Low carbon value chains in the food industry

In most industries there is need and potential to reduce the climate footprint. This, however, depends not only on the successful implementation of one single low carbon solution. For such efforts to be effective they must include the whole value chain. In food and packaging Tetra Pak is a key player and pioneer for sustainable packaging. Together with suppliers, researchers, customers and retail they all share the need to turn the whole food value chain into a circular one.

Challenge background

Food is a vital part of life and one of our most basic needs. Consequently it also leaves a major planet footprint. Globally 25% of the greenhouse gas emission and 70% of the freshwater usage are related to the production, distribution and consumption of food.

The food industry has many reasons to lead the way towards a sustainable global food system. But their success depends, not only on the successful implementation of one single low carbon solution. Up to 90% of an organisation’s environmental impact lies in the value chain – either in the supply chain or downstream, in the consumption phase.

Tetra Pak is a global player in the food value chain. Their ambition and incentive to initiate change that affects both suppliers, producers, retail and consumers is therefore a powerful resource and reason for action. Their aseptic packaging concepts allows for less cooling throughout the distribution and also for longer shelf life which in turn leads to less food waste. And since as much as ⅓ of all food produced is thrown away, aseptic products can be a significant contribution to the climate work.

The use of aseptic packaging requires changes in all parts of the value chain. Material suppliers need to replace aluminium to lower the footprint. Food producers need to adapt their brands to new buying patterns. And retailers need to redesign the layout and promotion in their supermarkets.

Together with paper manufacturer Billerud Korsnäs, consumer brand Oatly and Swedish retailer Axfood, Tetra Pak initiated a team play around the challenge of increasing consumer demand for aseptic food products, for the benefit of the climate. Lund University and Vinnova contributed with their expertise on Product Life Cycle Analysis and national efforts to promote a transition.

Why join?

You should join this project if:
– You are a retailer or stakeholder in direct contact with consumers
– You are a communication agency with an ambition to pioneer new sustainable consumer behaviors.
– You are a materials researcher or technology provider with alternatives to aluminium as an aseptic barrier.