Constantia – one of ‘50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders 2020’

Constantia Flexibles selected for sustainability leadership

Constantia Ecoflex Ahmedabad in India is the first plant in the world, producing only recyclable flexible packaging. Photo Constantia Flexibles

Constantia Flexibles has been selected as one of 50 global companies to take part in the international sustainability and climate initiative for 2020. Initiated by the TBD media group, the initiative promotes companies that are pioneers in the field of sustainability and is hosted by Bloomberg’s digital network.

‘More sustainability’ along the entire production supply chain always has been a priority for Constantia Flexibles. The presentation of the ‘more sustainable’ product line EcoLamin 2019, the opening of Ecoflex, the first plant in the world producing recyclable flexible packaging only, as well as the ambitious target to almost halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, are examples of the company’s leadership in sustainability.

Globally and across all industries, climate change and sustainability have grown in importance. Constantia Flexibles, the world’s third-largest producer of flexible packaging solutions, takes these worrying developments very seriously. The CEO of Constantia Flexibles, Alexander Baumgartner, says, “We as human beings and even more so as companies have a duty to fulfill, which is to leave the planet at least in the same shape and state it was when we came, for the next generations. Our participation in the 50 Sustainability and Climate Leaders initiative is a further measure for us to fulfill this duty. In the video, we are demonstrating how companies worldwide can also make their contribution.”

Being part of the 50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders campaign is an integral part of the company’s sustainability strategy focusing on the long-term. With the reach of Bloomberg’s digital network and the close collaboration of the United Nations in the campaign, the company wants to prove what is possible. Speaking in an exclusive conference hosted by the UN – planned to take place in September 2020 in New York –Constantia Flexibles will engage with the other campaign participants to showcase its strive for a more sustainable future. And the list of Constantia Flexibles’ activities for a better future is extensive.

Constantia’s science-based, ambitious targets

 Since 2005, Constantia Flexibles has been measuring its’ direct and indirect emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2) as well as indirect emissions (Scope 3) coming from upstream and downstream value chain activities. Constantia Flexibles’ goal is to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 24% by 2030 and by 49% by 2050 from a 2015 base-year.

Measures to reach the target include increasing the share of purchased electricity coming from renewable resources, energy optimization, as well as decreasing indirect emissions deriving from the value chain, e.g., from purchased raw materials. A reduction of 10% was already achieved until 2018. 

The target for greenhouse gas emission reduction was also officially approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative. Goals adopted by companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are considered ‘science-based’ if they are in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep the global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures.

“Setting this ambitious target in line with climate science demonstrates our dedication to playing our part in international efforts to limit global temperature rise and take action to combat climate change,” says Baumgartner.

Recyclable packaging

 As a signatory of the New Plastics Economy ‘Global Commitment.’ Constantia Flexibles pledged that all its packaging would be recyclable by 2025. Today, the company stands at 60% recyclable packaging. 

One solution to reach 100% is Constantia Flexibles’ innovative packaging product line, EcoLam. EcoLam is lightweight, and its’ OPE/PE structure is fully recyclable since it is a mono-material. It also provides all the oxygen and moisture barriers to protect goods. The sustainable solution is produced at the Constantia Ecoflex Ahmedabad plant in Gujarat, India, which is the first plant in the world, producing only recyclable flexible packaging.

Furthermore, Constantia Flexibles is a founding member of CEFLEX (A Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging), a collaborative project of a European consortium of companies with the vision of an established collection, sorting, and reprocessing economy developed for post-consumer flexible packaging across Europe.

Certified sustainability

In 2018, Constantia Flexibles’ largest plant, Constantia Teich in Austria, was the first European company to be certified according to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s (ASI) Performance Standard for environmental, social, and governance performance. In 2019, Constantia Teich completed the audit in compliance with ASI’s Chain of Custody Standard, which complements the ASI Performance Standard and sets out requirements for the creation of a Chain of Custody (CoC) for material, including ASI aluminum. The plant meets the industry’s highest sustainability standards, which cover governmental, environmental, and social elements.

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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– Naresh Khanna

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