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Packaging with a reduced environmental footprint

Many consumers want the products they buy to have environmentally friendly packaging. In 2016, Orkla developed a model for its sustainable packaging work.

One of Orkla’s sustainability objectives is to develop more environmentally friendly packaging and products with a smaller environmental footprint. In 2016, Orkla developed a model for its sustainable packaging work, which defines five important dimensions: Rethink, Reduce, Replace, Recycle and Reuse. These dimensions reflect the activities that Orkla considers important in its categories with a view to achieving more sustainable packaging.

Rethink is about developing new and innovative packaging solutions, and engaging the consumer in new ways to ensure that the used packaging is sustainably handled. Examples are new materials, shapes and formats that contribute to a substantial reduction in the packaging’s environmental footprint.

Reduce is about reducing the amount of materials that is used, examining possibilities of eliminating parts of the packaging, and designing it in a way that results in less product waste and less packaging. New packaging design can also lead to more efficient transport with an associated reduction in carbon footprint.

Reuse is about developing smart refill solutions, exploring new ways of using them and reusing secondary packaging. This can also mean introducing packaging that the consumer can reuse for other purposes.

Recycle is about choosing packaging solutions that make it easier for the consumer to recycle them, and using the highest possible percentage of recycled materials when this is practical based on food safety and environmental considerations.

Replace is about not using packaging that is associated with tropical deforestation or other unacceptable production practices. It can also entail replacing materials based on fossil sources with renewable alternatives.

The importance of each dimension varies according to the type of packaging, category and country.

A circular economy

Circular economy

Increased recycling and reuse are the essence of a circular economy. In a circular economy, material resources remain in the economic cycle through recycling, reuse, repair and improvement. This offers new business opportunities where developments are driven by the profitability inherent in more efficient resource use.