Measuring business climate impact with carbon handprint

5 mins read

Taking impactful and useful motion on climate is a key ambition for corporations worldwide.

In a posh and ever-changing financial setting, nevertheless, it isn’t clear how corporations massive and small can do that in follow – and in tandem with others within the nationwide and international markets. Terms like ‘greenwashing’ are rightly rising in utilization, as organizations battle to handle repute alongside business progress.

In Finland, a rustic recognized for its formidable climate targets (it plans to be carbon impartial by 2035) and breadth of corporations working in climate-adjacent industries equivalent to vitality and materials manufacturing, the main focus appears to be on inter-company collaboration and entire value-chain impact.

Climate Leadership Coalition (CLC) is the biggest non-profit climate business community in Europe, with 94 organizational members principally from Finland, using over half 1,000,000 individuals. This community molds the business setting with a purpose to profit corporations which can be main in climate motion and dealing on insurance policies in partnership with governments and supranational establishments.

5% of the CO2 emissions of packaged meals is
attributable to packaging: 80% is meals

Huhtamaki, a worldwide Finnish meals packaging firm  that has been in operation for over a century, has set formidable climate targets and dedicated to work with suppliers which have signed as much as the Science Based Targets by 2026. With over 20,000 suppliers, the corporate performs a key position within the meals worth chain.

POLITICO Studio speaks to Thomasine Kamerling, Executive Vice President of sustainability and communications at Huhtamaki, and Tuuli Kaskinen, CEO of CLC, about sustainability within the meals packaging sector.

POLITICO STUDIO: What is the context of packaging within the meals worth chain, and what’s the business’s position in decreasing carbon emissions?

Thomasine Kamerling: Food packaging performs an instrumental position as a result of it protects meals, and we all know that meals waste is a big concern. Of all meals produced, one third is wasted – that’s 931 million tons worldwide per yr.

There’s a societal concern by way of entry to meals that’s secure and hygienic, and decreasing meals waste so extra individuals have entry to it, however there’s additionally concern by way of the impact of the meals system on international greenhouse gasoline emissions. 30 % of immediately’s greenhouse gasoline emissions are attributed to the meals system, and 80 % of that’s pushed by meals manufacturing. Food packaging is attributed solely 5 % of emissions by comparability – and it might cut back the general tally by defending meals and stopping waste.  

PS: The CLC has come up with the idea of a ‘carbon handprint’ – actions with a constructive impact on the climate. Can you inform me about carbon handprints with respect to the CLC and Huhtamaki?

Tuuli Kaskinen: A giant part of the Finnish business is creating climate options that cut back emissions of others. There was a necessity to explain the constructive impact with a way detailing companies’ skill to create worth chain-wide emission reductions. We created the idea collectively with VTT, which is the technical analysis heart of Finland, and LUT University. The concept is that you just take a brand new product and examine its carbon emissions with that of a median product available in the market. This permits us to evaluate the discount in emissions made attainable by this new product.  That’s the carbon handprint: it’s a constructive measure to indicate an organization’s skill to assist others to scale back their environmental impact.

Kamerling: At Huhtamaki, that’s considered one of our aspirations – to get to internet constructive impact throughout all the worth chain.  When we speak about our sustainability ambitions, the carbon handprint is just one half  We’re additionally provide due diligence or accountable sourcing throughout that entire worth chain.

PS: What position do companies have within the battle in opposition to climate change?

Kaskinen: Politicians and companies know that one thing should be performed. The regulatory framework makes certain that the change occurs in all fields of society. But after we take a look at who’s proposing options and who is ready to scale them, that’s the non-public sector. It’s new companies like start-ups who create new options, and it’s legacy companies who can attain out to thousands and thousands of shoppers world wide. The reality of the matter is that we’d like big investments into the inexperienced transition, they usually need to be ramped up – about 3 to 4 % of GDP ought to be used on this transformation, and 70 % of the cash ought to come from the non-public sector.

PS: Sustainability goes far past climate change. How do you outline sustainability, and what measures are you implementing to make sure it ?

Kamerling: We imagine we have now a job to play in delivering accessible, reasonably priced, hygienic and secure meals for individuals in every single place on this planet. How do you do this in a sustainable method? Science comes into play. For occasion, what you want for meals storage in Finland is totally different to what you want in a heat, humid setting equivalent to India. We drive ahead the analysis and know-how to have the ability to develop packaging that’s smarter and makes use of the fitting supplies for the fitting performance. It’s additionally about truthful wages, good working situations, range, inclusion – they’re all elements of the sustainability agenda. We’re taking this very holistic strategy to be a sustainable business. If we would like our improvements to be sustainable, all these various factors have a component to play by way of our having the ability to say that our merchandise have a internet constructive impact.

PS: Tuuli, you can be talking at COP27 in Egypt. What will you be touching upon, and with what objective?

Kaskinen: There are two fundamental subjects. The first is carbon pricing. The analysis tells us that carbon pricing has been a really environment friendly device, particularly within the context of Europe, and the identical can now be seen in a number of different components of the world. Currently, nevertheless, solely one-quarter of world emissions are beneath some type of carbon pricing system. We work collectively with worldwide organizations and governments to implement carbon pricing in order that it helps the most effective climate options available in the market.

The different matter is that this carbon handprint idea. It is a key climate impact indicator that demonstrates how a services or products reduces carbon footprint – and having the ability to carry the carbon handprint idea into the worldwide context and embrace it in current certificates and measurement strategies is a vital theme.

PS: Thomasine, as EVP of sustainability and communications at Huhtamaki, how are you going to carry the corporate and the workers alongside on sustainability journey?

Kamerling: One of my roles is driving ahead very clear targets. CLC’s handprint idea, for example, is evident and  proactive, and it offers shoppers a greater understanding of what sustainability is. We have set this ambition and we share our achievements and shortcomings with our traders.

Another considered one of my roles is to name out the place there are gaps within the system. Today, recycling is a gigantic concern as a result of it’s not taking place on the scale we’d like. To handle the issue at an industrial scale, companions throughout the worth chain want to come back collectively. This ties into one other position, of discovering methods of serving to others to study from what we’re seeing, and from working collaboratively. We have to incentivize individuals to make a distinction. The agenda is a transformative one for all our industries. The clearer we’re, the extra we will work with others, and that’s how we will make an precise distinction.

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