As outlined in Our material issues within a global context, we consider increasing the eco-efficiency of our products to be one of our material issues. Increasing material consumption and waste by societies and industry places strains on the world’s natural capital, and we believe much of this challenge can be addressed by designing innovative and responsible products.
We aim to develop products that meet today’s socio-demographic and consumption needs and use less material, extend the shelf life of products, and are adapted to improving recycling infrastructure. We believe that developing smart packaging and paper products can help address global challenges such as climate change and food waste, among others.
In practice, this is achieved through new product innovations as well as by reviewing and, where necessary, redesigning our products, so that we reduce our material consumption and, ultimately, our environmental footprint. This is made possible through collaboration and co-innovation between us, our customers and our suppliers, as the manufacturing footprint of our packaging products can only represent a small fraction of their total environmental footprint. We use a life-cycle approach in our efforts to reduce this footprint.
The delivery of environmentally and socially responsible packaging and paper products is an important component of the services we provide to our broad customer base. Our products are subject to various voluntary and compulsory standard-testing procedures to ensure that a high level of product safety is maintained.
Nothing came to our attention in 2013 to suggest the occurrence of:
- incidents of non-compliance with regulations and voluntary codes relating to customer safety and health;
- fines in respect of non-compliance in the process of the provision and use of our products;
- incidents of non-compliance relating to the regulation and voluntary codes we subscribe to concerning product and service information and labelling;
- non-compliance with regulations and voluntary codes concerning marketing communications, including advertising, promotion and sponsorship; or
- complaints regarding breaches of customer privacy and losses of customer data.
Product certification and hygiene management
We seek and maintain credible product-level environmental credentials. Third-party certification supports our credibility in the market, providing customers, consumers and stakeholders with assurance that we manage and procure raw materials responsibly. This is an important component of our marketing strategy.
Our product-level environmental credentials include:
- Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™) signifies that certified fibre is sourced from responsibly managed forests. 66% of our products based on wood procured directly by our mills, and 81% of our products based on pulp procured externally by our mills, were manufactured from CoC-certified sources. The balance in both cases was sourced from credible sources meeting the FSC Controlled Wood Standard*.
- Eco-product certification, such as the Blue Angel and EU Ecolabel against which we certify some of our mills in the Uncoated Fine Paper business in Europe, demonstrate that products have been manufactured according to environmentally sound principles;
- The implementation, maintenance and improvement of an environmental management system at ISO 14001-certified mills;
- 100% of our mills have been certified to ISO 14001 standards;
- Supply chain and life-cycle assessment, including water and carbon footprints, and visibility over our supply chain, through wood sourcing and other tracing mechanisms; and
- Of the 71 operations producing food contact packaging in 2013, 47 (66%) were certified to a recognised food hygiene standard**, with the balance meeting Good Manufacturing Practice standards***.
- * The raw materials used for our fibre-based products consist of wood, purchased pulp, paper for recycling and finished paper. Wood (in the form of wood chips and wood logs, sourced from our leased forests in Russia and our own plantations in South Africa, or purchased from the market) covers the absolute majority of our fibre needs. Our current Group-level reporting systems allow us to monitor the CoC-certified wood and externally purchased pulp volumes in detail while CoC certification of our other fibre needs - paper for recycling and finished paper - are currently not available at a Group level. We are working towards improving our reporting systems to cover certification details for all sources of fibre and will publicly report on these in our future reports.
- ** The food hygiene standards that Mondi’s operations are certified against include: ISO 22000, EN 15593, BRC/IoP, HACCP or AIB.
- *** Good Manufacturing Practice helps ensure quality control in many countries where our products are made.
A life-cycle approach
Each step in the life cycle of our products has an impact on the environment and we manage the environmental, safety and health impact of our products throughout their life cycle (this approach is based on the Life-Cycle Initiative developed by the United Nations Environmental Programme).
Integrating recycling into our business model
Environmental and business concerns go hand-in-hand with reducing waste. Our waste management approach is in line with the European Union’s waste hierarchy, and recycling is fully integrated across our business processes. Paper is the world’s most-widely recycled product and roughly a third of our pulp consumption comes from paper for recycling (1.4 million tonnes in 2013).
The Green Range
The Green Range was developed by our Uncoated Fine Paper (UFP) business, and was further extended to include smart and eco-efficient packaging solutions. Mondi is developing appropriate criteria for both the packaging and paper-based businesses. We will revise our approach to the Green Range in 2014 to reflect our extended product portfolio following our major acquisitions at the end of 2012.
All Mondi UFP-branded papers meet the Green Range criteria meaning that they are certified either by the FSC™ or the PEFC™, are from 100% recycled materials, or entirely chlorine free. In 2013, 38% of all our UFP product sales were from the Green Range (2012: 38%). We will increase the number of products in our Green Range, including non-fibre based products across other business units as well. We will revise our approach in 2014 to reflect our extended product portfolio following our significant acquisitions made towards the end of 2012.
A new product joins the Green Range
High-speed inkjet printing technology is one of the fastest growing digital printing technologies in the market. In 2013, Mondi UFP introduced a range of high-speed inkjet papers that are optionally available as carbon neutral. This has a positive impact on the environmental performance of printed products as the paper itself makes up roughly 70% of the carbon footprint of a printed product. This paper grade is designed for fast absorption, which means that ink can be absorbed at high speeds, reducing the amount of heat used for drying the paper. This leads to a reduced power consumption of the machine.
In terms of environmental performance, all Mondi high-speed inkjet papers bear the EU Ecolabel and are FSC™ or PEFC™ certified.
Recognising innovation excellence: product-related awards in 2013
Mars Africa’s Royco soup packet won a 2014 WorldStar Award for Packaging. In partnership with Afripack Consumer Flexibles and the customer, Mars Africa, Mondi Extrusion Coatings developed an innovative packaging material for food packaging. As a result, Mars Africa has reduced the carbon footprint of their instant and packet soup range by 25%. Removing an ingredient - aluminium foil - was the key to success. As a replacement, Mondi Extrusion Coatings developed a non-foil, co-extruded paper laminate that protects the product and gives it a long shelf life. By introducing a special sealing polymer, the sealing temperatures were significantly lowered, resulting in much lower energy use and higher efficiency on the filling lines.
Mondi Kraft Paper was among three award winners in the INTEGRATE Global Suppliers Innovation Programme organised by CEMEX. Mondi was recognised for its bags made of high-porous sack kraft paper which offer significant weight reductions and higher strength, coupled with improved operating performance. CEMEX initiated its Innovation Programme to foster collaboration with its suppliers and promote innovation. According to Hans Finsterer, director of overseas sales of Mondi Kraft Paper, “Product innovation is a high priority at Mondi. We know that ideas developed together with our customers have the highest benefit for all parties involved. Mondi’s high-porous sack kraft paper portfolio meets the strictest demands regarding quick filling, strength, porosity, stiffness and attractive POS printing. Cement bags produced from Mondi’s high-porous sack kraft paper deliver cost savings to both the bag converter and the cement producer. The weight reduction and smaller number of plies result in lighter and stronger bags that deliver significant cost savings.”