Global plastic packaging specialist ALPLA (ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co KG; Hard, Austria) just released its third sustainability report, which includes detailed insights into the company’s development strategy. The report describes the progress of sustainable development from 2016 to 2018, which is used as a basis for establishing ambitious objectives for 2019 to 2022.
In the past three years, the company has reduced energy consumption in relation to production volumes by 6.6% and consumption of fresh water in relation to material usage by 40%. It far exceeded its target for using recycled materials: “Demand has risen sharply in the reporting period,” said Christoph Hoffmann, Director Corporate Strategy, Sustainability & Circular Economy. “ALPLA has more than 25 years of experience in recycling, both in the manufacture of recyclates and in their processing. That is why we’re able to offer our customers functioning solutions on both sides.”
While the company was not able to reduce its carbon footprint as much as planned, part of that was due to more company growth than expected “in countries with carbon-intensive electricity production,” said Linda Mauksch, Sustainability Officer at ALPLA. “Global targets can only be achieved with efforts by all regions.”
ALPLA has 178 plants in 46 countries. Seventy-two of those plants are “in-house,” meaning they are directly part of the customer’s operations. This approach reduces transport and carbon emissions. Many plants have planned and implemented their own sustainability projects. The sustainability report outlines successful examples of such projects in India, Brazil and Portugal.
As an innovation leader, ALPLA can also point to several flagship initiatives in the area of product development, from bottles made entirely of recyclate and home-compostable coffee capsules to the Simple One, an HDPE bottle that is up to 60% lighter than standard bottles. The company wants to bring at least three innovations to market each year through 2022. It also aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 10% in absolute numbers, even with projected annual growth of 3%.
In 2018, another partnership in Wolfen, Germany, joined the three PET recycling plants in Mexico, Austria and Poland. The four sites deliver 70,000 tons of food-grade PET recyclate per year.
ALPLA’s high-quality packaging is used in a range of markets including food and beverage, cosmetics and personal care products, household detergents, pharmaceutical products, and engine oils and lubricants.
With its New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, ALPLA has pledged to manufacture 100% recyclable products by 2025 and invest €50 million in the expansion of recycling activities, said the company. The volume of processed post-consumer recycled materials should rise to 25% of total material used in this timeframe.