UPM Raflatac takes extensive action in the circular economy

Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Circulytics tool

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UPM Raflatac takes extensive action in the circular economy
Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circulytics tool reveals UPM Raflatac has taken extensive action in the circular economy. Photo - UPM

Global pressure sensitive label manufacturer UPM Raflatac has worked hard to embrace the circular economy and sought a way to measure performance. The company tested the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circulytics tool and received an overall score of B, indicating that UPM Raflatac has made great strides in enabling circularity but still has work to measure output as a supplier in the packaging value chain.

Companies worldwide are increasingly adopting the circular economy as an opportunity to create thriving businesses that meet the challenges of global issues such as climate change and pollution. As a leader in sustainable labeling, UPM Raflatac is concerned with the circular economy. Still, the company does not just talk the talk, it walks the walk, the company said in a press statement.

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Circulytics is a tool that allows organizations to assess how circular they currently are via a broad set of metrics that deliver a company-level score. This score, alongside insights and analysis from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, helps businesses understand the extent of their success in adopting circular economy business opportunities. UPM said it offers a comprehensive picture of a company’s circular economy performance — going beyond product and material flows — and highlights the most critical development areas to concentrate on.

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In its report, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation noted that “UPM Raflatac has clearly taken extensive action to enable their acceleration to a more circular business model. We recommend they continue driving the circular economy agenda internally and engaging with external stakeholders (particularly suppliers).”

Additionally, the report commends UPM Raflatac’s sourcing of renewable and sustainable materials but urges UPM Raflatac to improve its IT systems to track circularity better when it comes to differentiating raw material sources (virgin fossil, renewable, and recycled materials).

“Labels matter when it comes to the circularity of packaging and how we enable the circular economy is of strategic importance to our company. Overall, we are happy with our score but acknowledge we need to do more in our quest to label a smarter future,” says Oona Koski, manager, Sustainability, UPM Raflatac.

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The report went on to encourage the use of more renewable energy in the company’s manufacturing plants. Currently, five of the company’s ten factories worldwide (including all three in the United States) are fully powered by renewable electricity. Expanded renewable energy use is an ongoing target for UPM Raflatac’s Biofore Site initiative.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation has recently announced the new and improved Circulytics 2.0 tool, which will provide more advanced functionality and a more holistic look at an organization’s circularity. Robert Taylor, Sustainability director, participated as a sounding board in developing the tool and commented, “We were delighted to contribute to the development of the tool and are excited to learn how it impacts our scoring in the next round. It should give even clearer outcomes and areas where we need to improve.​”

“UPM Raflatac has been closely involved in developing and testing Circulytics 2.0 as a part of a sounding board of companies. While they brought the realities of running a business into the development discussions, UPM Raflatac has been open to keeping the bar high on circular economy performance. I am glad that UPM Raflatac has also found value from completing the assessment, and we look forward to seeing the next steps of UPM Raflatac’s transition to a more circular way of doing business in action,” says Jarkko Havas, lead of Insight and Analysis at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

UPM Raflatac is a signatory to The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and member of the Foundation’s Network.

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