Significant progress has been made towards achieving full third-party verified traceability of globally-sourced wood fibre used in cartons produced by the beverage carton manufacturers represented by ACE UK. According to the eighth annual Proforest* report on the Chain of Custody (CoC) commitment made in 2007 by Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) members – Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc – 98% of wood fibre purchased globally in 2014 was either FSC certified or FSC controlled wood – a rise of 5% compared to the total of 93% in 2013. The latest figure means ACE members are on track to meet their commitment to source 100% wood fibre that is traceable to legal and acceptable sources by the end of 2015. 100% of the fibre used in the EU already comes from plants which are FSC chain of custody certified. In addition, 96% of converting plants owned by ACE members worldwide are now FSC chain of custody certified, up from 89% in 2013 – a rise of 7%.
“It is great to see Proforest report that significant progress has been made by our members towards achieving the stretching targets set in 2007”, comments Richard Hands, Chief Executive of ACE UK. “Traceability is one of our industry’s key strategies in ensuring the responsible sourcing of primary raw materials, which is, in turn, critical to achieving sustainable economic growth.
“It is also good news that, globally, 96% of converting plants are now certified, which means we are just 4% away from meeting our commitment of 100% CoC certification of all beverage carton manufacturing plants by 2018.”
The main raw material for the production of cartons is wood fibre, a renewable resource. In Sweden and Finland, where most of the wood fibre for European beverage cartons originates, forests are expanding with growth in forest volume increasing year-on-year as annual growth exceeds cuttings.
“ACE members have a clear interest in ensuring that forests are responsibly managed as, on average, 75% of a beverage carton is made from this natural renewable material,” concluded Hands.
* Proforest is an independent verifier of natural resource management.