managers of recycling companies. It also teaches purchasing, quality and production staff at companies that use recycled plastic materials.
Palsgaard started expanding its specialist Netherlands factory for high-grade polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR) emulsifiers. PGPR is a co-emulsifier primarily used in chocolate production to control flow, reduce viscosity and optimize molding and enrobing. The co-emulsifier reduces fat content in margarine spreads and is a highly effective, plant-based color-dispersing aid that replaces petroleum-based waxes in plastics. Scheduled for completion in 2024, the €18 million (US$19.4 million) expansion to Palsgaard’s Netherlands plant, which also makes specialty ingredients for margarine and bakery, will double the company’s global capacity to produce PGPR, demand for which is growing by 10% per year.
Tna solutions and US pork snack company Benestar Brands developed a “highly-efficient” processing and packaging line for its bespoke rinds and cracklins. Working collaboratively since 2005, Benestar Brands and tna’s engineers have developed “the world’s most advanced” approach to pork rind manufacturing. The tna batch-pro 12 frying technology reduces rejects to less than 3%, while the unique fryer design minimizes oil use, contributing to product and material savings. In addition, the tna batch-pro 12 fryer system provides direct-fire heating for improved energy efficiencies and lower operating costs, while the accurate and flexible tna intelli-flav OMS 5.1 seasoning system allows for consistent coverage without costly ingredient losses, further contributing to a healthy bottom line.
The lastest Fact.MR study on the rigid bulk packaging market found the market will accumulate US$12.5 billion by 2032. Currently, the global rigid bulk packaging market is valued at US$8 billion and is predicted to reach US$12.5 billion by 2032, according to Fact.MR. Rigid bulk packaging can hold a variety of objects in its form and due to its strength, sturdiness and durability, it protects them from outside harm. Because of its rigidity, this kind of packaging cannot easily deform under pressure and can be utilized for extended periods without leaking or malfunctioning. For packaging volatile, extremely reactive and fragile materials, rigid bulk packaging is widely used.
Orbis Europe announced it will exhibit its sustainable and durable plastic packaging solutions for various industries at LogiMAT 2023, April 25th-27 in Stuttgart, Germany. That includes FMCGs, F&B, industrial manufacturing, automotive and dangerous goods. “Our reusable packaging is in line with the circular economy concept”, said Jürgen Krahé, senior commercial director EMEA at Orbis Europe. “With our products, companies lower emissions and avoid waste.” Orbis’ transport packaging is reusable for multiple years and recyclable at end of life.
By Natalie Schwertheim
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