The innovation of Paulig Group has been to develop recyclable packaging in order to encourage circular economy and to use renewable materials as much as possible, especially to reduce the usage of plastic. These actions and packaging innovations are linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12 “Responsible Production and Consumption” and to the SDG13 “Climate Action”. SDG 12 refers to efficient resource usage, and SDG 13 to reducing the carbon footprint.
Hanken School of Economics
The ambition of Paulig is that all it’s packages are recyclable and made from renewable or recycled materials by 2030.
Packaging development is a key part of the sustainability agenda, in which the company looks at it’s whole supply chain. Packaging has also become a key component of customer perception, and it is a way to communicate the company values and what the company is doing.
Paulig Group wants to be the sustainable frontrunner in the food and beverage industry, and not only comply with the expectations and provide risk management. The main inspiration for changing the packaging is the demand from consumers and the interest to increase circularity. The packaging especially in this category of goods is what the consumer engages the most with, and thus it is one of the biggest elements in changing the consumer experience.
In it’s endeavour to innovate even better packaging, Paulig collaborates actively with partners and researchers to find new solutions in packaging.
Tracking the environmental impact on a global level, f.ex. on global warming, of a company changing a part of their business model, is not simple to establish. However, on an individual company level Paulig tracks several performance indicators, f.ex. reduction in packaging waste, reduction of non-recyclable packaging material, recycling rates, customer evaluation of the brand’s sustainability and their brand perception.
From the environmental point of view the biggest solutions lie ahead in the future, seeing how to implement the solutions in the whole value chain and the ability to track the benefits.
The innovation has also business benefits as it is integrated into the profit maximising through consumers recognizing the environmental initiatives taken by the company as a response to consumer demand. The consumer value and respect/trust of the company is one of the biggest assets from the reputation point of view. From the innovation point of view and seeing the change in the world and viewing all the sustainability ventures, it is important for the company to stay relevant and be in the competition, because all of the competitors are implementing new solutions also. The company needs to recognise the right time to implement solutions and use it to exceed consumers and customer expectations (company’s advantage). Benefit is then from also the sales point of view.The benefits of changing the packaging are mostly seen for the packaging manufacturers and to consumers.
In the future the full value chain goals include having regenerative agriculture, which also benefits the farmers, and the nutrition point of view where the products help consumers maintain a healthy lifestyle.
As an example of societal benefit, In the Vuosaari roastery, Paulig has started a unique heat recovery system where waste heat generated by the food industry production processes is recycled to the district heating network. .
The benefits of changing the packaging are mostly seen for the packaging manufacturers and to consumers. In the future the full value chain goals include having regenerative agriculture, which also benefits the farmers, and the nutrition point of view where the products help consumers maintain a healthy lifestyle.
As an example of societal benefit, In the Vuosaari roastery, Paulig has started a unique heat recovery system where waste heat generated by the food industry production processes is recycled to the district heating network.
From an employee perspective, when something is high on the company agenda, strategy and in everyone in the company gets to implement sustainability activities in their specific roles.
After implementing the innovation in packaging, Paulig has saved 150 tonnes of plastic. Increasing the amount of renewable materials in the coffee packages resulted in a reduction of the carbon footprint of the same by one third.
The Next steps: as there are good focus areas and ambitions, the bar is very high. The next step is to execute all the goals and implement. Defining the new collaborations with external partners to bring circularity to using raw materials and building climate resilient and climate positive supply chains. More collaboration and ensuring that initiatives are implemented and there is good tracking. That is thus also the fuel for communication.
Lea Rankinen, Director of Sustainability and Public Affairs
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Helsinki, Uusimaa, FI
Business Website: http://pauliggroup.com
Year Founded: 1876
Number of Employees: 1001 to 5000
Paulig Group is a family-owned company providing coffee, Tex Mex, spices, snacks and plant-based choices. It has about 2200 employees in 13 countries and it has operations in over 80 different countries globally throughout their supply chain. The revenue for 2019 was 921 million euros. In Finland, Paulig is known for its valued brands; Paulig, Santa Maria and Gold&Green