The Kraft Heinz Co., Chicago, announced July 31 that it is expanding its environmental stewardship strategy to include time-bound targets for achieving greater packaging sustainability.
Specifically, Kraft Heinz announced it supports the move toward a circular economy and aims to make 100 percent of its packaging globally recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. This announcement, a complement to its “Growing a Better World” strategy released in last year’s "Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report," supports the company’s broader efforts to improve the sustainability of its supply chain.
“Our collective industry has a massive challenge ahead of us with respect to packaging recyclability, end-of-life recovery and single-use plastics,” Bernardo Hees, CEO at Kraft Heinz, says. “Even though we don’t yet have all the answers, we owe it to current and future generations […] to find better packaging solutions and actively progress efforts to improve recycling rates. That’s why Kraft Heinz is placing heightened focus on this important environmental issue.”
Kraft Heinz will pursue technical alternatives while also collaborating externally to advance its commitment to deliver 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025. The company will partner with packaging experts, organizations and coalitions to explore technical, end-of-life and infrastructure solutions, and is already collaborating with Environmental Packaging International (EPI) for consulting, tracking and other specialist services in the packaging space. The company also will work toward increasing the usage of recycled content in its packaging and decreasing the overall volume of packaging used.
The company has been working for years to optimize its high-volume packaging. For example, Kraft Heinz recently exceeded its commitment to reduce the weight of its global packaging by 50,000 metric tons. Additionally, Kraft Heinz Europe is working to make the recyclable Heinz Tomato Ketchup PET plastic bottle fully circular by 2022 by using recycled material that can be converted back into food-grade packaging.
Kraft Heinz will further outline its strategy and timeline for achieving this commitment in its next CSR Report, expected to be issued in 2019.
In addition, Kraft Heinz is doing its part to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy by joining the Science Based Targets Initiative and working to set science-based greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals in its supply chain. Adoption of these particularly aggressive targets is aimed at helping avoid a global temperature increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius.
“We found that most of our emissions are coming from areas outside our direct operations,” Hees says. “To truly succeed as champions of sustainability, we will look at our full value chain and determine where we can make the greatest impact for our planet.”
The company plans to announce these new science-based goals when their current commitments expire in 2020.