Despite tough operating conditions during 2021, we continued to meet customer demand, achieving a top-line growth of 4.1 per cent. With net sales of €11.1 billion.
Global markets and supply chains experienced significant disruption in 2021, and inflation and logistical challenges impacted our bottom line. Key supply shortages such as for semiconductors and paperboard also affected our business, requiring us to be far more agile and dynamic to address customer demand.
Throughout the pandemic, we continued to prioritise the health and well-being of our employees, while making sure we maintained the uninterrupted supply of our packaging, processing and service solutions to our customers. Overall, we didn’t experience any significant negative customer impact due to the pandemic but rather saw a growth in many markets, particularly in China, South Asia and the US.
We also helped customers respond to long-term changes in consumer behaviour as a result of the pandemic, such as shifts towards home consumption and family packs and a greater interest in healthy products.
Our processing and packaging solutions are increasingly adopted by food and beverage brands for the environmental benefits they offer – in terms of climate impact, biodiversity, circularity and food waste – and we constantly strive to optimise our offerings further.
Our packages are today made from around 70 per cent renewable materials, which means a lower climate impact compared with other packaging solutions8), and 100 per cent of our paperboard comes from forests certified to Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) standards and other controlled sources, which indicates responsible sourcing. Our processing and packaging solutions are helping reduce food loss and waste by avoiding spoilage and extending the shelf life of food products.
Together with our partners, we continue to drive recycling and circularity through a range of activities across the recycling value chain in markets around the world. For example, in 2021, we co-invested €29.1 million with Stora Enso to create a complete recycling solution in Poland, with additional recycling investments in markets such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Australia, enabling global carton packaging recycling to exceed fifty billion a year.
We reduced our 2020 value chain greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 19 per cent compared to our 2010 baseline. This included a 70 per cent emissions reduction in our own operations, marking an important milestone in our commitment to achieve net zero GHG emissions in our operations by 2030 with the same ambition across the value chain by 2050.
To improve the availability of ‘smart’ packaging for the food and beverage industry, we installed a new full-colour, full-width digital printer in the US. In 2021, we delivered over 1.2 billion connected packages with unique QR codes to enable traceability and unique consumer interactions. Other innovations include the world’s fastest aseptic carton filling machine, that can produce up to 40,000 packages per hour, and we continued investments in quality by further improving the aseptic performance of our machines. Digitalisation continues to be a key business enabler.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of our first packaging machine delivery. Since 1952, we have been at the forefront of shaping a more sustainable, reliable and healthy global food system. With our pioneering technology and solutions, we have played a key role in reducing food waste while making more food accessible to billions of people around the world, without the need for refrigeration or preservatives.
The pandemic has proved our resilience as a company, but also highlighted how we can become an even more dynamic, productive and capable company. We are now laying the foundations for the next chapter of the Tetra Pak story.
In 2022, we expect to see good top-line growth across all our businesses, supported by visible improvements in priority areas such as quality and sustainability. We will continue to strive to exceed our customer needs; all while staying true to our purpose – We commit to making food safe and available everywhere and we promise to PROTECT WHAT’S GOOD™ – food, people and the planet. Not just for the year but for the next 70 years and beyond.