The main purpose of food packaging is to protect the product. Good packaging makes processing easier in the distribution chain, keeps the product fresh, ensures product safety and protects the product, thus preventing food waste. Good packaging also tells the consumer about the product’s content and properties.
Plastic is used for food packaging because it is such a versatile material. It is light and durable, which is good for logistics, and it provides excellent protection for many types of products.
Around 20 per cent of the packaging material used by Apetit is currently plastic. Roughly half of this material can be reused if it is recycled. For instance, the Apetit Tuorekset containers are recyclable plastic. 70 per cent of their raw material is recycled.
Apetit continually improves its packaging to eco-friendlier. Apetit has the following goals for packaging materials made from plastic:
Apetit has launched a new, handy and easy-to-use bag-in-box rapeseed oil packaging of for professional kitchens. Thanks to a tap, the packaging is easy to use unlike heavy dispensers. The tap also prevents spillage. The packaging is also hygienic and protects the oil from sunlight and oxidation.
Its environmentally-friendly corrugated cardboard box is made of 100 per cent recyclable raw material. When empty, the cardboard packaging can be recycled and the bag can be used as energy waste. Compared to conventional plastic dispensers the manufacturing of the bags requires almost 80 per cent lower amount of plastic.
One of the objectives of Apetit’s corporate responsibility programme is to reduce the Group’s carbon dioxide emissions* per production tonne by half by the end of 2022, using the current level as the baseline. This target will be achieved with the help of the bioenergy plant to be built at the Kantvik vegetable oil milling plant. Oil milling is the Group’s most energy-intensive process. The bioenergy plant will replace the current energy solution based on non-renewable fuels, which means it will have a significant impact on CO2 emissions. The bioenergy plant will also make the production facility more self-sufficient with regard to energy. In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, the bioenergy plant creates the opportunity to make more efficient use of production side streams in energy production. The bioenergy plant can be used to burn byproducts such as the straw waste included in seed deliveries and waste from screening processes. In the future, the steam energy required by the plant will be produced by the bioenergy plant. The plant is scheduled to be completed in the end of 2020. The size of the investment is EUR 5.2 million. *The calculation of Apetit’s climate impacts is based on the energy consumption of the company’s production plants and the way the energy is generated.
Apetit’s Räpi experimental farm, located in the Satakunta region, joined the Carbon Action project along with more than a hundred other Finnish farms. Carbon Action promotes the wider adoption of climate-friendly farming practices, helps farmers implement farming practices that sequester carbon and improve soil fertility, and conducts scientific research to verify soil carbon storage. Carbon Action is a joint project by the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) and it combines top-level research with work in the field by farmers. Apetit is offering the use of the Räpi experimental farm for the project for a period of five years to promote research, development and practices associated with carbon farming. Apetit has made a Baltic Sea commitment for 2019-2025 Apetit made a Baltic Sea commitment for BSAG for the period 2019-2025. The core purpose of Apetit’s commitment is to generate data that can be used in contract growing especially in improving soil fertility and related to carbon sequestration. The objective is to promote, through Apetit’s contract growers, a sustainable food chain and to commercialise carbon farming methods that help sequester carbon. The commitment has two parts: Apetit will include the best growing practices proven by the carbon pilot in its contract farmers’ farming guidelines and provide training to all of its contract farmers on farming methods that improve soil fertility and carbon sequestration. Apetit will also include the Räpi experimental farm in the research project to promote measures that advance carbon farming. Under the commitment, Apetit will also join the company network of the Carbon Action platform which enables the various parties in the food chain to collaborate and to develop their own operations with regard to carbon farming.
Safety at work plays a significant role at Apetit and is one of the key themes of its personnel strategy. The goal is to reduce occupational accidents to zero and to reduce sickness absences. Safety at work training is organised at all Apetit Group operating locations. In 2019, some 280 Apetit employees took part in safety at work training. In addition to on-site safety training and occupational health and safety days organised at the production plants, topics related to safety at work are regularly covered in Apetit’s online learning environment. The training activities have led to a substantial increase in the number of safety observations, for example. Key measures to develop safety at work include increasing communication about occupational safety, in addition to more systematic safety observation practices and the further development and harmonisation of location-specific occupational health and safety committees. In order to prevent occupational accidents, Apetit regularly updates occupational safety guidelines. In addition, we have improved our know-how in risk evaluation and incident investigation and systematically conducted risk assessments regarding production tasks. In 2019, Apetit continued to offer a reward for days without any incidents at each location.