headline press information

Date 4th December 2012 / www.procarton.com
Title “Cartonboard Packaging : A Resource and Carbon Efficient Packaging Solution”. New brochure from Pro Carton now available

Pro Carton’s latest brochure explains cartonboard packaging’s approach to Sustainability, Resource Efficiency and Carbon Footprint. It demonstrates that cartons have a strong environmental story to tell and highlights the carbon benefits of choosing cartonboard packaging.


Underlining the industry’s strong record in the area of Sustainability, the brochure explains how the environmental performance of the cartonboard and carton industry continues to improve. Pro Carton’s data shows that there are improvements in the major environmental impact categories and that the average carbon footprint of cartons has gone down by 5% in the last 3 years. Pro Carton’s carbon footprint is now 915 kg CO2 eq / tonne of cartonboard produced and converted. Much of the improvement is due to more efficient use of electricity, increasing use of bio-energy and more focus on measurement and control of water use.


European forests which provide the original raw material for the cartonboard industry are sustainable and the brochure describes how forest management and chain of custody certification demonstrate this. Sustainably managed forests contribute significantly to the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and mitigate the “greenhouse effect”. This process is measured in terms of biogenic carbon, but there is still no agreed method to include forest carbon in the carbon footprint of forest products such as cartons.


Pro Carton’s brochure summarises the conclusions of a report¹ by IVL Swedish Research Institute which contributes to the debate and suggests the positive contribution that cartonboard packaging makes to climate change. VL’s report proposes a link between net carbon sequestration in sustainably managed forests and consumption of cartons, and suggests that due to demand for cartons from the market, 730 kg of biogenic carbon dioxide per average tonne of cartons in Europe, is removed from the atmosphere. IVL’s work complements Pro Carton’s fossil carbon footprint. In a cradle-to-gate approach, 915 kg CO2 eq/tonne of cartonboard produced and converted is significantly compensated by -730 biogenic CO2 sequestration.


The increasing use of bio-energy in the industry’s production process has an impact on the emissions profile of the industry too, as carbon dioxide emissions from biomass are considered at least carbon neutral. The use of renewable resources for energy generation which are used responsibly and benefit climate change as a substitute for fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, is a clear asset for the industry and an excellent example of resource efficiency.


A Resource Efficient Europe is a central element of the EU’s 2020 Strategy and the brochure explains how the cartonboard packaging  industry is responding to this challenge through its use of a renewable resource, responsible use of virgin and recovered materials, efficient use of energy and water, and its vital role as part of the supply chain, in preventing food waste. 


¹The IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute report “Carbon Footprint of Cartons in Europe – Carbon Footprint methodology and biogenic carbon sequestration” by Elin Eriksson, Per-Erik Karlsson, Lisa Hallberg & Kristian Jelse can be downloaded as a pdf from:

www.procarton.com/Sustainability/Environment/Carbon Footprint - biogenic


Click here to download a pdf of the brochure “Cartonboard Packaging: a Resource and Carbon Efficient Packaging Solution ” in English.


Translations in French, German, Italian and Spanish are available on Pro Carton’s website.


For further information visit Pro Carton’s website: www.procarton.com and click on  “Sustainability” and “Resource Efficiency”.

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Jennifer Buhaenko Buhaenko@procarton.com
Background Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard to brand owners, the trade as well as designers, the media and politicians as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium.