Environment

Human Capital

  • Labor Practices
  • Employee Health & Safety
  • Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion

Business Model & Innovation

Leadership & Governance

  • Business Ethics
  • Competitive Behavior
  • Management of the Legal & Regulatory Environment
  • Critical Incident Risk Management
  • Systemic Risk Management
General Issue Category
(industry agnostic)

Disclosure Topics (industry specific) for:
Containers & Packaging

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GHG Emissions

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Containers & Packaging industry generates direct (Scope 1) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels in manufacturing and cogeneration processes. GHG emissions can create regulatory compliance costs or penalties and operating risks for companies in the industry. However, resulting financial impacts will vary depending on the magnitude of emissions and the prevailing emissions regulations. The industry may be subject to increasingly stringent regulations as nations seek to limit or reduce emissions. Companies that cost-effectively manage GHG emissions through greater energy efficiency, the use of alternative fuels, or manufacturing process advances could benefit from improved operating efficiency and reduced regulatory risk, among other financial benefits.

Air Quality

Air Quality

In addition to greenhouse gases (GHGs), containers and packaging manufacturing may produce air emissions, including, but not limited to, sulfur dioxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM). As with GHGs, these emissions typically stem from the combustion of fuels to produce energy. Relative to other industries, the Containers & Packaging industry is a significant source of some of these emissions. Companies face operating costs, regulatory compliance costs, regulatory penalties in the event of non-compliance, and capital expenditures related to emissions management, while related financial impacts will vary depending on the magnitude of emissions and the prevailing regulations. As such, active management of the issue through technological process improvements or other strategies can mitigate such impacts, improving financial performance and enhancing brand value.

Energy Management

Energy Management

Containers and packaging manufacturing is energy-intensive, with energy used to power processing units, cogeneration plants, machinery, and non-manufacturing facilities. The type of energy used, magnitude of consumption, and energy management strategies depend on the type of products manufactured. Typically, fossil fuels such as natural gas and biomass are the predominant form of energy used, while purchased electricity may also represent a significant share. Therefore, energy purchases can represent a significant share of production costs. A company’s energy mix may include energy generated onsite, purchased grid electricity and fossil fuels, and renewable and alternative energy. Trade-offs in the use of such energy sources include cost, reliability of supply, related water use and air emissions, and regulatory compliance and risk. As such, a company’s energy intensity and energy sourcing decisions can affect its operating efficiency and risk profile over time.

Water & Wastewater Management

Water Management

Containers and packaging manufacturing requires water for various stages of production, including in raw-materials processing, process cooling, and steam generation at onsite cogeneration plants. Long-term historic increases in water scarcity and cost, and expectations of continued increases—due to overconsumption and constrained supplies, resulting from population growth and shifts, pollution, and climate change—indicate the heightened importance of water management. Water scarcity can result in a higher risk of operational disruption for companies with water-intensive operations and can also increase water procurement costs and capital expenditures. Meanwhile, containers and packaging manufacturing can generate process wastewater that must be treated before disposal. Non-compliance with water quality regulations may result in regulatory compliance and mitigation costs or legal expenses stemming from litigation. Reducing water use and consumption through increased efficiency and other water management strategies can lead to lower operating costs over time and can mitigate financial impacts of regulations, water supply shortages, and community-related disruptions of operations.

Waste & Hazardous Materials Management

Waste Management

Containers and packaging manufacturing may generate hazardous process waste, including, but not limited to, heavy metals, spent acids, catalysts, and wastewater treatment sludge. Companies face regulatory and operational challenges in managing waste, as some wastes are subject to regulations pertaining to its transport, treatment, storage, and disposal. Waste management strategies include reduced generation, effective treatment and disposal, and recycling and recovery, where possible. Such activities, while requiring initial investment or operating costs, can lower companies’ long-term cost structure and mitigate the risk of remediation liabilities or regulatory penalties.

Product Quality & Safety

Product Safety

Container and packaging product safety is a critical factor for the industry as many products are used in consumer-facing applications including in the food and health care industries. Aspects of packaging safety include physical hazards and the presence of chemical substances. In the event of a product safety incident, products may be recalled or require redesign, possibly increasing costs to the manufacturer and resulting in reduced revenue and adverse impacts to brand value. As such, companies that proactively manage product safety risks can enhance their brand reputation and reduce the risk of adverse financial impacts.

Product Design & Lifecycle Management

Product Lifecycle Management

Containers and packaging companies face opportunities and challenges associated with the potential environmental impacts of their products throughout their lifecycle. Designing products with reduced use-phase and end-of-life environmental impacts is an important opportunity for manufacturers. Demand for packaging produced with safe chemicals and using recycled and renewable materials continues to grow, along with demand for recyclable, reusable, and compostable products. While the lifecycle impact of products depends largely on their use and disposal, companies that can effectively optimize such attributes during the design phase may gain a competitive advantage.

Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management

Containers and packaging manufacturing utilizes large quantities of raw materials including wood fiber and aluminum. Sustainable production of these materials is an important supply chain consideration for companies in the industry, as adverse environmental impacts could increase materials costs and affect the brand value of containers and packaging companies. In order to mitigate such risks, companies can implement supply chain vetting practices and implement third-party standards within internal operations and suppliers that certify that the materials they procure were produced in a sustainable manner. Additionally, such actions can raise brand value and meet customer demand for sustainably produced packaging products, providing access to new markets and growth opportunities.

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