SIG, a leading packaging solutions provider for a more sustainable world, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its packaging plant for aseptic carton packs in Rayong, Thailand. This year marks another key milestone – the fifth anniversary since installing the plant’s immense solar panels. This has reduced the plant’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emission by 12,871 tons since July 2018, equivalent to the offsetting of CO2 by 280 to 415 trees or a forest area of 10,000 sqm.
The SIG Rayong plant began operations in 1998 and spans 109,600 square meters, supplying customers in Asia Pacific and South Asia, specifically in Southeast Asia, Australia, Japan, and India. The plant has the capacity to produce around 11 billion aseptic carton sleeves per year for brands such as Thai Denmark, Nestlé, Friesland Campina, Vinamilk, Indomilk, Ultrajaya, Parle Agro, Amul, and many others.
It was the first SIG production plant in the world to use an effective solar photovoltaic (PV) system to generate solar power and has already reached Thailand’s 2036 goal of requiring 40% of electricity to come from renewable energy sources. Covering an area of 40,064 sqm (equivalent to five football pitches), the 12,350 solar panels produce up to 5,675 Megawatt hours of electricity per year, equivalent to powering up approximately 5,620 homes in a month.
“The SIG carton packaging plant in Rayong is very important in producing sustainable packaging solutions for our region. As one the largest solar-powered facilities in the region, it also demonstrates SIG’s commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and becoming a net-positive company,” said Miguel Gamito, head of Operations and Supply Chain Management, SIG Rayong. “With our 25th Anniversary celebrations, we are also delighted to be contributing to the community here in Rayong and doing our part to promote sustainability in the region.”
In 2019, the plant won the Thailand Energy Award Global-Warming Reduction Label for its rooftop solar array. The Energy Ministry’s Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency award recognized SIG’s significant investment in off-grid alternative power at Rayong as part of the company’s commitment to put more into society and the environment than it takes out.
Besides the rooftop solar array, the plant also has a solar farm and a solar carport, making the plant the largest solar-powered factory in the packaging industry in Thailand. The plant currently produces packaging using responsibly sourced materials: SIG is purchasing 100% of the paper board used for its carton packs as Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM) certified and 100% of the aluminum sourced is certified to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) standards.
“With the upcoming SIG packaging plant in Ahmedabad, India, expected to start commercial production at the end of 2024 and supply for our customers in South Asia, the Rayong plant will have the opportunity to produce more sustainability-driven packaging solutions such as the aluminum layer-free aseptic cartons for our APAC customers,” said Angela Lu, President, and General Manager Asia Pacific South at SIG.
On top of employing the local community in Rayong, SIG’s solar panel supplier, Symbior Solar, also installed a 7kWp solar array on the roof of a local school as part of their contract with SIG. The free renewable energy generated is enough to power the Nikhom Sang Ton Eng Changwat Rayong 10 school and saves the school more than 4,000 baht (USD116) monthly in electricity costs. Installing solar power is also helping to raise awareness of energy efficiency and climate change among schoolchildren and their teachers.
Traipob Wongtrairat, governor of Rayong Province, was the Guest of Honor at the 25th Anniversary celebrations, presided by Angela Lu, President and General Manager Asia Pacific South at SIG. As part of the event, a plant tour was conducted for SIG’s customers, such as Thai Denmark, Lactasoy, Nutifood, ITC, Sambu, and many more from the region.