At Huhtamaki, we are constantly working to achieve our 2030 sustainability goals recognizing that as many sustainability issues are interlinked, working on one issue can help us on another. One example of this is climate change and nature loss. This is also why we have decided to step up our efforts on: protecting biodiversity, which we see as a key issue given the importance of forest products to our value chain and developing our understanding of how the way we use resources, such as water, in our own operations can have impact.
We are committed to playing our part in protecting the world’s biodiversity and have started to assess our nature-related dependencies and impacts. Not only do we rely on natural resources entering our value chain, benefitting from the services provided by the ecosystems but as a manufacturer with global operations we can be exposed to nature-related risks. As part of much wider value chains, we can play a role in helping to maintain healthy ecosystems which generate oxygen, supply food and other natural resources, provide wildlife habitats and ensure pollination.
Our impact to biodiversity
Our most material potential impacts on biodiversity take place in our supply chain. These impacts arise in the paper and forest industry, as well as the plastic and metal manufacturing industries. Additionally, there are potential impacts on biodiversity due to the global warming potential associated with the production of the energy that we use and transportation that takes place throughout our products’ life cycles.
Where are we now?
We have started to assess our impact on nature and in 2022 conducted two studies to build our understanding. The first study consisted of mapping our manufacturing sites and fiber supply plants to determine whether they were in close proximity to a critical biodiversity area. We learned that of all our 76 manufacturing sites and fiber supply plants, eight are within and fifteen are adjacent to certain protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas. The information gathered in this assessment is valuable as it provides us with a evidence-based way to prioritize our action on biodiversity issues.
Our second study consisted of a trial to assess the biodiversity impacts of our products throughout their value chain. We used the Biodiversity Measurement Navigation Wheel, made available by the EU Business @ Biodiversity Platform and reviewed various assessment tools and selected the biodiversity footprint calculator to conduct our first product biodiversity assessment of one of our fiber-based products.
In 2023, we will continue to strengthen our biodiversity work through our participation in the UN Global Compact Finland Science-Based Targets for Nature training program. The program will help us focus our work to protect nature.
The Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) guidelines for setting environmental targets for companies have been developed as a collaboration of more than 200 organizations and almost 100 companies. SBTN complements the Science Based Targets initiative, known for its climate goals, which is its sister initiative.