IFCO launches Sustainability Certificate for Retailers

written by IFCO SYSTEMS, 20th September 2018, in News

IFCO, the leading global provider of reusable packaging solutions for fresh foods, announced today that it is inaugurating a sustainability certification initiative for its retailer customers in Europe and North America. IFCO is amongst the most sustainable logistics companies worldwide and leads the industry in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Against this backdrop, retailers awarded with IFCO’s sustainability certificate will benefit from tangible and credible proof of their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability.

Reducing emissons, water consumption, energy, waste and product damage

Annual CO2, energy, water and waste savings

IFCO is constantly monitoring the environmental benefits generated by its logistics concept, the IFCO SmartCycle™, which is based on the principle of "share and reuse". All IFCO RPCs are reused over 50 times during their lifetime, and at every cycle are put through a rigorous cleaning and inspection process before being delivered for the next cycle. Damaged RPCs that cannot be repaired are 100% recycled and used for the production of new IFCO RPCs.

Several studies have proven that the use of RPCs has a meaningful contribution to the environment by leading to savings in terms of CO2 (up to 60%), energy (64%), water (80%), solid waste (up to 86%), and food product damage (up to 96%), when compared with single-use packaging. Since IFCO operates the largest RPC pool in terms of volume, it is contributing the most to the sustainable effects measured in these studies.

IFCO is constantly monitoring the environmental benefits generated by its RPCs and the SmartCycle™. In Europe and North America, IFCO business enabled the following savings in 2017:

  • 460,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 241,000 fewer cars on the road in a year
  • 8 million cubic meters of water, equivalent to over 188 million five-minute showers
  • 29,500 terajoules of electricity, enough to power over 15 million light bulbs for a year
  • 237,000 tonnes of solid waste, equivalent to the trash produced by 171 million individuals per day
  • 42,200 tonnes of food product waste, equivalent to 70 million average meals in the world

These benefits carry through to IFCO customers’ supply chains and represent a significant achievement for companies wanting to protect their fresh produce while still being committed to improving their sustainability performance.

Sustainability certificates for retailers to demonstrate sustainability commitment

As well as making a meaningful contribution to environmental protection, the use of IFCO RPCs – as shown in the figures above – represents a significant achievement for retailers. Therefore, IFCO will share these achievements with its customers by inaugurating a sustainability certification initiative for its retailer customers in Europe and North America. As IFCO is able to calculate energy and resource savings per customer, each organization will receive a certificate highlighting the amount of carbon dioxide, water, energy, solid waste and food waste it has saved by utilizing IFCO RPCs in its fresh food supply chain.

To ease the interpretation of the results, IFCO will use equivalences to illustrate the sustainability credentials of each customer. For example, the CO2 a retailer saves with IFCO RPCs will be recalculated as "number of cars off the road per year", reduced water usage is shown as "number of 5-minute showers per year" and energy in terms of the number of lightbulbs that could be powered for a year with the relevant amount of electricity.

The sustainability certificates, which will be awarded by IFCO to its retailer customers in Europe and North America, will show each partner’s individual contribution to these savings. Retail partners can display their certificates in their corporate offices or retail outlets, showing their commitment to the environment and sustainability demonstrated by using IFCO RPCs.

The certificates to be distributed in September 2018 pertain to IFCO’s inaugural release of the environmental results for 2017. Going forward, the certificates will be distributed annually each February based on assessment information from the previous year.

"We’re very excited about our sustainability certification initiative and strongly believe certification will quickly become a ‘must-have’ among our retail partners and an industry standard," comments Wolfgang Orgeldinger, CEO of IFCO Systems. "IFCO’s sustainability certificate is a clear message to retailers’ customers and business partners that they are tackling environmental challenges in a tangible and measurable way. Retailers can also highlight the certification as helping them achieve their corporate sustainability goals, which are increasingly in the focus of company shareholders."

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