Our CEO, Thomas Körmendi
Resilience in changing climates
2022 was a truly turbulent year for the entire world. Just as the peak of the pandemic was behind us, war erupted in Europe at a scale not seen since 1945. As a company, our overriding priority this year has been maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our employees in Ukraine, as well as ensuring a swift divestment from our operations in Russia. We continue to stand with Ukraine and are supporting our colleagues there continuously throughout this horrendous war.
Despite the challenges of the past year, our commitment to sustainability remains unwavering. Readers of our Annual Report will note a good deal of overlap with the content of this Sustainability Report. This is because at Elopak, sustainability is not something we do – it’s who we are.
In 2022, Elopak retained its focus on the three areas of sustainability: people, planet, and profit. This is because we believe in a holistic approach to sustainability encompassing not only the emissions from our operations but also our social responsibility towards our employees and the communities in which we operate.
In terms of planet, in 2022 we were proud to be one of the first companies to set targets backed by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to reach net zero emissions by 2050. These targets include ambitious near-term goals for reducing our environmental impact by 2030 and encompass both direct and indirect emissions. Reaching net zero by 2050 will not be easy but it is the right thing to do and I encourage other companies to join us on this journey.
In order to reach our emission-reduction goals, we continue to innovate even more environmentally friendly cartons and packaging solutions. In 2022, we rolled out the Pure-Pak® eSense: an aseptic carton made without an aluminium layer, which reduces emissions by up to 50%. The avoidance of aluminium also simplifies recycling, supporting our vision of a circular economy for packaging.
When it comes to people, I am delighted with our ongoing efforts to make Elopak an even safer, more welcoming, and more inclusive workspace. The development of our six Golden Safety Rules in 2022 will help us to avoid the most common types of workplace accidents. Meanwhile, I am proud of the strong emphasis we have placed on decent working conditions at our recently acquired plants in Casablanca and Dammam – ensuring that our high standards of social responsibility are uniformly upheld as we continue to grow. We also work relentlessly to ensure ethical behavior and respect for human rights across our entire supply chain, as a key principle for responsible business conduct.
Of course, the greatest personnel challenge in 2022 was safeguarding our colleagues in Ukraine. Immediately following the invasion, Elopak closed operations at Fastiv and set up a steering group to communicate closely with local management. In April, we quickly resumed some production, following discussions with employees in which they made it clear they wanted to play their part to support vital supply chains within Ukraine.
I want to once again thank our colleagues in Ukraine for their hard work and bravery in exceptionally difficult circumstances.
Finally, Elopak’s sustainable approach to profit has meant bringing our low carbon, naturally renewable cartons to more markets and more people around the world, as well as driving the global conversion to cartons from plastic bottles.
In 2022, we recorded some momentous milestones in our sustainability driven growth agenda, through the establishment of businesses in Morocco, Saudi Arabia and India. These new ventures will deliver Elopak’s iconic sustainable packaging solutions to large, growing markets: helping to accelerate the global transition towards a circular economy for packaging.
Through a year marked by war, supply chain turmoil, and environmental crises, I am immensely proud of all that we have achieved at Elopak. We have remained as focussed and dedicated as ever towards our ultimate goal of leaving customers’ products unchanged and our world unharmed. My biggest thanks go out to our colleagues, partners, suppliers and customers who make all this possible and I look forward to seeing what more we can achieve together in 2023.