IFCO releases ESG Report 2022 and makes tangible progress on its ESG goals

written by IFCO SYSTEMS, 27th October 2022, in News

Munich, Germany, October 27, 2022: IFCO, the world’s leading provider of Reusable Packaging Containers (RPCs) for fresh grocery products, releases its 2022 ESG Report and shares progress on its ambitious Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy to thrive in the circular economy.

The pooling service provider is on track to achieve its ESG goals and fulfill the company’s purpose of making fresh grocery supply chains sustainable. In the newly released 2022 ESG Report, IFCO highlights key progress made in fulfilling its purpose to make the fresh grocery supply chain sustainable. In the newly released 2022 ESG Report, IFCO highlights key progress made in fulfilling its purpose to make the fresh grocery supply chain sustainable. 30 years ago, IFCO challenged the linear economy with its IFCO SmartCycle, an outstanding example of a circular economy business model based on the principle of share-reuse-recycle.  Today, IFCO RPCs are used in approximately 2 billion shipments of fresh food every year, reducing waste and creating efficiencies throughout the supply chain. By replacing single-use packaging with IFCO RPCs for the last 30 years, customers have saved 6.7 million tonnes of CO2e, the equivalent of driving circa 100,000 times to the moon1.

Despite a challenging year across the globe, IFCO progressed on its ambitious "Thriving in a Circular Economy" strategy. Notable successes were achieved across IFCO’s business, planet, and social-focused pillars of its ESG strategy, including releasing innovative new products, converting to renewable energy, substantially reducing landfill waste, continuing a perfect food safety record, and forming partnerships with food banks.  

Thriving business – Extending the environmental benefits of reusable packaging

Today’s global challenges demand going beyond "business as usual." IFCO has been leading the way through customer-led innovation and has received awards for its new solutions:  Gregg, the RPC specially designed for the dairy and egg industry, and the flower bucket that will provide the environmental benefit of reusable packaging to delicate supply chains and set new industry standards.  

Thriving planet – Increased renewable electricity by 75% and reduced waste by 28% in just 12 months 

"Conserving and protecting natural resources, eliminating waste, and championing the reuse of materials has always been the foundation of our circular business model, and this year has been no different", commented Inigo Canalejo, Vice President ESG at IFCO. IFCO has proudly reduced waste sent to landfills from their sites by an additional 28%, keeping the goal of accomplishing zero waste to landfill by 2025 on track. IFCO sites also boosted their use of renewable electricity by an incredible 75% setting a solid foundation towards its 100% renewable electricity goal. 

 Water is an increasingly precious resource, particularly in water-stressed areas around the world. Thanks to IFCO’s Global Water Stewardship Plan, fresh water used for washing RPCs have been reduced by 2.5% per RPC globally, which, when combined, leads to significant water savings across the world. To take conservation efforts to the next level, water reuse technology was piloted with early results indicating freshwater consumption could be reduced by up to an additional 50%, showing sound promise for the future.   

Thriving society – Leading the way on hygiene and fighting food waste 

People are at the forefront of IFCO’s ESG strategy. With a culture of collaboration, IFCO aims to influence supply chains to have a positive impact and operate at a high level of excellence. Food safety is an essential part of keeping communities safe, and over the past year, IFCO continued to lead the industry in setting the highest food safety and hygiene standards.  

Independent scientific studies have proven RPCs help to reduce food waste across the supply chain by providing superior product protection and ventilation.  IFCO has been supporting food banks across Europe for many years. By using IFCO RPCs, food banks can operate more efficiently, reduce waste and serve charities in a sustainable way.  To continue these efforts in fighting food waste, in 2022 IFCO became the official RPC partner of the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA). 

A report based on international standards 

Building trust through transparency is essential. Therefore, IFCO’s ESG report is aligned with the requirements of leading standards such as the Core Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). Furthermore, the company signed up for the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). In 2021, IFCO committed to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) corporate responsibility initiative and its human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption along with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

"We are committed to being a thoughtful and responsible company that cares for our people, our customers and protects our planet," commented Michael Pooley, CEO at IFCO. "We have been able to make solid progress on our 2025 commitments, we managed to remain true to our plan despite the many global challenges everyone has faced in past years and at the same time, we acknowledge that it is time for further actions requiring collaboration amongst parties". 

The environmental savings of IFCO RPCs are based on third-party ISO 14044 LCA peer-reviewed studies: Franklin Associates LCA in U.S. and SIM’s Carbon Footprint Study. 

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