Home Tetra Laval Annual report Tetra Pak Mitigating climate change in the food and beverage industry

Tetra Pak strives towards net-zero climate impact in the value chain

As a globally recognised climate leader in the food and beverage industry, Tetra Pak has a long history of working to reduce the climate impact of its business throughout the value chain.

The company annually updates its greenhouse gas inventory, which is externally audited and verified, to measure the impact of its operations, sourcing and products. This inventory is the company’s basis for its work to achieve a net-zero greenhouse gas impact across its operations by 2030 and throughout the entire value chain by 2050.​

Minimising emissions from operations

Our operations only account for one per cent of our emissions because of the significant investments we have made in recent years,” explained Gilles Tisserand, Vice President, Climate & Biodiversity. “Back in 2010, our operations represented 8 per cent of our emissions, but today 99 per cent of our value chain emissions occur beyond the walls of Tetra Pak.”

Heavy investments have been made in phasing out fossil fuels and switching to renewable energy. Focus areas going forward include energy efficiency, installing solar photovoltaic panels and electrifying the company’s fleet.

Focus on helping customers reduce their emissions

With 55 per cent of Tetra Pak emissions resulting from the customer use of its equipment – mostly energy-intensive food processing equipment – product efficiency is where the company can have the greatest climate benefit.

“The more we improve our portfolio, the more appealing we are to our customers – so it’s a win-win situation,” said Tisserand. “For example, our latest Ultra Heat Treatment (UHT) sterilising line launched in late 2023 uses 20 per cent less energy than the previous generation of UHT equipment.”

In 2023, Tetra Pak launched the Factory Sustainable Solutions unit that aims to halve customer emission reductions by 2030 through incorporating more sustainable solutions, such as heat pumps and solar thermal generation systems, into its portfolio.

Innovation and collaboration on packaging materials

With packaging materials accounting for 31 per cent of Tetra Pak’s emissions, packaging innovation and collaboration with suppliers are essential to develop and deliver lower carbon packaging.

“We sold over 10 billion packs made from plant-based polymers derived from sugar cane in 2023, which reduces emissions by 20 per cent on average compared with fossil-based materials,” recalled Tisserand. “In addition, our latest alternative paper-­based packaging barriers that can replace aluminium reduce emissions by an additional 20 per cent.”

Tetra Pak’s supplier initiative ‘Join us in protecting the planet’ involves collaborating with its entire supplier base to reduce the climate impact of what they deliver to the company. Since 2020, Tetra Pak’s suppliers have reduced their greenhouse gas intensity by 18 per cent on average. The target is to achieve a 50 per cent emission reduction from materials by 2030.

Promoting more efficient transport

The transport of Tetra Pak’s goods and materials accounts for around 6 per cent of its emissions. A global pilot project is currently investigating the potential to introduce internal carbon pricing for transportation throughout the company.

“Internal carbon pricing can help us make low-carbon transport decisions that are more based on the actual environmental impact of different modes of transport,” said Tisserand.

Reducing the end-of-life impact of packages

Finally, used beverage cartons account for 7 per cent of the company’s emissions, which highlights the importance of improving collection and recycling infrastructure. 

“The more we collect and recycle – the lower the climate impact will be,” said Tisserand. “This is why we directly invested €40 million in collection and recycling in 2023 and will invest the same amount again in 2024.”  

Paper-based barrier reduces customer carbon footprint by a third

In November 2023, Tetra Pak launched an aseptic beverage carton with a paper-based barrier as part of an ongoing large-scale technology validation with its customer Lactogal, a leading Portuguese food products company. The paper-based barrier increases the renewable content of the package to 90 per cent, reduces its carbon footprint by a third and has been certified as Carbon Neutral by the Carbon Trust.

The Tetra Brik® Aseptic 200 Slim Leaf carton with a paper-­based barrier brings Tetra Pak one step closer to its ambition to produce beverage cartons made solely from responsibly sourced, renewable or recycled materials, that are fully recyclable and carbon neutral. The technology validation involves producing around 25 million packages in Portugal.

“This represents a critical marker in our longstanding work to design beverage cartons for recycling – something that is continuing to set the pace for the paperisation of packaging,” said Ola Elmqvist, Executive Vice President Packaging Solutions. “By joining forces with Lactogal, we’re now demonstrating that it’s possible to progress the sustainability of aseptic beverage cartons while securing food safety and enhancing food access.”

“Our collaboration with Tetra Pak centres on a shared belief that a more sustainable future is possible. Innovating together is a big part of that,” said Lactogal President José Capela. “We are both focused on an ambitious sustainability transformation, and this new carton’s 331 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is a significant achievement towards this goal.”


1Carbon Trust-certified Tetra Pak ‘Carton CO2 Calculator’ model version 9 (valid from 2023-01-01). Scope: cradle-to-grave measurement of a Tetra Brik® Aseptic 200 Slim Leaf carton with plant-based polymers in coating and paper-based barrier compared to a standard Tetra Brik® Aseptic 200 Slim Leaf package. Geography: EU Industry data.

Innovative filtration solution helps Danish cheese customer reduce climate impact

With water scarcity – a growing issue around the world that is forecast to get worse with climate change – food and beverage companies need to make their operations more water efficient while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Tetra Pak helped Mammen Dairies, a Danish producer of high-quality cheese since 1911, do just that.

The customer installed a reverse osmosis membrane filtration system for whey concentration, which is a valuable protein-rich by-product of cheese production. The concentrated whey protein is sold to producers of ingredients for infant formula and sports nutrition drinks.

Removing around 75 per cent of the water from the whey reduces the number of truck journeys needed to transport it. This annually avoids around 400 tonnes of CO2e, which is equivalent to 460,000 truck-kilometres or 11 journeys around the world. The financial savings from avoided transport costs are also significant for the customer.

Furthermore, the recovered water is purified in the built-in reverse osmosis polisher before being used to clean the dairy equipment. The solution has helped the dairy to reduce its water intake by around 145 m3 per day.

“The installation of the whey filtration system created a win-win-win situation for the customer by saving water, energy and cost,” said Daniel Mårtensson, Director Filtration Solutions. “This is a win for the climate too in terms of reduce emissions and greater water efficiency.”