At up to 75 per cent of the carton content, pulp fibre obtained from wood is the main component of aseptic carton packs. And this is what makes carton packs fundamentally different from all other types of packaging used for beverages and long-life foods.
SIG Combibloc places great emphasis on ensuring that the wood fibres used to manufacture the unprocessed paperboard for its carton packs are traced from the forest source without interruption.
To make certain that this can be done, we have implemented a certified chain of custody (CoC) verification according to the FSC® standard (licence code FSC® C020428).
The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) is an international, independent, non-profit organisation which, incorporating the views of all interest groups on a democratic basis, establishes global principles and criteria for responsible forestry, and uses these principles and criteria to develop standards for sound forest management. Key criteria for this are the cultivation of forest species that are appropriate to location, protecting precious habitats, banning genetically-modified plants and reducing the use of pesticides.
The guidelines for FSC certification are globally binding and transparent, and have been produced with the involvement of all the social groups that have an interest in forests. In putting together these guidelines, environmental concerns, social questions and economic needs are considered with equal weighting in open processes. The FSC logo is the only label that is accepted and supported by all the international environmental protection organisations.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was founded in 1993. It draws its membership from environmental organisations and development associations, trades unions and representatives from forestry and the timber industry.
SIG Combibloc requires all its suppliers of unprocessed paperboard to operate production facilities that are certified according to the FSC® Chain of Custody (CoC) standard. This ensures that controversial wood sources can be avoided for the manufacture of the unprocessed paperboard. Tracking of wood fibres from forest of origin is guaranteed, and only wood from controlled sources or ecologically responsible forest management is used.
SIG Combibloc is the first manufacturer of carton packs to have all its production sites world-wide certified in accordance with FSC's criteria for a continuous product chain of custody (CoC). This certification provides documentary evidence of the high environmental standards to which SIG Combibloc works.
Obtaining its FSC CoC certificate enabled SIG Combibloc to be one of the first manufacturers to offer aseptic cartons carrying the 'FSC Mix' label.
In October 2009, SIG Combibloc launched the first carton packs for juice drinks and ice teas in Europe that carry the label of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
This label on the cartons verifies that all the wood fibres used in its manufacture have been continuously tracked from the forest of origin, in accordance with the FSC's CoC standards. In addition, the label confirms a proportion of the wood used to manufacture the
unprocessed paperboard were purchased from FSC-certified forests. The words 'FSC Mix' on the label indicate that the product was sourced from well-managed forests and other controlled sources.
Although there are still only a limited number of FSC-certified forests, we have set ourselves the ambitious target of increasing the percentage of FSC-labelled cartons to 40 per cent by 2015.
An FSC label on a carton pack does more than just show that the wood fibres used in its manufacture originate from FSC-certified forests or other controlled sources. Offering FSC-certified carton packs also allows food manufacturers and retailers to make an unequivocal statement about their environmental and social responsibilities, which is particularly important in markets where environmental considerations are sensitive and critical issues. It is also easier for the environmentally-conscious consumer to make a purchase decision at point of sale.
By taking part in this scheme, SIG Combibloc is supporting the use of a symbol that affords a simple, easily understood communication about the FSC-certified product - the unprocessed paperboard. Thanks to the world-wide FSC CoC certification and the strategic purchasing of FSC-certified unprocessed paperboard, SIG Combibloc is able to offer its customers this label as an additional benefit, and as proof that they are making a sustainable purchase.
Food continues to be the key concern for consumers. But more and more people are also consciously thinking about the origins and environmental impact of packaging when making their purchase choices. Packaging made predominantly from natural and traceable raw materials fits perfectly with this new environmental consciousness.
Environmental organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are looking closely at the paper and wood products and packaging forms which businesses are offering consumers. Corporate surveys by the WWF and other organisations show that FSC-labelled products and packaging are specifically sought by consumers, and that offering FSC-labelled products is one of the criteria by which consumers assess business enterprises.