IFCO delivers growing environmental savings with its partners in the fresh supply chain, presenting its Sustainability Certificate for the 5th consecutive year

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

Munich, Germany, January 27 2022: IFCO, the world’s leading provider of Reusable Packaging Containers (RPCs) for fresh grocery products, has awarded its annual Sustainability Certificate for the fifth consecutive year to retailers and growers, acknowledging their sustainability efforts by using IFCO RPCs. As a pioneer in driving supply chain sustainability with its business model based on the concept of circular economy, IFCO enabled more than 616.699 metric tons of CO2e emission savings in 2021 for customers using IFCO RPCs.

IFCO has been pioneering reusable packaging solutions for 30 years. Since 1992, the company has been operating its business model based on the circular economy, where crates are reused up to 120 times and, when no longer repairable, they are 100% recycled into new IFCO RPCs. In 2021, the European line of IFCO Lift Lock RPCs were awarded Cradle to Cradle Certified® (Version 3.1) at the Silver level, and at the Gold level for Material Reutilization. To further enhance its sustainability commitment and drive the circular economy, the company recently unveiled its comprehensive ESG (Environmental Social Governance) 2025 strategy. With this agenda, IFCO aims to tackle climate change and food waste for a sustainable fresh grocery supply chain.

Use of IFCO RPCs saves food waste equivalent to 92 million average meals

As a response to increased consumer demands, IFCO is constantly monitoring the environmental benefits generated by its unique business model, the IFCO SmartCycle™, which is based on the principle of "share and reuse" and thus reduces the environmental footprint of companies’ supply chains. Several external scientific Life Cycle Analysis studies123 have proven that the use of RPCs leads to savings in terms of CO2e (up to 60%), energy (64%), water (80%) and solid waste (up to 86%), when compared with single-use packaging.  By using third-party peer-reviewed Life Cycle Analysis studies based on ISO14044, IFCO scientifically quantifies the environmental benefits of its SmartCycle™.

During 2021, companies using IFCO solutions generated the following environmental savings:

  • 616.699 metric tons of CO2 – equivalent to 333.190 fewer cars on the road in a year

  • 10,8 million cubic meters of water – equivalent to over 244 million five-minute showers

  • 38.688 terajoules of electricity – enough to power over 20,4 million light bulbs for a year

  • 310.795 metric tons of solid waste – equivalent to the trash produced by 229 million individuals per day

  • 55.287 metric tons of food product waste – equivalent to 92 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 products while still being committed to improving their sustainability performance.

"As the company that makes sustainability its purpose, striving for a sustainable fresh grocery supply chain, IFCO is very proud to acknowledge its clients’ commitment to a sustainable future. We realize that the majority of our customers have committed to ambitious sustainability targets and we are delighted to contribute to their progress and provide reliable evidence of their savings", explains Michael Pooley, CEO at IFCO SYSTEMS.

IFCO’s Sustainability Certificate reinforces retailers’ and growers’ commitment to sustainability

IFCO introduced its sustainability certification initiative in September 2018, when retailer customers in Europe and North America started to enquire about the environmental benefits of using IFCO RPCs.

Each retailer and grower customer will receive a certificate highlighting the amount of carbon emissions, water, energy, solid waste, and food waste avoided by utilizing IFCO RPCs in their supply chain.

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Carbon Footprint of Food Packaging” by Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg (SIM) – The Foundation for Reusable Systems and conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP) in accordance with the international standards on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) ISO 14040/44, – Critical review by DEKRA. February 2018.
Determination of spoilage levels of fresh fruit and vegetables according to the type of packaging” by Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg (SIM) – The Foundation for Reusable Systems and conducted by Fraunhofer Institute for Logistics and Material flow. May 2013.
Comparative life cycle assessment of reusable packaging containers and display- and non-display-ready corrugated containers used for fresh produce applications” LCA commissioned by IFCO and conducted by Franklin Associates, Peer reviewed by panel members (BAMAC, Ltd., and University of Michigan, Center for Sustainable Systems) in accordance with the international standards on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) ISO14040/14044, February 2017, Conversion factors are sourced from various well recognized organizations such as the EPA.

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