Packaging is one of the four strategic thrusts Emmi has defined for itself in the area of sustainability. Which means a challenge for the packaging developers at Emmi. They have to know the most important trends inside out and form an opinion on how they should be used. For environmentally aware consumers look very closely at how what they buy is packaged.
In our packaging, we seek to close material cycles and have as high a share of recycled and recyclable material as possible. This target opens up an array of possibilities: from FSC-certified cardboard boxes to plant-based packaging such as cellulose through to entirely new modified plastics. This is an area where innovation is flourishing.
How do you measure sustainability?
Before the packaging developers can decide whether a new form of packaging is suitable for our products, an analysis is needed. The question thus arises of whether sustainability is something that can be measured at all. Life cycle assessments are commonly used, but there is not one, standard recognised method. With the result that, often, such assessments are regarded with scepticism or interpreted wrongly, giving rise to regular criticism. This is why we currently do not publish life cycle assessments for our products. For our packaging developers, having as broad a view as possible is vital. This means that, alongside the impact on the environment, the other aspects that need to be considered are the impact on human health, ethical aspects, land consumption and the depletion of non-renewable resources. Taking this view led, for example, to the decision to not use any packaging made from materials that can also be used for food, such as cups made from corn, for the time being.
Less is more
At Emmi, new packaging is not just for new products. Existing packaging is also regularly taken under the microscope, and developers are currently seeing considerable potential in respect of the packaging volumes used. Despite continual improvements, food packaging still tends to end up in regular trash. It should not be forgotten that Switzerland is one of the few countries which has state-of-the-art recycling plants capable of turning waste into low-emission energy. If materials use in packaging is optimised, then effectively two birds are being killed with one stone: waste that is not produced in the first place does not need to be disposed of.