The corrugated packaging industry has reduced its carbon footprint by 12%, exceeding the 10% Courtauld Commitment 2 target of 10% two years early.
According to the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), independent consultants calculated that in 2008 thecarbon footprint of corrugated packaging was 887kg per tonne of board leaving the factory gate. However, 2009 figures showed a drop in the carbon footprint to 784kg – demonstrating a 12% decrease.
The CO2 savings are mainly a result of less energy usage in paper mills.
“This means that the corrugated industry has already exceeded, way ahead of schedule, the 10% target currently being called for by Courtauld Commitment 2,” said CPI corrugated sector manager Andrew Barnetson. “This is an important fact to communicate because we feel the focus on packaging in Courtauld Commitment 2 is excessive when the real problem lies elsewhere. Packaging is designed to prevent damage to products – damage which is ten times more environmentally significant.”
Now the CPI believes that by working with WRAP, the Courtauld Commitment 2 can now move in a more progressive direction for packaging. He explained: “Our industry is calling for ‘rightweighting not lightweighting’. What we want to do now is move the debate on in such a way that everyone begins to understand that the right corrugated packaging can create huge environmental savings through its overall performance, such as making better use of space to take lorries off the road, not to mention its superb record on recycling rate and recycled content.”