Tetra Pak releases 2020 sustainability report enabling transformation

Commitment to lead sustainability transformation amid Covid-19

Tetra Pak
Tetra Pak takes a proactive and pioneering approach to make sure cartons are collected, sorted and recycled so that they keep delivering value. Photo - Tetra Pak

Tetra Pak, a global food processing and packaging solutions company, released the 2020 Sustainability Report, celebrating the many ways the company has worked to protect food, people, and the planet in the past year. An annual tradition since 1999, this year’s report is especially poignant amid a global pandemic, while the world’s focus on the planet and the environment are being challenged.

Highlights from the global operations

  • Continuing to ensure food safety and help customers maintain uninterrupted food supplies during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Working alongside customers worldwide to feed millions of children through school feeding programs and boost milk supply from smallholder farmers through its Dairy Hubs. Sixty-eight million children received milk or other nutritious products in Tetra Pak packages in schools.
  • Pioneering Bonsucro Chain of Custody certification for plant-based polymers, a first in the food and beverage industry, ensures full traceability.
  • For the fourth year in a row, made CDP’s A-List for leading efforts against climate change and protecting forests. Fifty billion Tetra Pak packages were recycled globally.

 In India, Tetra Pak continued to strengthen the collection and recycling ecosystem to ensure that cartons are effectively recycled into useful products. This was done in close collaboration with industry, central and state government, collection and recycling partners, NGOs, and other stakeholders.


Highlights of Tetra Pak’s work in India in 2019

  • Over 80% of Tetra Pak packages sold in India now display the FSC logo, certifying that the paperboard used in them is made from responsibly sourced wood
  • According to a study done by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) across 20 cities in India, 1 in 2 cartons sold in the surveyed cities is recycled.
  • Tetra Pak’s collection network for used beverage cartons expanded across 20 states and Union Territories, 29 cities, and 14 army cantonments supported by 29 collection partners.
  • Strengthened AARC (Action Alliance for Recycling Beverage Cartons) to include 16 industry leaders in the field of juices, dairy, pharma, liquor, and packaging industry. AARC aims to double the collection and recycling of used paper cartons by 2025.
  • Tetra Pak and RUR Greenlife celebrated ten years of the ‘Go Green with Tetra Pak‘ program in Mumbai – an initiative that encourages consumers to deposit used beverage cartons at any of the 240+ drops off points across Mumbai, helping them get recycled.
  • Completed the first phase of ‘Alag Karo Har Din Teen Bin’, a multi-stakeholder Municipal solid waste management program, pivoted by Saahas, a non-profit organization, to establish and sustain segregation at source and develop capacities of the waste collectors (formal and informal) to ensure high recycling rates in the National Capital Region
  • As per a study by KPMG, the program generated a Social Return On Investment (SROI) of 2.66 in the year 2019-20, that is, for every Indian rupee of investment by the stakeholders, Rs 2.66 of the social value attributable to the stakeholders (majorly to the program) was created.
  • Launched a new Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Public-Private Partnerships mode with the Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). This helped expand Tetra Pak’s collection network to Uttar Pradesh.
  • Launch of waste management facility at Indian Army camp at Joshimath, Uttarakhand. This is Tetra Pak’s 14th such facility in partnership with the Indian Army


“Sustainability has long been at the heart of our business strategy and our operations. It is embodied in our brand promise, which is brought to life by protecting food, protecting people and protecting the planet. As we reflect on last year, we must necessarily begin with the Covid-19 pandemic, an unprecedented event that has affected, and continues to affect, communities worldwide. In this context, our commitment to protecting what’s good has never been more vital – and our sense of purpose has never been stronger,” explained Ashutosh Manohar, managing director, Tetra Pak South Asia.

Tetra Pak’s sustainability approach encompasses the entire value chain — including environmental, social, and economic challenges. The company has developed collection and recycling infrastructure in all markets, investing 23 million euros between 2012 and 2019. It has also helped increase the number of facilities that recycle beverage cartons worldwide from 40 in 2002 to more than 170 today. In India, by September 2020, Tetra Pak’s collection network has expanded to cover 22 states and Union Territories, supported by 30 collection partners and four different recyclers across the country.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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