Innovating for sustainable transformation
In 2020, the world was presented with the enormous challenge of how to respond to COVID-19 as the disease spread across the globe. Global action encompassed science-based innovation at many levels, from an energetic policy reaction to new ways of organising business processes, even changing our daily routines to keep us and our families safe and protect our mental wellbeing. By clearly demonstrating how the planet, society and the economy cannot survive in isolation, the pandemic had a profound impact on our operations. The urgency created opportunities to accelerate innovation, helping us and our customers contain the shock to the food system. It also strengthened our purpose as a company: We commit to making food safe and available, everywhere. And we promise to protect what’s good: protecting food, people and the planet.
Throughout the ongoing crisis, we have been focusing on core priorities: protecting people, including our own employees and those of our customers and stakeholders; and protecting food, by helping manufacturers maintain continuous food supplies and further expanding access to safe, nutritious and tasty food. In 2020 alone, over 77 billion litres of products have been sold in Tetra Pak packages. The pandemic reminded us of the need for resilience in our food systems including providing access to food in the face of a global increase in hunger. Our packaging solutions proved critical to address these issues, as well as our processing and services capabilities. For example, we expanded our Dairy Hub initiatives including in Albania and Senegal to provide support for 39,806 farmers of which 98% were smallholders. In addition, our processing portfolio was optimised to prevent food waste and we have launched our first ever complete processing line for white cheese.
Innovation in nutrition was also key. We worked with a customer in Asia to develop a whole soybean processing solution that could capture unwanted okara – the leftover pulp from soybeans- and incorporate what would have been wasted into premium, high-fibre soy milk drinks. We utilised new digital technologies and services to extend product shelf life and reduce waste. Besides joining forces with our customers to ensure continuity of food supply during the crisis, we also strengthened our partnerships to help 64 million children receive milk or nutritious beverages in schools despite the pandemic.
At the same time, we have continued to make progress over the last year in how we protect the planet, by advancing the development of the world’s most sustainable food package – a carton that is made solely from responsibly sourced renewable or recycled materials, is fully recyclable and carbon neutral.
In 2020 we also significantly stepped up both investment and collaborations across the board to realise this goal – and more partnerships mean faster solutions. Taking on board the lessons of collective action we are taking a full life cycle approach. This means four clear areas of collaborative innovation: maximising the use of renewable materials and sourcing them responsibly in a way that protects biodiversity; minimising the carbon impact of our own operations as well as the impact created by our value chain; enabling greater access to safe food while contributing to food waste reduction; and driving an active agenda to develop sustainable recycling value chains.
Source: Tetra Pak
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