IFCO celebrates three decades of innovation and sustainability in fresh-grocery supply chains

written by IFCO SYSTEMS, 2nd February 2022, in News

Munich, Germany, February 2, 2022: IFCO, the world’s leading provider of Reusable Packaging Containers (RPCs) for fresh grocery products, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. In 1992, IFCO dared to challenge the linear economy norms by pioneering a unique share-reuse-recycle model based on the circular economy. Today, IFCO RPCs are used in over 1.9 billion shipments of fresh produce every year, reducing waste throughout the supply chain and demonstrating the clear benefit of a consistent, strong commitment to sustainability.

Wide range of innovative RPCs for all kinds of fresh groceries

In 1992, long before sustainability became the global priority it is today, IFCO was founded in Pullach, Germany, near Munich. Dedicated to optimizing the transportation of fresh groceries in the most sustainable way possible, IFCO was the first company to apply the "share and reuse" pooling model to the fresh-grocery supply chain.

Since then, IFCO has continued to provide leading-edge sustainable packaging solutions. These are optimized for the transportation of all kinds of fresh produce, baked goods, fish and meat. The most recent addition to IFCO’s range of RPCs is the Banana Lift Lock, which provides outstanding ventilation and protection to bananas, eliminating produce damage during transportation and improving ripening consistency.

Leading the industry in reducing environmental impact

Throughout IFCO’s 30-year journey, its reusable packaging solutions have enabled companies across the supply chain to maintain optimal food safety standards, significantly reduce single-use packaging waste, and lower their carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions—all while maximizing operational efficiency. Compared to single-use packaging, RPCs cut CO2e emissions by up to 60%, energy consumption by 64%, water use by 80%, and solid-waste generation by up to 86%.

As recently announced, in 2021 alone, the use of IFCO RPCs enabled savings equivalent to more than 616,000 tonnes of CO2e — the same effect as removing 333,000 cars from the road for a year. In addition, customers using IFCO RPCs kept more than 55,000 tonnes of food from being wasted last year, which is equivalent to 92 million average meals. Over the last 30 years, the use of IFCO RPCs enabled savings of over 3 million tonnes of waste in the fresh produce supply chain. That´s more than all the household waste generated by the city of London in a whole year!

“By pursuing our purpose, we can make a really positive impact on the environment, and this is what inspires everyone working at IFCO, every day. ”

Michael Pooley, CEO IFCO SYSTEMS

"By pursuing our purpose, we can make a really positive impact on the environment, and this is what inspires everyone working at IFCO, every day," said IFCO SYSTEMS CEO Michael Pooley. "With climate change, we are facing the greatest challenge of our generation, and we are committed to be part of the solution. Our 30 years of experience and our continuous drive to develop even more innovative solutions means that we are the right company that has the right proposition at the right time. Our mission remains to make the fresh-grocery supply chain sustainable."

Ready for the digital revolution in making fresh-grocery supply chains more sustainable

One of IFCO’s main targets in the coming years will be supporting businesses in future-proofing their supply chains through digitalization. Not only will IFCO customers be able to track and trace all their RPCs and the produce they carry, they will also rely on IFCO’s digital platform to gain valuable real-time supply chain insights. As a result of these digitalization efforts, IFCO will drive even more waste out of the fresh-grocery supply chain.

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