Graphic Packaging Raises the Bar in Sustainability With New Commitments

April 22, 2024

Updated ESG targets reflect pledge to become Better, Every Day

Reinforcing its investment in a renewable future, Graphic Packaging has upgraded its sustainability targets and pledged to become Better, Every Day. The new efforts span three focus areas within its environmental, social and governance (ESG) program—better packaging, better for people, and better future. Under these pillars, the company commits to providing more sustainable packaging solutions, enhancing its culture and communities, and improving its environmental footprint.

The new ESG targets were announced during Graphic Packaging’s 2024 Investor Day. Michelle Fitzpatrick, VP and Chief Sustainability Officer, shared the company’s new sustainability strategy, which is an integral part of the Vision 2030 strategic plan.  

“Trends in the global landscape underpin the company’s sustainability plan,” Fitzpatrick said. Population growth, resource scarcity, climate change and natural resource impacts are increasingly relevant. Graphic Packaging provides innovative packaging solutions to help mitigate those challenges for its customer base, which includes some of the world’s most iconic consumer brands across food, beverage, foodservice, household goods and health and beauty.

In 2023, Graphic Packaging unveiled its corporate purpose: to package life’s everyday moments for a renewable future. Rooted in that statement, Fitzpatrick said the company’s sustainability program hinges on a key promise: “Every single one of those moments is going to be better for people and for the planet, and we’re achieving that by taking action in our three sustainability pillars.”

Better Packaging

The enhanced sustainability targets are integrated into Graphic Packaging’s business, and the first area centers on the company’s core product offering—packaging.

“We’re creating better packaging by innovating our packaging and our manufacturing operations to drive out waste, improve recyclability and circularity of our packaging, and really fuel a circular economy,” Fitzpatrick said.

2030 Goals:

  • Every new product innovation will be more circular, more functional, and more convenient than existing alternatives.

With a focus on innovation, this move is set to pave the way for a world with less waste and more recyclable and recycled packaging.

Better for People

“We’re creating safe and engaging workplaces that foster people’s growth and development, and we’re engaging our communities while we do this,” Fitzpatrick said.

2030 Goals:

  • 75th percentile in employee engagement (Gallup Q12®)  
  • 35% women in leadership positions
  • 40% ethnic diversity in US workforce
  • Enhance the communities in which we operate
  • Zero LIFE injuries

By prioritizing the well-being of both employees and the communities they serve, Graphic Packaging is doing good for people every day across our value chain, employees and communities.

Better Future

“We’re creating a better future for our planet, by taking action to address climate change through reducing our greenhouse gas footprint, as well as by being responsible in the way we source forest products so that we’re protecting valuable forest ecosystems,” Fitzpatrick said.

2030 Goals:

  • 50.4% reduction in Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions by 2032 
  • 30% reduction in Scope 3 GHG emissions3 by 2032 
  • 90% renewable fuel use in wood fiber paperboard facilities
  • 50% purchased renewable electricity
  • 100% purchased forest products sustainably sourced

The company’ plan to reduce its greenhouse gas footprint also helps reduce customers’ Scope 3 emissions, bringing brands closer to achieving their greenhouse gas reduction targets.

This includes an effort to provide packaging that is more recyclable, has more recycled content and meets the needs of end consumers.

Consumers seek “better packaging – packaging that comes with a lower environmental footprint, is made with less plastic, and that can be recycled,” Fitzpatrick said. “So, as we do our part to get better every day, we help our customers also get better every day.”  

To learn more about Graphic Packaging’s sustainability promise, check out this video.