Sustainable Raw Materials

Sustainability from the start: sourcing of raw materials

ACE supports measures that promote the sustainable use of forest, agriculture, marine, freshwater, and urban ecosystem materials. ACE members commit to integrating biodiversity considerations, such as sustainable sourcing and supply chain requirements, into all circular economy policies. By correctly managing forests, the carbon in forest ecosystems can be maintained or increased over a long period, thus ensuring biodiversity is maintained.

Sourcing of sustainable raw materials is critical to reducing a negative environmental impact, and ACE encourages all value chain partners to take actions to ensure the sustainable sourcing of all raw materials, both renewables and non-renewables.

A commitment to wood traceability

Traceability of raw materials is critical and as a significant user of paperboard, the beverage carton industry has been leading on responsible sourcing of primary materials for decades. As an industry, we ensure that we do not have illegally logged timber from non-sustainable sources within our supply chains.

With beverage cartons comprised of roughly 75% wood fibre, a natural renewable resource, securing a long-term supply is key. As such, ACE members have committed to only sourcing raw materials from sustainably managed forests by ensuring 100% chain-of-custody certification:

  • In 2015, ACE Members achieved their voluntary commitment to only use wood fibres from legal and acceptable sources which are covered by certified traceability systems.
  • By 2018, ACE members achieved 100% certification of their own manufacturing plants for packaging material.

These commitments were achieved in less than ten years and are verified by an external third party.

In 2020, Proforest recently carried out a tenth year of progress reporting and monitoring to cover the period of 1 January to 31 December 2019. The results from this report include:

  • All 46 of the manufacturing plants operated by three of ACE’s members were Chain of Custody-certified.
  • All of the mills and traders which supply LPB (liquid packaging board) to the ACE members were Chain of Custody-certified.
  • ACE members were all sourcing 100% wood fibre from legal and acceptable sources.

Call to action! We call on EU policymakers to:

  • Promote the use of renewable materials in existing and upcoming EU policies such as circular economy or climate policies.
  • Adopt mandatory due-diligence requirements for all materials, not only forest-based ones.
  • Enhance the transparency and traceability of global value chains.

Food packaging is essential for securing our global food supply.

It’s a key factor in ensuring not only the safety of the food we eat and the beverages we drink, but also in preventing food waste and the subsequent loss of resources both in Europe and beyond.