Today’s food ecosystem faces serious challenges. Approximately a third of produced food is wasted, which accounts for 10% of global CO2 emissions. This is where well-designed packaging can help, by preserving food for longer, preventing food waste and improving food safety.
Packaging has a fundamental role in building sustainable and resilient food systems globally. But just as with all innovations, there are challenges to be dealt with. Each year over eight million tons of plastic packaging enters our oceans and recycling rates across the globe remain pitifully low.
There is the paradox. On the one hand, society wants to see fewer materials used, less packaging waste and less litter. On the other hand, it also wants safer products, less food waste and a longer shelf life. The debate should not be about more or less packaging. It should be about how we make packaging smarter and more sustainable with better end-of-life management; packaging that considers the full environmental, social and governance impacts.
Our sustainability approach covers environmental, social and governance pillars:
- Design for circularity
- Climate action
- Minimizing our environmental footprint
We are driving the transition to a carbon-neutral and circular economy by: using renewable, natural resources, focusing on waste management, ensuring our products are recyclable, compostable or reusable and minimizing our environmental footprint across the value chain by focusing on designing for circularity and promoting sustainable end-of-use for packaging.
- Working conditions
- Human rights
- Local communities
Our social responsibility focus is on securing good working conditions across all our operations globally, safeguarding human rights across the entire value chain and ensuring fair employment practices for everyone, everywhere. We invest in developing our talent and are building diversity and inclusion into the ways we work. We are committed to being good corporate citizens with a positive impact on the communities we operate in.
Governance and ethical business practices
- Ethics and compliance
- Global Code of Conduct
- Corporate governance and management policies
- Responsible sourcing
Corporate Governance is a basis for how we work and how we are organized. It is important both internally and externally and applies to every one of us. Internally, it starts with and is built on our values: Care Dare Deliver. We value integrity and we want to do what is right, wherever we are in the organization. We are also committed to ensuring our suppliers adhere to the same high level of integrity and that we work with responsible suppliers across all our operations globally.
Our sustainability governance structure
At Huhtamaki, sustainability is ultimately governed by the Board of Directors and at the operational level, by the CEO, the Global Executive Team, the Sustainability Global function and other senior staff across the different business units. The Board is the highest body to approve the guiding policies for sustainability and outline sustainability principles regarding our strategy.
We have a Sustainability Steering Committee at Group level, which steers transformative sustainability initiatives. The committee consists of the Business Segment Presidents, CEO, CFO, EVP Business Development and Innovation and a cross-functional working group and chaired by the EVP Sustainability and Communications.
Our sustainability performance is tracked regularly in our operations: at the manufacturing unit, business segment and Group-levels. The results are collected and monitored at Group-level in the sustainability dashboard which is discussed in the Global Executive Team and presented quarterly to the Board of Directors.
In 2021, Huhtamaki introduced the Global Sustainability Index (GSI) to link short-term incentives of the President and CEO as well as the Global executive team to our sustainability performance. The index tracks our progress towards our 2030 sustainability ambitions. KPIs within the index are linked to our sustainability dashboard and relate, for example, to the share of renewable or recycled materials, the share of renewable electricity, and the share of non-hazardous waste recycled. Linking remuneration to sustainability further strengthens our commitment to sustainability and incentivizes our teams to help achieve our ambitious goals.
For the reporting year 2023, we will update the GSI to reflect our updated ambitions around water and solvent use as well as elevate the role of health and safety. Going forward, the index will be called the Global Sustainability & Safety Index, the GSSI, and it will be implemented as a joint business objective for all participants of the global short-term incentive plan.