Huhtamaki signs a virtual power purchase agreement in the US

Marking a major step in its ambition to use 100% renewable electricity by 2030

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Huhtamaki
Huhtamaki's journey towards carbon neutral production by 2030. Photo Huhtamaki

Huhtamaki, the global provider of sustainable packaging solutions, has signed a 12-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, NextEra is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. The 42-megawatt agreement for renewable energy covers approximately 30% of Huhtamaki operations’ current electricity demands in the US and Mexico, where the company has 18 manufacturing units.

“We believe in protecting food, people and the planet. This agreement marks an important milestone on our journey towards delivering on our ambitious 2030 sustainability agenda. The agreement builds on the European VPPA agreement announced late in 2021, which covers 80% of our European electricity usage”, says Thomas Guest, deputy chief executive officer of Huhtamaki.

The renewable energy covered by the agreement will be sourced from a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources’ Inertia Wind Energy Center in the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) North Zone, in Texas. The approximately 300-megawatt project is expected to be operational by the end of 2022 and to save more than 71,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to the average electricity usage of more than 12,000 homes in the US.

“We applaud Huhtamaki’s commitment to sustainability and are pleased to be able to support the company’s renewable energy goals. This will also create a significant economic stimulus for the local community, creating good jobs and additional tax revenue”, says Matt Handel, senior vice-president of Development for NextEra Energy Resources.

“We have already taken a series of pioneering steps on our journey to a sustainable future, with the intent to reach carbon-neutral production by 2030 while optimizing usage of resources, including energy, water, and waste. The VPPA enables us to make a significant leap forward in delivering on our ambitious sustainability agenda and Scope 2 emissions reduction target in line with our science-based targets. It also contributes to adding more green electricity into the U.S. energy mix”, says Thomasine Kamerling EVP Sustainability and Communications.

Huhtamaki’s science-based targets were validated and approved by the science-based targets initiative in 2021. The company is committed to limiting the global temperature rise to well below 2°C in its operations and value chain. It will reduce its electricity greenhouse gas emissions by 27.5% by 2030 and greenhouse gas emissions from its product end-of-life by 13.5% also by the same timeframe. To achieve these targets, the company has to address its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Currently, a large portion of Huhtamaki’s Scope 2 emissions relate to purchased electricity and can thus be addressed with further adoption of renewable electricity.

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.

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