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Energy and Emissions

In 2022, we submitted our formal letter of intent to SBTi to set carbon emissions targets in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. This submission solidified our commitment to set near- and long-term emission reduction targets in line with efforts to curb the global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. 

Our comprehensive environmental management system helps us proactively address regulatory demands, track performance, ensure accountability and tailor our actions to minimize the environmental impact of our operations. Key environmental performance metrics are reported regularly to senior leaders and across the organization.


Energy Efficiency

Energy expenses represent a significant operating cost. Reducing energy use in our operations, which in turn reduces our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is the right thing to do for the planet and helps us be more cost efficient. We have been working to reduce our energy use and GHG emissions, primarily by increasing the energy efficiency of our operations and by increasing the use of renewable energy. Our teams track the efficiency of each of our facilities, evaluating opportunities to improve or replace equipment with energy efficiency in mind. Recent projects have included upgrades to LED lighting in our Summerstown, Ontario, plant and Calgary, Alberta, distribution facilities; improvement to compressed air systems in our Bedford Park and Franklin Park, Illinois, facilities; as well as larger projects designed to upgrade or replace cooling towers. 

All applicable manufacturing facilities follow Zero Energy State, a process to ensure that when a production line or support equipment is not scheduled or not needed, it is completely powered down to prevent unnecessarily consuming energy. A continuous audit program verifies the facility’s adherence to the process. Recently, as part of our digital transformation strategy, we leveraged the power of the Internet of Things and installed technology in many of our facilities to monitor this energy consumption in real time at the line level. The dashboards are visible on each line and clearly labeled Zero Energy State to bring focus on the floor, shift after shift. In our Frankfort, Illinois, facility, where we just implemented a targeted effort on Zero Energy State, we expect annual energy savings of around 630,000 kWh.


Greenhouse Gas Emissions

We measure and report Scope 1, Scope 2 (location-based) and certain Scope 3 GHG emissions. We continue to monitor and expand the measurement and reporting of our complete Scope 3 footprint and have committed to setting reduction targets and creating an abatement road map by July 2024 with the goal of reaching Net Zero GHG emissions by 2050. In 2023, we revised our methodology for calculating our GHG emissions and included more Scope 3 categories in our 2022 inventory. For detailed reporting on our GHG emissions inventory, please consult our 2023 CDP Climate Questionnaire.


A New Approach to Operational Excellence

In seeking a way to ensure consistent performance of our operations from one location to the next, we developed the Pactiv Evergreen Production System (PEPS) in 2022. PEPS serves as the road map to success at each facility. Sustainability is embedded in PEPS’s first element and is implemented by a network of over 100 PEPS Sustainability Champions throughout all our facilities, dedicated to supporting our goals in the field. PEPS drives accountability by incentivizing adherence to a specific performance level and promotes continuous improvement and sharing best practices across locations.               

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Sustainable Forestry

Forests provide social and economic value to the communities in which we live and work. They offer sources of income for landowners, jobs for local residents, spaces for recreation and habitats for many species. 

These spaces help to mitigate the effects of climate change by providing long-term capture and sequestration of CO2. Our success as a company depends on a sustainable supply of wood fiber, and we are committed to promoting and enabling responsible forest management. 

We are committed to Zero Net Deforestation across our wood basin through our fiber procurement practices. This means holding ourselves and our suppliers accountable. In 2022, we implemented our Sustainable Forestry Policy to promote sustainable forestry and development.


Zero Net Deforestation

In 2022, we undertook a forest loss analysis based on the forests supporting our mill operations. Our analysis showed no net forest loss for the decade from 2011 to 2021 for the entire sourcing area. In fact, the study results indicate an overall 10-year increase in forest cover, with significant gains in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.


Our Virgin Fiber Procurement Goals

By 2025, 100% of procured virgin fiber meets SFI Fiber Sourcing standard. 

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) standard promotes responsible forestry practices and includes measures to broaden the practice of biodiversity, use forestry best management practices to protect water quality, provide outreach to landowners and use the services of forest management and harvesting professionals.

Progress: 99.9% in 2022

By 2025, 100% of procured virgin fiber meets FSC Controlled Wood standard. 

The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) (FSC-C125335) Controlled Wood standard mitigates the risk of sourcing wood from forests that were harvested illegally or in violation of traditional and civil rights, forests where conservation practices are threatened by management activities, natural forests that were converted to non-forest uses and forests with genetically modified trees. Progress: 99.9% in 2022

Progress: 98.7% in 2022


Our Certified Facilities Goal

By 2023, 100% of applicable Pactiv Evergreen facilities in North America are certified. 

Chain of Custody certifications of our facilities ensure we follow strict standards to track forest fiber content (forest content, certified sourcing and recycled content) through production and manufacturing of the end product.

Achieved: 100% in 2022

Water Photo by Jessica Furtney on Unsplash



Responsible Water Management

The majority of our water use is classified as nonconsumptive — used in our facility, treated and returned back to the environment. A cross-functional Water Working Group is responsible for evaluating Pactiv Evergreen’s water use and treatment processes. This group recently rolled out a company-wide Water Management and Water Treatment best practices document, which serves as a guide for everything from our cooling towers and boilers to our office spaces and restrooms.


Evaluating Treatment Systems

We monitor water used and discharged daily at various stages throughout our manufacturing processes to assess the efficiency of our operations and the efficacy of our treatment systems. Measurements are compared to key targets and parameters and reviewed. If significant deviations are recorded, we initiate a formal incident investigation to review and determine the root cause and follow up with corrective actions.

In 2022, we submitted monthly discharge monitoring reports to the Arkansas and North Carolina Departments of Environmental Quality to support our National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits.


Risk Assessment

We rely on analysis from the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas from the World Resources Institute to assess the water stress level of the regions where our plants are located. Assessments help us evolve our water management strategy, prioritizing facilities based on water usage and risk area. According to our assessment, while 12% of our facilities are located in medium-high to high water risk areas, 99% of our water intake occurs in low or low-medium water risk areas.



Reducing Waste

In 2022, we began a company-wide analysis of waste and recycling at all of our facilities. This included surveys with facility managers, classification of equipment and material types and reviews of multiple vendors’ data. The analysis identified many opportunities for improvement, which will help inform the development of a company-wide waste and recycling strategy, striving for zero waste in all operations in the future.


Zero Waste Programs

In 2022, we implemented a zero waste initiative at our Lake Forest, Illinois, headquarters. We replaced poorly labeled and randomly placed collection bins with a centralized bin system. Office pantries now feature a four-bin system that clearly directs employees to where they can properly dispose of paper and cardboard recycling, metal and plastics and mixed materials for recycling, compostable organic materials for composting and landfill waste. Clearly labeled recycling, composting and waste and recycle bins are centralized on each floor of the building and in conference rooms. 

In 2022, we diverted more than 44,000 pounds of recyclable material and 8,700 pounds of compostable material that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.

Pactiv Evergreen 2022 Office Open House 271


Supporting Our Customers’ Zero Waste Journeys

Recognizing that our products contribute to our customers’ waste streams, in 2022 we published a complimentary Zero Waste Implementation Guide to help them begin their journey to zero waste. The interactive guide helps our customers to document waste data and progress, and detailed tools are included to help them perform a waste audit, improve waste and materials management and implement a new bin and signage system.


Pledging to Keep Plastic Out of the Environment

Jointly administered by the Plastics Industry Association and the American Chemistry Council, Operation Clean Sweep aims to keep plastic pellets out of the environment by working with companies to reduce pellet, flake and powder loss from the plastics manufacturing process. While Pactiv Evergreen had plastic containment procedures in place earlier, it wasn’t until recently that we formalized this commitment by taking the Operation Clean Sweep pledge. As of the end of 2022, all of our U.S. plastics converting facilities have made the pledge. Applicable facilities in Canada and Mexico have made similar pledges to industry organizations in those countries.