FEFCO launches climate neutrality roadmap for corrugated cardboard industry

EUROPE – The European Federation of Corrugated Cardboard Manufacturers (FEFCO) has launched its climate neutrality roadmap conducted by Climact, through which the corrugated cardboard sector hopes to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

The roadmap describes how the corrugated cardboard sector is committed to achieving climate neutrality.

It lays out milestones, plausible scenarios, required investments and necessary policy measures to reach this goal.

The key findings show that the corrugated cardboard industry can reduce its carbon footprint emissions through actions directly within its control by 2050.

FEFCO says the roadmap responds to the EU Green Deal goal to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80-95% by 2050.

The European corrugated cardboard industry is “circular by nature” and has always been committed to environmentally sustainable growth.

This new ambition reflects the industry’s efforts to preserve the environment and reduce GHG emissions.

Alex Manisty, Chairman of the FEFCO Climate Neutrality Roadmap Steering Committee, said: “The roadmap reflects a credible plan that can be implemented in the required timeframe and shows the strong will of the industry to build a climate-neutral future for corrugated cardboard.

“Already the most recycled packaging material, with 88% recycled content, climate-neutral corrugated cardboard will enable sustainable global supply chains for the long-term.”

“Climate neutrality by 2050 is the way that the European Commission foresees its future growth strategy,” added Eleni Despotou, Director General of FEFCO.

“The FEFCO Secretariat considers it a duty to guide and assist the corrugated cardboard industry to enable climate neutrality in its manufacturing operations.”

According to FEFCO, improvements in material efficiency and circularity would reduce the footprint by 3.3 Mt CO2eq. (or 19%) by 2050.

In addition, making developments in energy efficiency and the decarbonization of the energy mix is expected to reduce the footprint by a further 16%, or 2,8 Mt CO2eq.

Looking beyond direct action, collective engagement of the wider value chain will enable corrugated cardboard to become carbon neutral and even carbon negative.

It is thought that the bulk of reductions must be achieved upstream, especially through the decarbonization of paper production.

If its fossil carbon footprint is reduced by 80% within the next 28 years, FEFCO believes that climate neutrality can be achieved.

On that note, a complete phasing out of fossil emissions would take the sector into the climate-negative territory.

According to the roadmap, the sector must implement a stable and predictable regulatory framework to steer investments; an adequate and robust energy infrastructure; policies and measures to enable the decarbonization of the paper and transport sectors; recycling policies to improve the quality of waste streams, and ensure the availability and affordability of climate-friendly energy carriers.

If these conditions are not met, the corrugated cardboard industry says that it cannot reach climate neutrality.

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