Our focus: Clearly Sustainable
Five strategic thrusts are set to shape Vetropack's ongoing evolution through to 2030. «Clearly Sustainable» is one of them. In essence, this thrust combines all our efforts to achieve three goals: reducing Vetropack's ecological footprint across the entire range of our business activities; promoting circular material flows throughout the value chain; and safeguarding key resources as we pursue these aims. By adopting this approach, Vetropack is set to evolve into a glass producer known throughout the industry for blazing the trail with its environment-friendly practices and products. As well as meeting a need on the part of our customers, this objective also enables us to play an active part in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations. We are now in the process of integrating the "Clearly Sustainable" strategic thrust at all levels of our organisation, and into our central processes: from corporate management through to target-setting, including our commitment to Science Based Targets (SBTs) with related campaigns and actions.
Ratings and certifications attest the quality of our sustainability work
There is already clear proof that we are well on the way with this strategic thrust: Vetropack was recently awarded the Silver Sustainability Rating by EcoVadis, the globally recognised rating agency. This places Vetropack among the best 25% of over 90,000 companies rated by EcoVadis in 160 countries. Moreover, seven of our sites undergo regular audits by Sedex SMETA – and as regards occupational safety and health protection, five of our sites are certified to ISO 45001.
Strengthening sustainability in corporate management
During the year under review, we took major steps to strengthen our focus on sustainability issues at corporate management level. In 2022, for example, we appointed a Group Sustainability Manager to take responsibility for accelerating our sustainability processes. We also took the decisive step of setting up a Sustainability Committee. Its remit is to monitor all aspects of sustainability – ecological, social and economic – and provide support with implementing the "Clearly Sustainable" approach. To this end, the Committee will continue to develop goals and action plans while constantly reporting the Group's progress. The Committee convenes two or three times each year and reports annually to the Board of Directors. Its members are the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Commercial Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, and the Group Sustainability Manager.
Interview with Nicolas Lootens, Group Sustainability Manager (in post since April 2022)
What is your focus in this function?
«We had already developed practical action plans in the past, and we were taking effective steps to implement them. But our intention now is to accelerate these processes – and multiply them throughout the Group whenever possible. To achieve this, we're defining our governance in terms of ESG topics, reviewing our objectives, developing roadmaps and actions, and regularly monitoring our progress. We’re also embedding sustainability as an issue in all areas of Vetropack’s operations – from procurement, technology and distribution through to human resources.»
Could you single out some of Vetropack’s sustainability highlights in 2022?
«There's no doubt that Vetropack’s outstanding achievement was our official commitment to set a greenhouse gas emission reduction goal in line with climate science, as we joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We also enrolled in the Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition (Supplier LoCT) programme, which is helping us to achieve the SBTi objectives. The Vetropack Group has been reporting on the carbon footprint of its own operations (Scope 1 & 2) for years and is in the process of analysing the entire value chain (Scope 3). This will also strengthen our climate reporting in line with CDP and TCFD guidelines.»
What is important to you personally in this function?
«My goal is to make Vetropack truly sustainable – environmentally, socially and economically. Above and beyond that, I'm keen to raise awareness of sustainability among all our stakeholder groups so we can maximise our impact. All of us can play our part in making our everyday lives more sustainable by taking whatever steps we can, whether big or small, both at work and elsewhere.»
Sending out a strong signal for climate protection
The sustainability goals outlined in our Strategy 2030 include reducing the Group’s carbon footprint by a further 30% against the 2019 benchmark by 2030, and increasing the percentage of cullet (recycled glass) in production to 70%. Going beyond these measures, we are planning to increase our quota of renewable electricity and also to gear our logistics to climate-neutral operation.
To underscore how seriously we take our efforts to protect the climate, we joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) during the reporting year. As the first step, we will define near-term company-wide emission reduction goals in line with climate science. We have also joined the Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition (Supplier LoCT) programme: this initiative aims to integrate suppliers into the commitment to climate protection. The programme should help us – as a supplier – to understand our own carbon footprint, set science-based emission reduction targets, take action, and disclose progress.
Communicating transparently about sustainability
To integrate our internal and external stakeholder groups into our own commitment to sustainability, we decided back in 2014 to introduce transparent sustainability reporting in compliance with the Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Since 2016, therefore, we have focused on topics identified as material on the basis of an integrated model, and we report on management approaches and performance in relation to these topics during the reporting year.
Our memberships and commitments
Commitment to the "Science Based Targets initiative" (SBTi)
The «Science Based Targets initiative» (SBTi) is a global body enabling businesses to set ambitious emission reduction targets in line with the latest climate science. SBTi focuses on encouraging companies across the world to set targets in line with a 1.5-degree reduction pathway and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
In 2022, Vetropack committed to setting near-term company-wide emission reduction goals in line with climate science as it joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Entering into this commitment emphasises the key priority we accord to climate change.
EcoVadis Silver Medal
EcoVadis is the world’s largest provider of business sustainability ratings, with a global network of over 100,000 rated companies.
EcoVadis awarded its Silver Medal to Vetropack in 2022, placing us among the top 25% of companies rated.
Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audits (SMETA)
SMETA is Sedex’s social auditing methodology, enabling businesses to assess their sites and suppliers so they gain an understanding of working conditions in their supply chain.
We regularly conduct standardised SMETA audits at most of Vetropack’s sites to monitor compliance with our own Business Ethics Policy and with applicable occupational safety and environmental protection provisions.
ISO 45001 - Occupational health and safety management systems
ISO 45001 is the international occupational safety and health standard which specifies the requirements for establishing a sound management system.
Five of our sites were already certified to ISO 45001 by the end of 2022. Our ultimate goal is for all our production sites to receive the ISO 45001 certificate for their occupational health and safety management systems.
Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition (Supplier LoCT)
This initiative helps suppliers to understand their own carbon footprint, set science-based emission reduction targets, take action to achieve them, and report on progress.
Vetropack joined the Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition programme in 2022. We believe the Supplier LoCT programme can help us achieve the science-based targets (SBTs) that we have defined as our top sustainability priority.
International Partners in Glass Research (IPGR)
This industry association seeks to increase and maintain the competitiveness of glass in the packaging industry through research and development programmes as well as individual cooperation alliances between its members. IPGR sees two key goals as drivers of its activities: to decrease energy consumption during glass container production, and to increase the strength of glass.
As a member of the industry association and in keeping with Vetropack’s innovation strategy, we also encourage the development of innovations by suppliers, customers and international research groups such as IPGR.
The GRI Standards are a globally recognised set of sustainability reporting standards.
For many years now, we have prepared Vetropack’s Integrated Annual Reports in compliance with the GRI Standards. Our reports include transparent information on our management of economic, environmental, social and governance topics as well as the progress we have achieved in these areas.