Highlights progress toward meeting key industry sustainability metrics
HARTSVILLE, S.C. — August 27, 2020 — Novolex®, an industry leader in packaging and foodservice products, has released its second annual Sustainability Report detailing the company’s progress.
The comprehensive review focuses on progress that is leading to greenhouse gas reductions in its supply chain, as well as the creation of more environmentally sustainable products for customers. In this year’s report, the company details metrics on use of recycled and certified materials, greenhouse gases (GHGs), fleet efficiency and employee safety.
“As Novolex continues to grow, we have identified key metrics to gauge our success and challenge ourselves to do even more,” said Stan Bikulege, Novolex Chairman and CEO. “Our aim is to play a leading role in the circular economy. With COVID-19 reminding us of the importance of protective packaging, the time is now for manufacturers, NGOs, brand owners, government regulators and consumers to join together to expand the world’s recycling infrastructure. Working together, we can get there.”
Use of Recycled Content
The report outlines the company’s wide-ranging sustainability efforts, the use of recycled content key among them. In 2019, the company increased its use overall of post-consumer recycled (PCR) fiber and resin in its products. For its fiber-based products, the percentage of recycled fiber in the company’s supply chain was nearly half the total procured. When using post-consumer recycled (PCR) material was not possible, Novolex focused on procuring Chain of Custody (COC) certified prime fiber content traceable to the original source. When combined, 69% of fiber volume was either PCR or COC-certified content, an increase of 4% over 2018.
Plastic resin used by Novolex consisted of 4% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content and 20% post-industrial resin in 2019, the same percentages as the prior year. While the reported 4% PCR is the same in 2018 and 2019, Novolex purchases of PCR material increased in total pounds. That was driven in part by the company’s two world-class polyethylene recycling centers, which specialize in recycling plastic consumer retail bags as well as films such as dry-cleaning bags, newspaper bags and other items labeled for “store drop off” recycling programs.
Novolex continues to work to reduce its contribution to global emissions
In 2019, Novolex improved its data collection processes to include both Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions data from all of its global manufacturing operations. Energy use is a significant driver of emissions, with most of the company’s energy use coming from natural gas and grid electricity. In 2020, Novolex will begin purchasing renewable energy to further reduce its emissions and will also continue to seek opportunities to make energy efficiency improvements at its plants. Additionally, the company reported progress by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from use of truck fleets.
Product Innovation in Support of Sustainability
Novolex brands also introduced a number of new products designed with recycled or renewable materials. Products featured in the report include 50% rPET clamshells from WNA, 75% post-consumer recycled fiber freezer paper from BagCraft® and retail bags made with 75% recycled content from Hilex®. An award-winning new line of compostable plates and containers, introduced by Eco-Products®, is made from sugarcane and uses proprietary compounds to achieve grease resistance without the use of conventional chemistry, known as PFAS. The new Cutlerease™ cutlery dispensing system from WNA reduces waste and improves hygiene by dispensing customers one fork, knife or spoon at a time. It is also available for use with compostable utensils. During the year, Eco-Products also introduced products made from renewable materials such as molded fiber, sugarcane, wheat straw and bamboo.
“Looking ahead, Novolex is committed to doing even more,” said Erik Gonring, Director of Sustainability. “Novolex is partnering with customers, suppliers, communities and others to develop solutions to further reduce the company’s environmental footprint. These efforts will help develop the new circular economy in which products and materials are recycled and reused to eliminate waste.”
Novolex will continue to assess its performance against its environment, social and governance (ESG) goals and document them in future sustainability reports.
The full 2019 Novolex Sustainability Report can be downloaded at https://novolex.com/novolex-sustainability/.
Novolex develops and manufactures diverse packaging and food service products that touch nearly every aspect of daily life for multiple industries ranging from grocery, food packaging, restaurant and retail to medical applications and building supplies. The Novolex family of brands provides customers innovative paper and plastic solutions for their business needs today while investing in research and development to engineer more sustainable choices for the future. With more than 10,000 employee families, Novolex operates 61 manufacturing centers and administrative offices in North America and Europe, including two world-class plastic film recycling facilities. To learn more about Novolex, visit www.Novolex.com.