As part of the knowledge exchange in the build-up to this year’s Transform Summit, Mario Abreu, Vice President of Sustainability at Tetra Pak share his ideas on key trends ahead of the event
What is your role?
I am the Vice President of Sustainability at Tetra Pak and in my 20 years here, sustainability has always been at the core of our brand promise to protects what’s good. Contributing to the achievement of the SDGs is a key aspect of delivering our sustainability commitments at Tetra Pak and as such, the goals have been incorporated into roles that extend beyond mine including our business strategy, day-to-day operations and dealings with our stakeholders.
Please share what you’ll be speaking on at the Transform Summit and why it’s important for you to be speaking at this event?
I look forward to speaking as part of the Transitioning From a Linear to a Circular Strategy session at the Transform Summit as this is an area of focus for Tetra Pak in line with our commitment to achieving a low carbon and climate neutral circular economy. I plan to share what we have learnt here at Tetra Pak, and how we have evolved our focus and resource allocation accordingly. Partnerships are a key way we do business and together, using Transform as a platform, we can drive change through discussion, collaboration, and supporting a low-carbon circular economy.
Business must implement innovative and disruptive change to achieve their GHG emission targets. How can companies transform the business to deliver the required positive change whilst sustaining business growth?
One way companies can transform their business is by holding themselves accountable by setting environmental targets and making public commitments to implement change. For example, in 2011 we set a climate goal to cap our 2020 impact across our value chain at 2010 levels, regardless of business growth and in 2016 Tetra Pak made a public commitment to RE100 to source 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030. To deliver positive change while sustaining business growth, we are evaluating how Tetra Pak can directly initiate new renewable projects in the regions where we operate and working closely with suppliers to identify efficiencies both in their operations and through their own supply.
Implementing a circular system across your operations is no easy task. Improving your products, trying new materials and changing your operations generate costs and risks to the business. How can companies mainstream a circular system?
In order to support a low-carbon circular economy, we have chosen to focus on four key areas of our business: delivering packaging with the lowest comparable carbon footprint, delivering highly efficient equipment and solutions, minimising our operational impact and working with partners to dramatically increase recycling and reuse. To mainstream a circular system, our approach has been to benchmark our top performing sites across our global operations, capturing good practice and ensuring that it is applied systematically across the company. Further to achieve our commitment, we are delivering solutions with the lowest carbon footprint and highest efficiency, minimising the environmental impact on our own operations, across our value chain and working with partners to address the end-of-life of our products.
For most companies, their greatest risks and impacts lie within their supply chains. To truly address areas such as: GHG emissions, Human Rights violations and Water usage companies need to work with a whole host of partners. How can business drive large-scale change in partnership with industry associations, NGOs, competitors and Governments?
The circular economy requires collaboration at every stage of a product’s lifecycle – from sourcing and product design, to consumer awareness, collection and sorting, to recycling and reuse. While innovations along the value chain are an important foundation, transformational change requires a step up from everyone and we depend on partnerships across industries, governments and NGOs to make this happen. For example, we recently launched paper straws for beverage cartons in Europe and decided to put our new paper straw into the public domain (without patent) to encourage industry collaboration on the alternatives to single use plastic straws for beverage cartons.
Mario will be speaking at Transform Summit 2019, He will join 250+ CEOs, heads of business, investors and NGOs to address the increasing overlap and opportunities found up and down a company’s value chain.
responsible sourcing Tetra Pak Transform Summit
October 2019, Amsterdam
NEW for 2019, we’ve rebranded our Supply Chain event under the banner TRANSFORM to reflect the shift in thinking that is required. Companies must undertake a transformative approach to their whole value chain to address the challenges we face. 250+ CEOs, heads of business, investors and NGOs and address the increasing overlap and opportunities found up and down a company’s value chain