Responsible Business Review

Going way beyond good

SIG’s sustainable business growth is underpinned by our commitment to go Way Beyond Good – by doing business responsibly, using responsibly sourced materials and investing in sustainable product innovation.

We set out on our journey Way Beyond Good four years ago. In 2017, we formed our Responsibility Advisory Group, an independent body to challenge and support us on this journey. Since then, we have achieved some major milestones as we work towards our ambitious 2020 targets.

In 2019, we consolidated our commitment and continued to push the boundaries with more firsts for the industry. We saw our efforts start to pay dividends – for the environment, society and our business – as more customers opted for our most sustainable solutions. We are developing a new plan to further promote a sustainable food supply system that puts more into society and the environment than it takes out.

Tackling climate change

We recognise the urgent need for ambitious global action on climate and we are accelerating our timeline to cut emissions in line with the 1.5°C global warming target. Our commitment to a 60% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 20301 has been approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative.

We already use 100% renewable electricity for production and offset the rest of the energy needed to make our packs. To reduce emissions even more, we are looking to source more energy directly from renewable sources and expand on-site renewables, including our award-winning rooftop solar array in Thailand.

Our packs have a lower carbon footprint than alternative types of packaging, largely because they are made mainly out of paperboard from forests that absorb carbon as they grow. The latest independent life cycle assessment confirmed that beverage cartons compare favourably with reusable glass bottles – and outperform PET bottles including those with recycled content – across the UHT milk and soft drink market segments. Our most sustainable solutions have an even lower carbon footprint – up to 58% lower than our standard packs.2

Moving to more plant-based polymers and eliminating the need for aluminium foil in our packs will help us cut carbon even further. The polymers in SIGNATURE PACK 100 are linked to 100% forest-based materials3 and we already offer some aluminium-free packs. However, an ultra-thin aluminium foil barrier is still needed to protect some products and we are minimising the associated environmental impact by sourcing foil certified to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) standard – an industry first.

Helping forests to thrive

Our main raw material, paperboard, is sourced from sustainably managed forests. This enables us to regenerate rather than deplete scarce natural resources, as well as helping to mitigate climate-related risks to our business.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSCTM) certification helps to drive responsible forestry practices, ensuring trees are continually replanted and natural habitats are protected. We source all our paperboard from FSCTM-certified mills and we aim to have the FSCTM label on 100% of our packs by the end of 2020.

Driving sustainable product innovation

Going Way Beyond Good has fuelled innovation to meet our customers’ evolving needs. This year, we launched the first ASI-labelled packs, introduced the first paper straw solutions for carton packs and entered a partnership with one of our suppliers to enable us to offer the world’s first beverage cartons made with recycled polymers produced from post-consumer plastic waste.

We have made sustainability a core driver for our product innovation and our investment is paying off, as more customers turn to our solutions in response to growing consumer demand for more sustainable packaging.

In 2019, we saw increased uptake of our most sustainable products among big brands and major retailers, with new product launches by ALDI and Candia for dairy and by Riedel for fruit juices. Sales of our low-carbon, aluminium-free combibloc EcoPlus have now surpassed the one billion mark and we are seeing more customers opt for our SIGNATURE PACK solution

We also help customers make their own operations more sustainable with our highly efficient filling machines – which have the lowest waste rate in the industry – and our technical service solutions. Our Fill Beyond Good marketing campaign is driving increased uptake of eco-efficient technical upgrades by highlighting the potential resource, emissions and cost savings.

Contributing to a circular economy

We are contributing to a circular economy by designing out waste, using mainly renewable materials and supporting recycling. All our packs are fully recyclable and we are committed to partnering with stakeholders to support collection and recycling of used beverage cartons.

In 2019, we launched new recycling partnerships with customers in Indonesia and Mexico, established a new Global Recycling Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (GRACE) with industry partners and became a founding member of the 4evergreen alliance to boost the role of fibre-based packaging in a circular economy. Our innovative so+ma partnership in Brazil is bringing added social benefits by offering rewards for recycling in low-income communities.

Jorge exchanged points collected for a mobile technical assistance course

Jorge exchanged points collected under the so+ma partnership for a mobile technical assistance course.

Delivering safe nutrition

Customers use our aseptic packs to deliver nutritious food to consumers around the world in a safe, sustainable and affordable way. We produced over 38 billion SIG packs this year and we will reach more people around the world as our business continues to grow.

We are also going further by working with partners to bring quality nutrition to those most in need. Our flagship Cartons for Good project is underway in Bangladesh, using SIG packs and a unique downsized filling machine to turn farmers’ surplus crops into school meals for children in deprived communities.

Supporting communities

We want to create positive change for the communities we touch – where we source, make and sell our products. We are committed to upholding the principles of the United Nations Global Compact and to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.

All our suppliers must meet strict environmental, ethical and labour standards, and certifications such as FSCTM and ASI reinforce requirements on responsible sourcing for key raw materials. Our own manufacturing sites complete regular SEDEX audits to assure customers that SIG packs are made responsibly.

We strive to lead the industry on health and safety. We aim to offer an inclusive working environment that enables all our people to develop and thrive. In 2019, we introduced the SIG Shine awards to recognise their efforts. We also ran campaigns to encourage our people to become involved in local projects and create positive change for communities around the world.

Going further

We want our packaging to deliver nutritious food and drink to more people every day, to revitalise and restore our natural world, and to help shape a truly sustainable food system.

To do this, we must go further than ever before. We must go beyond simply using less resource, creating less waste and causing less harm to replace what we use, give more than we take and make a healthier planet.

We are developing ambitious new targets for 2025 and 2030 to help us go Way Beyond Good. In doing so, we aim to create a more sustainable future for people, for the planet and for our business.

Read more about Way Beyond Good on our website and in our latest Corporate Responsibility Report at:

1From a 2016 baseline.

2See our website for the results of independent life cycle assessments.

3Polymers in SIGNATURE PACK are linked to wood-based residues from paper manufacturing via a mass balance system.