At Pactiv Evergreen, we value our planet’s resources and are committed to using them wisely. We are working to lessen the environmental footprint of our operations by reducing GHG emissions and energy use, minimizing water use and decreasing waste.
We are also working to protect the sustainability of our forests and trees — a key input to our paper-based products.
And, we are working to optimize our use of other raw materials through innovations in materials and product designs
to maximize the sustainability of our products throughout their life cycles.
Reducing our environmental impact is the right thing to do for our communities and the planet. And, it makes good business sense by reducing costs and risks and improving operational efficiency. Our comprehensive environmental management system helps us proactively address regulatory demands, track performance, ensure accountability and minimize the environmental impact of our operations.
To drive performance improvements, we set internal environmental goals for each location. Key environmental performance metrics are reported regularly across the organization, including to senior leaders. We also consider environmental impacts as part of our capital project review process and require environmental training for relevant employees.
We’re proud to share some of our initiatives in this field below. For more details, read our 2019-2020 Sustainability report.
Reducing GHG Emissions and Energy Use
We recognize that climate change poses a serious threat to our planet. We are committed to doing our part to help address it by working to reduce the GHG footprint of our operations and by protecting forests, which provide an immense carbon capture and storage system when sustainably managed. At Pactiv Evergreen, we are committed to decreasing our greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and energy use.
Since 2015, about half of our annual energy consumption has come from renewable sources including biomass, hydropower, wind and solar. This commitment is not new. For example, 10 years ago Evergreen supported the development of western North Carolina’s largest solar power array on a closed Evergreen landfill property in Haywood County. The solar project, which was developed with FLS Energy and Progress Energy, generates approximately 730,000 kWh of clean, renewable electricity every year for the public utility. In Mexico, we added a new cogeneration system at our Zapopan plant in 2019. The system generates up to 9.3 megawatts of electricity and 910 tons of chilled water, providing 90% of the plant’s energy and chilled water needs.
Protecting the Sustainability of our Forests
Our success as a company depends on a sustainable supply of wood fiber. After all, over half of the materials by weight that go into our products use wood fiber as a key input. But that is only part of the reason we support the sustainability of our forests.
Forests provide social and economic value to the communities in which we live and work. They offer sources of income for landowners and jobs for local residents, spaces for recreation and habitats for many species. They also help to mitigate the effects of climate change by providing long-term capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas. To protect these forest values, we’re committed to promoting responsible forest management practices and helping landowners obtain the resources they need to implement them.
To learn more about responsible forestry, click here.
Minimizing Water Use
We primarily use water for process operations, cooling and cleaning. The majority of our water use occurs at our two paper mills. Most of our water use is “non-consumptive use,” which means the water is treated and returned back to the environment after being used in our operations. We have systems in place to measure and manage water use, although the complexity of our water management systems varies depending on the facility.
Decreasing Waste Going to Landfill
Reducing waste in our operations is an ongoing, company-wide pursuit. We reuse the significant majority of plastic and paper scrap back in manufacturing our own products and implement programs to reduce scrap in production as much as possible. The plastic or paper scrap that cannot be reused in the manufacturing process is taken by our recycling providers.