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Elopak has announced plans to build its first U.S. production plant with the latest state-of-the-art technology for better and more efficient production. The plant will produce Pure-Pak® cartons for liquid dairy, juices, plant-based products and liquid eggs. The new production facility will be located in Little Rock, Arkansas and is expected to start production in H1, 2025.

It represents a significant investment for the region of around USD 70 million including the land, the building and the equipment.

Following the investment announcement in June 2023, the company has evaluated different financing opportunities and concluded to own and fully finance the plant on the balance sheet. Hence, the nominal cost of the investment will be recognized in the balance sheet instead of the discounted value of the lease payments, increasing the reported investment by around USD 15 million. This is economically more profitable for Elopak compared to partly leasing, which was assumed in June. Further, around USD 5 million is added to the investment to further optimize the scope of the project and support further long term growth.

Since the announcement in June, we have signed contracts with some of our existing customers in the region, further strengthening the investment case.

The new plant will create more than 100 permanent jobs in the region for engineers, printers, operators, logistics specialists and other support groups.

“This is our first converting plant in the U.S. and a landmark investment for our company. North America is a key building block for our future growth and we are very excited to expand our presence in the region. I would like to thank all parties involved for enabling the next step in our North American growth journey” says Thomas Körmendi, CEO of Elopak.

Elopak is rolling out a new filling machine with exceptional hygiene levels that gives fresh products a shelf life of up to 60 days. This machine is supported by a HEPA air management system, which is the result of extensive research and testing.

The next-generation filling machine is designed by Elopak and produced by the company’s long-term partner Shikoku. The HEPA filter system, stainless steel components and dual-step heating and sealing processes ensure the highest levels of hygiene, helping to extend the shelf-life of fresh products.

The machine’s self-cleaning and sterilisation features allow efficient switches between products, reducing food waste. The machine is versatile and fills gable top cartons from 250 ml up to 1.136 ml in Pure-Pak® carton formats.

In addition to improving hygiene standards, the machine has an upgraded safety design for operators. Hands-free cleaning and magnetic doors further ensure the operator’s safety and reduce the margin for human error.

The machine is designed to fill cartons with fresh and extended shelf-life dairy products, fresh and extended shelf-life juices, water, and plant-based drinks. All products with or without particles.

Patrick Verhelst, Elopak’s Chief Marketing Officer said: “Our new filling machine is manufactured to meet the highest quality and hygiene standards. It sets a new standard for fresh products by extending the shelf life to 60 days. A longer shelf life means less food waste in addition to making it easier for the consumer to choose environmentally friendly containers for their fresh milk or juice products.”

Global packaging company Elopak has been awarded an A+ score for excellent Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting by sustainability consultancy Position Green. This places Elopak in the top 5 % of companies assessed.

Position Green’s ESG100 analysis examines the degree to which the corporate ESG reporting of the 100 largest listed companies in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway provides valuable financial and non-financial information for decision makers.

This year’s ESG100 report marks the sixth edition and presents an analysis and review of how prepared the 300 participating companies are for the introduction of the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), which are due to take effect on 1 January 2024.

“We are incredibly proud to have been awarded an A+ grade. However, reporting is not the only part of the picture, we must also deliver on our goals, which is what we are working on going forward”, said Marianne Groven, Director of Sustainability at Elopak.

A+ is the highest grade the ESG100 assigns, meaning that Elopak ranks among the top 5 % of companies in Norway, Sweden and Denmark for its ESG reporting. Elopak was ranked fifth in Norway, which was also the country with the largest share of companies with an A+ ESG grade.

Groven added, “Elopak has been reporting on sustainability results for 15 years and we are extremely proud of the progress we have made. Our commitment to sustainability reflects the values of our customers and ultimately consumers so it makes sense that we are as transparent and accurate as possible.”

In 2022, Elopak became one of the first companies to set out targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to become a net zero company by 2050. The company is also a participant member of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact as part of its efforts to advance sustainability and work collaboratively to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The full ESG100 report can be downloaded from Position Green here .

Elopak reported strong financial performance for the second quarter of 2023

Highlights:

  • Revenues increased by 8 %, to EUR 278.0 million, driven by growth in EMEA and Americas
  • Organic growth was 6 %, or EUR 14.6 million, adjusted for currency translation effects and revenue from acquired businesses
  • Adjusted EBITDA was EUR 41.6 million, an improvement of EUR 15.1 million
  • Strong cash flow generation, leverage ratio reduced to 2.6x
  • Elopak will build a new plant in the USA to further leverage the high customer demand in the region

Commenting on Elopak’s performance, CEO Thomas Körmendi said:

“Building on our solid performance in past consecutive quarters, Q2 saw Elopak delivering strong profitable growth. Despite inflationary pressures, we remain on-track to achieving our strategic objectives. Our strong performance is allowing us to explore new market opportunities, including building a new state-of-the art factory in the US, and expanding our India operations.“

“Looking forward, we expect to deliver full year revenue growth well above our mid-term target. While we see softening of some raw material prices, the liquid paper market remains tight and higher board prices will have full effect in the second half of 2023. Additionally, the significant inflationary pressures on the broader cost base will impact our full year EBITDA margin. However, based on expected revenue growth, our second half EBITDA will be higher than last year. I am pleased to report this strong performance and remain eager and optimistic for continued sustainable packaging demand.”

For the full report and quarterly presentation, please visit www.elopak.com/reports-presentations/.

Elopak has announced that it will build a new plant in the USA to better serve its customers in the Americas and accelerate growth in the region. The new plant will allow Elopak to build on an already strong track record of organic and profitable growth driven by high customer demand in the region.

Elopak will invest around USD 50 million (including lease liability) in the new plant over the period 2023 – 2024. The investment will be financed by utilizing Elopak’s existing Revolving Credit Facility. The plant is expected to commence production in the fourth quarter of 2024 and will create more than 100 new jobs.

Lionel Ettedgui, EVP North America says: “Over the last few years, Elopak has delivered very strong profitable growth in Americas. The time has now come to increase capacity to further strengthen our organization and enable us to provide quality service to our customers in Americas faster and more efficiently.”

Thomas Körmendi, CEO says: “I am truly excited about this investment. This is a response to the strong demand that we are seeing for our innovative and sustainable solutions. It is a landmark investment for our company as Americas is one of the key building blocks of our strategy.”

Elopak has unveiled a new film examining the role of beverage cartons in providing a more sustainable future for the packaging industry. The film has been made for Elopak as part of a series presented by FoodDrinkEurope and produced by BBC Storyworks Commercial Productions called Food for Thought. The series highlights sustainable innovations in the food and drink industry that offer fresh solutions to feed the next generation.

Elopak promotes new film making the case for cartons
(Photo: Elopak)

Elopak’s film examines how cartons can provide a natural and sustainable alternative to plastic bottles. It spotlights one of the company’s most popular innovations, the Pure-Pak® carton made with Natural Brown Board. These cartons are manufactured with unbleached paper fibres, leading to a reduced carbon footprint since unbleached fibres are stronger and so less material is needed to produce the paper board.

Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) studies have repeatedly demonstrated Elopak cartons’ environmental benefits when compared to other types of packaging for liquid food1. For example, an LCA study in 2021 showed that cartons have a 60 % smaller carbon footprint than a PET bottle. This figure increases to 73 % for beverage cartons made with Natural Brown Board2.

The film showcases Elopak’s commitment to leading the plastic to carton conversion, offering consumers a natural alternative to plastic packaging that aims to leave the product unchanged and the planet unharmed.

Speaking in the film, Håvard Grande Urhamar, Senior Manager Board Development at Elopak said: “If you do something you should do it right and we know our product is the most sustainable option compared to plastic.”

The mini documentary also features Elopak’s customer Rørosmeieriet, a renowned organic dairy in Norway that offers high quality, sustainably sourced traditional products. Rørosmeieriet was the first Norwegian Elopak customer to choose Pure-Pak® cartons made with Natural Brown Board, making them an ideal collaborator for the mini-documentary.

Trond Wilhelm Lund, CEO of Rørosmeieriet, says that his company and Elopak have a shared vision for sustainability. “We want to develop Rørosmeieriet every day in harmony with nature… So when Elopak wants to take steps in the right direction, Rørosmeieriet wants to be a part of that,” he explains in a piece to camera.

1The European Commission concluded that Life Cycle Assessments provide the best framework for assessing the potential environmental impacts of products currently available. 
2https://www.elopak.com/app/uploads/2021/11/LCA-summary.pdf

Elopak, a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment, published its 2022 Sustainability Report. Successes outlined in the report include a 20 % reduction in scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions since 2020, marking significant progress towards the company’s target of a 42 % reduction by 2030. Value chain emissions (scope 3) have also been reduced by 7 % since 2020. In 2022, Elopak set ambitious targets for reaching net zero emissions by 2050, approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The 2022 report was compiled in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework, ensuring a transparent and accountable assessment of the past year. It covers Elopak’s key material topics within the sustainability themes of people, planet, and profit to give a full evaluation of the company’s sustainability performance and map out future ambitions. Chief among these are plans to reduce emissions across the company’s value chain by 90 % by 2050.

Speaking on the launch of the report, Elopak’s Sustainability Director Marianne Groven said, “I am pleased that we are continuing to make great progress across several aspects ranging from employee engagement to our offering of bio-circular cartons. The approval of our net zero targets by the SBTi marks a significant milestone for 2022.”

A global pioneer in carton-based packaging, Elopak has long championed product innovation as an effective tool in boosting sustainability. In 2022 Elopak rolled out the Pure-Pak® eSense: an aseptic carton made without an aluminium layer. This results in a 50 % lower carbon footprint compared to a conventional aseptic carton and helps simplify the recycling process.

In 2022, Elopak successfully boosted the sales of its most sustainable products, increasing the proportion of fully renewable cartons for fresh milk in Europe from 18 % of sales in 2021 to 30 %. Elopak has sourced 100 % of the fibers for its cartons from controlled sources in line with the standards set by the FSC™ since 2014.

Since listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2021, Elopak has pursued a strategy of sustainability-driven growth, including geographic expansion to bring its sustainable packaging solutions to more markets and customers. In 2022 this involved the acquisition of Naturepak Beverage Ltd in the Middle East; the opening of a subsidiary, GLS Elopak, in India; and a licensing agreement with Nippon Paper to distribute Pure-Pak® cartons in Oceania.

Throughout 2022, Elopak maintained its high level of commitment towards its employees, striving to promote a culture to leverage critical competencies, core values and behavior of the organisation. Despite the suffering brought by the war in Ukraine, Elopak was proud to stand by its employees in Fastiv and Kyiv and support the supply chain of essential products such as milk and baby formula within the country. In July 2022, Elopak began the process of exiting the Russian market, finalising a sale to local management in March 2023.

More broadly, Elopak has conducted a human rights risk assessment across all of its operations and business partners in line with requirements set out in Norway’s Transparency Act. In 2022, 93 % of employees took part in code of conduct training, which includes provisions on upholding human rights. The company has also rolled out its new six Golden Safety Rules, which are partially responsible for a 19 % drop in work-related injuries since 2021.

Commenting on the publication of the report, CEO Thomas Körmendi said, “Through a year marked by changing climates related to the geo-political situation, environmental concern and market fluctuations, I am very proud of the resilience Elopak has shown. We have remained as focused and dedicated as ever towards our ultimate goal of delivering sustainable packaging solutions that leave customers’ products unchanged and our world unharmed.”

Elopak reported revenue growth of 7 % in Q2 supported by price increases and successful onboarding of Naturepak. This was achieved despite the discontinued operations in Russia.

Highlights from Q2 2022:

  • Revenue increased by 7 %, to EUR 259 million, driven by growth in EMEA and Americas
  • New revenue from acquired businesses in MENA and India was EUR 12 million in the quarter
  • Continued high raw material prices impacted the Q2 results negatively by approximately EUR 14 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA was EUR 25.3 million, reflecting an adjusted EBITDA margin of 9.8 %
  • The leverage ratio increased to 3.4x as of second quarter 2022, primarily driven by dividend payment in May and lower Last Twelve Months EBITDA compared to last year
  • Elopak completed the acquisition of GLS Elopak to supply Roll Fed and Pure-Pak® cartons to the Indian market

Commenting on Elopak’s performance in the quarter, CEO Thomas Körmendi said:

“I am pleased to announce strong revenue growth and profitability for Elopak in the second quarter. We are actively mitigating the unprecedented raw material prices and the challenging business environment. We expect margins to improve in the second half of 2022.

At Elopak, we are committed to delivering on our sustainability-driven growth strategy. We are very excited about entering India in a partnership with leading Indian packaging provider GLS, positioning Elopak in one of the world’s biggest and fast-growing markets. Further, the second quarter saw the post-merger integration and full first quarter of Naturepak operations as part of the Elopak Group. We continue to implement different value enhancing initiatives across all markets, aimed at improving both our top- and bottom-line.

I also want to praise our colleagues in Ukraine for their impressive resilience, managing to ramp up production despite all the challenges. Our Russian operation was sold to the local management this summer, following our earlier announcement that we were suspending our operations in the country in Q1.”

As of 30 June 2022, Year to date revenue increased by 8 %, to EUR 502.5 million. Year to date adjusted EBITDA was EUR 52.3 million, reflecting a 10.4 % margin.

Elopak announced the market roll out of the Pure-Pak® eSense carton: a more environmentally friendly aseptic carton made without an aluminium layer.

Designed using technology from our fresh portfolio, as well as our traditional sustainably sourced paperboard, the Pure-Pak® eSense carton is aluminium-free and instead made with a polyolefin blend barrier. This results in up to 50 % lower carbon footprint than a standard Pure-Pak® aseptic carton and full recyclability.

With no aluminium layer, the Pure-Pak® eSense carton unlocks the potential to be fully renewable. It also simplifies the recycling process as the new polyolefin structure enables a one operation separation of the fibers and the polyolefin layers, and the polyolefin material does not contain value reducing elements. Furthermore, the carton is designed with easy folding crease lines, which help consumers to empty all the product inside before folding the carton for more convenient recycling while reducing food waste.

The Pure-Pak® eSense carton is suitable for both low and high acid food & beverage products, including milk, juice and plant-based drinks. The innovative new barrier replaces the aluminium layer while still retaining the classic rigidity of a carton.

The Pure-Pak® eSense carton is available in 500 ml, 750 ml, and 1 l sizes, with 1.5 l, 1.75 l and 2 l and US relevant sizes to be introduced at a later stage. The carton will be available with a range of compatible aseptic caps, as well as a cap-free easy-opening feature which reduces plastic consumption and lowers the carbon footprint even further.

Customers can also opt for polyethylene based on feedstocks from second generation renewable sources, or a carbon neutral version of the Pure-Pak® eSense carton, where the remaining emissions are offset through Elopak’s verified CarbonNeutral® packaging program.

Elopak announced the upcoming roll out of its tethered cap solution – the Pure-TwistFlip

Announced in 2021, the tethered cap is one of the latest innovations launched by Elopak. The Pure-TwistFlip has been designed so that the closure remains attached to the carton throughout its entire lifecycle, thereby reducing the risk of it being littered. It complies with the EU’s Single-Use Plastic Directive, which was introduced as part of efforts to reduce the impact of certain plastic products in the environment and tackle marine littering.

The Pure-TwistFlip 29i is also Elopak’s lightest screw cap to date, helping to reduce the use of plastics. It can be combined with any Pure-Pak® carton to create an original packaging solution that prioritises the environment, safety and consumer convenience.

Commenting on the announcement Elopak CMO Patrick Verhelst stated, “We are delighted to share the news that our tethered cap solution will soon be available to customers. The Pure-TwistFlip is a fantastic addition to our current portfolio of opening features that meets the tethering requirements of the EU’s Single-Use Plastic Directive well ahead of its deadline in 2024.”

“As Elopak’s lightest screw cap to date, the Pure-TwistFlip 29i also represents a great option for our customers outside the EU who are looking to adopt more sustainable packaging solutions. We look forward to supporting those who choose to make the transition in the coming weeks and months,” he continued.

The cap itself is produced by United Caps. Speaking on the company’s partnership with Elopak, United Caps CEO Benoit Henckes said, “We have an ethos that we are ‘better united’. It makes us proud that world-class brands like Elopak recognise our differentiating ability to create breakthrough on the shelf.”

He added, “Innovating together on the Pure-TwistFlip meant combining our 80+ years of experience in cap design with Elopak’s outstanding packaging concept to bring together elements of usability and sustainability. The result is a tethered closure that performs for today and for tomorrow.”

Elopak’s iconic Pure-Pak® cartons are made using renewable, recyclable and sustainably sourced materials. They offer customers a natural and convenient alternative to plastic bottles.

Previous innovations launched by Elopak have a strong focus on sustainability and reducing the use of plastics, reflecting the company’s commitment to contributing to a net zero circular economy for packaging. These include the Pure-Pak® Imagine carton, which is a modern version of the company’s original Pure-Pak® carton that comes without a screw cap. Designed with a new easy open feature, it contains 46 per cent less plastic and is 100 per cent forest-based. Elopak’s Natural Brown Board cartons are renewable, recyclable and have a lower carbon footprint than conventional cartons owing to reduced wood consumption, one less layer and fewer bleaching chemicals.

Elopak advances its growth strategy with key acquisition of Naturepak Beverage Packaging Co Ltd, the leading gable top fresh liquid carton and packaging systems supplier in the MENA region

Elopak ASA has completed its acquisition of Naturepak Beverage from Naturepak Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gulf Industrial Group, and Evergreen Packaging International LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pactiv Evergreen Inc.

The acquisition of Naturepak, the leading gable top fresh liquid carton and packaging systems supplier in the MENA region, sees the addition of local production facilities in Morocco and Saudi Arabia to Elopak’s extensive existing global network, which already encompasses customers across 70 countries. At the same time, it boosts annual production capacity by more than 2.5 billion cartons, supporting the company’s ambition to meet the growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions.

The acquisition will also provide access to a strategic customer base in the fresh beverage carton segment in key growth markets, many of whom are global blue chip FMCG players and strong regional champions.

The acquisition marks a key milestone in Elopak’s growth strategy. Having listed on the Oslo stock exchange in 2021, the company is seeking to capitalize on its strong track record, growing geographical footprint and investment in sustainability-focused innovations to target organic growth of 2 – 3 % per annum. It is pursuing new business opportunities across both traditional and non-traditional segments, as well as driving the plastic to carton conversion.

Commenting on the acquisition Elopak CEO Thomas Körmendi stated, “We are delighted to have acquired such a high-quality asset in MENA. This move greatly enhances our position in the Middle East and African markets, enabling us to realize our ambitions of this growth region, as well as further strengthening our global footprint.”

“Going forward we are excited to share our sustainable packaging solutions with Naturepak Beverage’s client base and work hand-in-hand with them to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint and empower consumers to make environmentally conscious choices,” he continued.

“As we strengthen our presence in the region, we continue to bring new products to market that provide natural and convenient alternatives to plastic bottles that fit within a low carbon circular economy. We are ready to leverage our expertise, market-leading technology and skills to grow our presence in the region across products, segments and markets,” Körmendi explained.

Elopak is deeply concerned by the tragic developments in Ukraine and stands with all those who are suffering at this time. Elopak has wholeheartedly condemned the unprovoked attack by the Government of Russia and supports the resulting economic sanctions implemented by the EU and other actors.

This war has an enormous human cost. As a result of the ongoing and escalating conflict, Elopak is today announcing the suspension of all activities in Russia with immediate effect and until further notice. Elopak’s plant in Fastiv, Ukraine, has already been temporarily closed as we work to protect the safety of our colleagues and their families.

We will continue to pay the salaries of our 336 employees directly affected until further notice. As part of the vital food supply chain, Elopak continues to monitor and evaluate the situation. We are assessing how best we can adapt our operations to support continued access to essential goods across the Eastern European Region.

Our overriding priority remains the personal safety and security of our employees in Ukraine. We are in constant touch with our co-workers in Kyiv and Fastiv and have established a steering group that is working to support them and their loved ones.

The decision is not expected to impact Elopak’s operations outside of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

Elopak and Nippon Paper Industries sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen partnership and advance collaborative efforts in the field of liquid-paper packaging.

Elopak ASA and Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd have signed a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The agreement covers further collaboration between the two companies, looking at how potential business can be jointly developed and organised given their respective expertise, assets and networks.

Nippon Paper Industries, the largest liquid packaging player in Japan, is concentrating efforts in the field of paper packaging with the goal of contributing to the enrichment of people’s lives and the development of culture under the slogan of “Pioneering the future together with trees.” Based on the slogan “What can be done with paper,” Nippon Paper pursues the potential of paper packaging born from wood, a renewable resource, and offers a variety of proposals.

Elopak, a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment, offers sustainable packaging solutions that provide a natural and convenient alternative to plastic bottles. The MoU aligns with Elopak’s ambitions to meet the rising demand for sustainable packaging solutions by pursuing a growth strategy centered on investment in innovation; the pursuit of new business opportunities in existing and new markets across both fresh and aseptic markets; and driving the plastic to carton conversion.

The two companies have worked closely together for many years. In March 2016 they signed a product licensing agreement that allows Nippon Paper to manufacture and sell certain Pure-Pak® cartons in Japan. When Elopak listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in June 2021, Nippon Paper entered into a cornerstone agreement to acquire shares equivalent to 5.0 % of the share capital.

Under the MoU a Steering Committee will be established, tasked with selecting and implementing collaborative themes that leverage the strengths of both companies, while increasing competitiveness and expanding sales of paper packaging to accelerate the move toward a low carbon circular economy.

Collaboration between Nippon and Elopak is built on the companies’ shared commitment to sustainability and innovation. Both companies are members of the United Nations Global Compact and incorporate the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their development strategies. They also have a shared dedication to sustainable forest management and improved recycling of their paper products.

Commenting on the MoU Elopak CEO Thomas Körmendi stated, “We are delighted to be exploring the opportunities that exist for Elopak and Nippon to collaborate further. Building on our strong track record of working together to deliver for customers, we are excited by the opportunity to leverage our relative strengths and areas of expertise to drive the adoption of sustainable packaging solutions.”

Commenting on the MoU Nippon Managing Executive Officer and General Manager of Paper-Pak Sales Division Yasuhito Obayashi noted, “We are really excited by this opportunity to grow our strong relationship with Elopak and are looking forward to collaborative value creation based on both companies’ deep expertise and strength that delivers sustainable packaging solutions to market.”

Elopak, a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment, has been awarded a platinum rating for its sustainability performance by EcoVadis, the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. This achievement places Elopak in the top 1 % of companies evaluated across all industries.  

EcoVadis is a trusted sustainability ratings provider, with a global network of more than 75,000 rated companies. They assess sustainability performance; how well a company has integrated the principles of CSR into their business and management system. The methodology covers 21 criteria across four themes of environment, labour & human rights, ethics, and sustainable procurement. It is built on international sustainability standards, such as the Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations Global Compact, and the ISO 26000.

Carbon neutral since 2016, Elopak was one of the first companies to sign up to the Science Based Targets initiative to keep global average temperature rise below 1.5 °C in 2019. In line with this commitment, Elopak has pledged a 55 % reduction in internal GHG emissions by 2030 and a 16 % reduction in emissions across the value chain by 2030 from a 2017 baseline. In 2021, Elopak joined the United Nations (UN) Global Compact as a participant in recognition of its commitment to advancing sustainability and working collaboratively in pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Elopak is reinforcing its presence in growth markets and investing in profitable growth with the acquisition of Naturepak Beverage Packaging Co Ltd, the leading gable top fresh liquid carton and packaging systems supplier in the MENA region.

Elopak ASA has signed a Share Purchase Agreement to acquire 100 % of Naturepak Beverage from Gulf Industrial Group Company Plc and Evergreen Packaging International LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pactiv Evergreen Inc.

Naturepak Beverage is the leading provider of fresh liquid carton and packaging systems in the MENA region with local production facilities in Morocco and Saudi Arabia, which will be integrated into Elopak’s global production network. Present in 16 countries, Naturepak Beverage has an annual production capacity of 2.7 billion cartons across various product sizes and its customers are global blue chip FMCG players and strong regional champions.

The acquisition will reinforce Elopak’s position in the region and is an important milestone in management’s ambitions to target 2-3% organic revenue growth, deliver inorganic opportunities and grow its global footprint by entering new geographies.

Elopak grows presence in MENA region with Naturepak Beverage acquisition
Thomas Körmendi (Photo: Elopak)

Commenting on the acquisition Thomas Körmendi, Chief Executive Officer of Elopak, stated: “This transaction represents an important part of the growth ambitions we outlined to our shareholders during our IPO this year. I am proud to take ownership of what we deem to be one of the highest quality assets in the region and to welcome the employees of Naturepak Beverage to the Elopak family. By establishing a presence in Morocco and Saudi Arabia we can access important growth markets and deliver Elopak’s brand portfolio to key local and international players. The transaction reflects our strong commitment to growth in the Middle East and Africa”.

Following the acquisition, Naturepak Beverage will be rebranded and incorporated under the Elopak name. The acquisition provides a strategic customer base in the fresh beverage carton segment, primarily in Morocco in fresh dairy, and gives access to growth markets in an attractive region.

Going forward Naturepak Beverage’s client base will have access to a wider fresh and aseptic product portfolio and innovative, sustainable packaging solutions developed by Elopak, with Elopak leveraging its Pure-Pak® carton portfolio and utilizing its technical expertise to drive further growth across products, segments and markets.

Elopak is today announcing a new tethered cap solution for its iconic Pure-Pak® cartons – the Pure-TwistFlip.

The tethered cap is the latest sustainability-focused innovation announced by Elopak. The closure remains attached to the carton throughout its entire lifetime, helping to tackle the serious problem of marine littering by ensuring that the cap is disposed of properly. It is also Elopak’s lightest screw cap to date, helping to reduce the use of plastics.

As cartons can be recycled with the tethered cap attached, the Pure-TwistFlip offers up an exciting new option for brands looking to meet the growing consumer demand for sustainable packaging, without compromising on convenience or product integrity.

Commenting on the announcement Elopak CMO Patrick Verhelst stated, “We are delighted to share the news that our tethered cap solution is now ready. Sustainability is a central driver of our innovation efforts at Elopak, in which we are continually seeking to raise the bar and improve on past performance.”

“We have invested heavily in developing more environmentally friendly packaging solutions that meet the same high standards our customers are used to, and at the same time offer them a way to package their products in a manner that fits with a low carbon circular economy. By combining Elopak’s Pure-Pak® carton with the Pure-TwistFlip cap, brands can now choose a package that both helps prevent marine littering and reduces the use of plastics.” he continued.

Beverage cartons have strong environmental credentials when compared with alternatives such as plastic bottles. Even with a regular cap studies have shown that in the case of UHT milk, cartons result in 70.7 % less CO2 emissions and in the case of fresh milk 83.6 % less CO2 emissions in comparison to disposable PET bottles .

Elopak supplies renewable, recyclable, and carbon neutral Pure-Pak® cartons. The new Pure-TwistFlip cap can be combined with any existing Pure-Pak® carton to provide an original Elopak packaging solution that prioritizes the environment, consumer convenience and safety. The innovation is expected to launch to the market in Autumn 2021.

Elopak already offers customers a number of sustainability-focused innovations such as Natural Brown Board cartons which are renewable, recyclable and have a lower CO2 footprint owing to reduced wood consumption and the elimination of the bleaching process.

Elopak also offers cartons without a cap. The Pure-Pak® Imagine is a modern version of the company’s original Pure-Pak® carton launched in June 2020. Designed with a new easy open feature, it contains 46 per cent less plastic and is 100 per cent forest-based.

A UN Global Compact participant, Elopak has been carbon neutral since 2016 and in 2019 was one of the first companies in the world to formally pledge to cut Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in line with criteria set by the Science Based Targets initiative aimed at keeping the global average temperature increase below 1.5 C.

Elopak, a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment, has published its 2020 Sustainability Report. The successes in the report include an 11 % decrease in greenhouse gas emissions against a 2017 baseline, marking great progress towards the Science Based Target (SBT) goal of 55 % reduction. In addition, Elopak reports on increasing sales of fully renewable cartons for fresh milk in Europe, reaching 18 % in 2020, compared to 8 % in 2018, as well as the continued use of 100 % renewable energy and carbon neutrality throughout the company since 2016.

The 2020 report is the company’s first fully digital sustainability report and has been conducted in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. It covers planet, people and profit, setting out the company’s 2020 performance in the context of past progress and future ambitions; sharing case studies that identify some of the drivers behind progress, as well as identifying the remaining challenges as the company works to become Net Zero.

Speaking on the launch of the report, Elopak’s Sustainability Director Marianne Groven stated, “2020 was an exceptional year in many respects, but critically it marked the beginning of the climate decade. At Elopak we believe that now is the time to shift our focus from simply doing less harm towards doing more good. Our 2020 Sustainability Report sets out our latest performance and ambitions on this front.”

Progress in 2020 was achieved through a combination of innovation and initiatives. For example, at Elopak’s Aarhus facility in Denmark there was a switch from fossil fuel to electric energy on one of the production converters, as well as the adoption of intelligent LED lighting to reduce the power consumption of the facility’s lighting system by 78.4 %. Meanwhile, we have reduced the energy per carton by 13 % since 2017 and by 23 % since 2008.

Prior to 2020 Elopak had already achieved a reduction in the carbon footprint of an average carton with a closure, from 32 g CO2e in 2014 to 25 g CO2e in 2020. The carbon footprint of a carton without a closure is much lower at 17 g CO2e. In 2020 Elopak launched the Pure-Pak® Imagine carton, which is designed with a new easy open feature instead of a plastic screw cap. This carton contains 46 % less plastic and is fully forest based.

Elopak maintained its strong focus on people in 2020, investing in the training and education of its employees. The company recorded 5,300 course completions during the year, with 80 % employees receiving one or more trainings. Elopak also participated in wider community initiatives, in particular related to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as working with customers to provide milk to food banks in France and donating water boxes to hospitals in Spain.

Commenting on the publication of the report CEO Thomas Körmendi set out the company’s determination to push its sustainability performance further stating, “Despite the challenges of 2020 we remained focused on our vision – chosen by people, packaged by nature. Today we celebrate the progress we have made in recent years, including five years of carbon neutrality. However, with the climate decade upon us we must continue our work to advance a low carbon circular economy.”

In recognition of its commitment to advancing sustainability and working collaboratively in pursuit of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Elopak earlier this year announced it has joined the UN Global Compact as a participant.

The full report is available at: elopak.com

The volume of Elopak’s Natural Brown Board cartons surpassed one billion units in February 2021. The milestone is good news for the company’s sustainability efforts, as the lower CO2 footprint of these cartons means an estimated 3,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions have been avoided as a result. The reduction in CO2 emissions resulting from the use of Natural Brown Board is equivalent to approximately 1,400 round trip flights for one person London – New York.

The news comes after Elopak recorded a significant increase in its sale of Natural Brown Board cartons in 2019, with brands responding to increased consumer interest in the environmental credentials of their products by making the transition to sustainable packaging solutions. Today approximately 20 % of the Pure-Pak® milk cartons Elopak sells in Western Europe are produced with Natural Brown Board.

Launched in 2017, in partnership with supplier Stora Enso, Elopak was the first packaging company to provide gable top cartons made with Natural Brown Board. These Pure-Pak® cartons are renewable and recyclable. They have a lower CO2 footprint owing to reduced wood consumption and the elimination of the bleaching process. Their rustic, natural look effectively communicates this commitment to sustainability and instantly stands out on the shelves.

Several customers were quick to embrace the Natural Brown Board with Arla being the first major brand to adopt the innovation for its line of organic EKO products in Sweden. In June 2018, when Arla launched its Arla Organic range of milk and drinking yoghurts, the brand opted again for one litre Pure-Pak® cartons with Natural Brown Board, which were rolled out across the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Finland.

Some customers have taken the concept further and removed the renewable plastic cap. Norwegian dairy, TINE, transitioned from a white carton with a cap to a Natural Brown Board carton without a cap, resulting in a carbon footprint reduction of around 40 %. Sweden’s second-largest dairy Skånemejerier has also removed the caps on all their Hjordnära organic milk one-liter cartons, launching its organic milk in new Pure-Pak® cartons with an easy opening funnel feature to replace the plastic closure.

Since its launch, Elopak’s Natural Brown Board cartons has served as a platform for further sustainability-focused innovations, including the Pure-Pak® Imagine launched in 2020. The carton is a modern version of the company’s original Pure-Pak® carton, containing 46 % less plastic and designed with a new easy open feature. It has no plastic screw cap and is 100 % forest-based made with Natural Brown Board, making it Elopak’s most environmentally friendly carton to date.

Elopak, a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment for liquid food, has launched the Pure-Pak® Imagine, its most environmentally friendly carton to date. The new carton is a modern version of the company’s original Pure-Pak® carton, designed with an easy open feature.

“Increasingly, we see that our Pure-Pak® carton system is the natural solution to the global need to reduce the usage of plastic bottles,” says Elopak’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Patrick Verhelst.

Beverage cartons already have the lowest CO2 footprint among liquid food packaging today. Using renewable, recyclable and sustainably sourced materials, Elopak provides innovative packaging solutions that offer a natural and convenient alternative to plastic bottles and fit with a low carbon circular economy.

“With the launch of Pure-Pak® Imagine, Elopak is supporting the critical causes that represent the issues of our times – but the call to action is timeless,” Verhelst added.

Elopak’s strong focus on sustainability, alongside food safety and consumer convenience, has seen the company record a number of important environmental milestones in recent years. Carbon neutral since 2016, Elopak uses 100 per cent renewable electricity and has reduced emissions by 70 per cent over the past decade. With cartons manufactured from responsibly managed forests and FSC (FSCC081801) certified material, Elopak offers customers 100 per cent renewable cartons that use wood-based renewable plastics, rather than relying on petroleum-based plastics.

“We wish to play our part in the global shift towards a low carbon circular economy and have therefore created the most environmentally friendly carton possible,” Verhelst explains.

“The Pure-Pak® Imagine carton has no plastic screw cap and is 100% forest based made with Natural Brown Board. The carton is fully renewable and carbon neutral, creating the perfect low carbon, circular economy approach,” he continues.

Many will recognize the easy-to-open feature from the 70’s and 80’s before the screw cap was first introduced. The Pure-Pak® Imagine carton’s unique top fin helps guide consumers how to open the carton. In combination with the modern functionality of the easy-pour and easy-fold features, the new carton design sets a new benchmark in reducing plastics.

The Pure-Pak® carton historically is the iconic fresh beverage pack, and with the new shape of the top fin introduced with the Pure-Pak® Imagine, Elopak adds a further important point of differentiation. Shape is the first recognition point for consumers, so this is especially important in markets less familiar with the easy opening feature. The design of the Pure-Pak® Imagine carton will create recognition on shelves across our markets and is applicable to all fresh categories.

“With Pure-Pak® Imagine we aim to help consumers make conscious environmental choices. The carton’s easy opening gives the environmentally-minded consumer a more sustainable pack, with less plastic and more natural renewable materials,” concludes Verhelst.

Elopak is the first manufacturer to deliver over one billion 100 % renewable cartons after launching beverage cartons featuring certified renewable polyethylene (PE) in 2014.

Elopak’s cartons offered with renewable PE, help ensuring resources for future generations. In addition, using a renewable feedstock instead of a fossil one, significantly reduces the carbon footprint of the cartons.

In 2017, Elopak further improved its renewable offering by introducing new feedstocks for renewable PE. The company chose to change supplier base to widen its offering of renewable PE and now offers two different sources. One is derived from sugar cane, the other is based on tall oil, a residue from pulp and paper production.

“Reaching one billion fully renewable cartons is a major milestone for Elopak and a great contribution to reducing the use of fossil resources ,” says Marianne Groven, Interim Director Environment in Elopak. “As a major global packaging company it is our responsibility to continue developing our renewable offering and lower the carbon footprint of our cartons. Elopak will always strive to provide packaging with a strong environmental profile to support our customers’ brands.”

Sourced from Nordic forests, the tall oil-based feedstock enables Elopak to offer beverage cartons entirely based on wood. Tall oil is a residue (also referred to as second generation feedstock) from pulp and paper production, which is the main raw material in the beverage carton. The wood for both the paperboard and the renewable PE is sourced 100 % from responsibly managed forests and other controlled sources, in accordance with the FSC™ certification system.

The alternative feedstock is sourced from Brazil, where sugar cane can grow in areas where other crops cannot. Sugar cane is one of the most efficient plants in converting sunlight to chemical energy and hence is a sustainable, fast-growing renewable resource.

Both feedstocks are certified according to ISCC PLUS, ensuring that the entire value chain is sustainable and certified up to the finished product.

Full details of Elopak’s renewable sourcing can be found in the company’s 2017 Environmental Report.

Elopak announces Thomas Körmendi as new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of the Elopak Group, to join on 01 April 2018.

Thomas Körmendi is currently CEO at Kezzler AS, a Norwegian company working with the digitalization of packaging. Earlier in his career Thomas worked about twenty years at Tetra Pak in various international positions. His latest position in Tetra Pak was as Vice President and head of North Europe with 1200 employees and four multi country production plants.

“With the recruitment of Thomas Körmendi we have secured an international profile with solid knowledge of the industry to realize the strategic ambitions of the Elopak Group”, says John Giverholt, Chairman of the Elopak Board of Directors. “I look forward to the cooperation with Thomas to further develop and strengthen Elopak.”

Thomas Körmendi will be based at Elopak’s Group Headquarters in Skøyen, Oslo, Norway.

Niels Petter Wright has decided to resign after ten years as CEO. Under his leadership Elopak has transformed from a company positioned for fresh dairy and juice products to a full aseptic system supplier. In addition to several crucial technological breakthroughs, Elopak has during these years expanded its geographical footprint significantly and driven an ambitious environmental agenda.

“Elopak is truly an extraordinary Norwegian based company with currently 98 percent of its sales in international markets. Niels Petter has played a key role in developing Elopak from a NOK 5,5bn to 8,1bn company and has led its employees with exceptional drive and dedication. He leaves a diversified company well positioned for further growth. As the owner of Elopak, Ferd is grateful for the job Niels Petter has done”, says John Giverholt, Chairman in Elopak AS.

Niels Petter Wright has been CEO of Elopak for the past ten years and CFO for seven years prior to that. He looks forward to pursuing other business opportunities, but will miss Elopak, the customers and his colleagues.

“While there certainly have been some demanding years in an international business environment, it has above all been fun. I wish my colleagues a successful future. I hope they will succeed exporting our excellent products and the Elopak way of doing business to further markets”, says Niels Petter Wright.

The Board of Directors has initiated the search for a new CEO, and is pleased that Niels Petter Wright will continue as CEO in this transition period.

The collaboration between Elopak and Stora Enso has resulted in the launch of the first gable top carton made from natural brown unbleached paperboard, creating the Naturally Pure-Pak® carton with a highly distinctive, natural look and feel.

The new paperboard, Natura Life by Stora Enso, retains the natural brown colour of the wood fibres and has a visible fibre structure. This creates a naturally different, sustainable and authentic package that meets demands from growing trends in ethical, ecological and organic products. The natural look and feel of the new Pure-Pak® carton supports the values of organic products and brings outstanding presence on shelf.

This week Arla Foods in Sweden announced the launch of several products in its organic EKO brand range using Pure-Pak® cartons made of natural brown paperboard.

“We believe that the new Pure-Pak® carton will grab attention as it communicates organic values and is totally different to anything else in the increasingly complex chilled dairy segment,” says Anna-Karin Modin Edman, Sustainability Manager at Arla.

The Pure-Pak® carton with the new natural brown paperboard is available in 1 litre and 500 ml sizes. It runs on existing filling lines for both fresh and ESL products without modifications or changes in machine settings. The new Pure-Pak® cartons are 100 % recyclable and can be recycled through existing channels.

Ivar Jevne, Elopak’s Executive Vice President Board and Blanks Supply says: “All liquid packaging board sourced from well-managed forests is environmentally friendly, however this paperboard reaches new levels in climate responsible packaging. The innovation is the result of bringing together the best of expertise, competence and experience from our collaboration with Stora Enso. This is not just another paperboard for our Pure-Pak® cartons, but a totally new concept.”

The new paperboard is produced by Stora Enso, with the majority of fibres sourced from Swedish and Norwegian forests.

“We are happy about the cooperation with Elopak and excited to introduce the new unbleached liquid packaging board Natura Life by Stora Enso. What makes this paperboard unique is that it is brown on the inside as well as on the outside. This will enhance the organic appearance of carton packaging and make it stand out on the shelves,” says Annica Bresky EVP Stora Enso Consumer Board division.