The first aim in any company’s carbon strategy must be to reduce their global warming impact at source; through improvements in energy efficiency, enhanced process technology, raw material selection and waste reduction.
At Innovia Films such improvements have led to a 58% reduction in the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of its cellulose film production over the past 20 years, and Innovia Films is committed to continuing these improvements.
The fact that Innovia Films uses renewable raw materials is a good start-point; NatureFlex films are typically circa 95% renewable as measured by ASTM D6866.
However, optimisation of energy efficiency and process improvements cannot lead to carbon-neutrality overnight. This is why Innovia Films has now committed to completing the quest for carbon-neutrality on its NatureFlex coated packaging films range in 2008, through a combination of two carbon-reduction schemes.
NatureFlex films are currently manufactured in Innovia Films’ plant in Cumbria, UK and are sold to customers around the world. As a result Innovia Films has opted to work with a carbon services company, co2balance, who provide carbon-reduction schemes locally and globally.
In Cumbria, Innovia Films has financed the planting of 3,000 trees at 1 of 3 forestry plantations directly owned and managed by co2balance to ensure that the forest is properly maintained into the future.
This new forest, named Sand Martin Wood, is within 30km of Innovia Films’ factory and has been planted with a mix of British broad leafed trees to promote biodiversity.
In addition, Innovia Films is contributing to a scheme that distributes solar ovens to poor communities in Africa. This scheme has a number of benefits: It reduces deforestation, reduces CO2 emissions from open stove burning, reduces energy costs and provides health and safety benefits to the users.
Innovia Films completed a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on its NatureFlex products during 2007 and a copy of its new brochure on the subject is available upon request.
This LCA has enabled Innovia Films to quantify the environmental impact of the product on a cradle to gate basis, which encompasses raw material manufacture to finished slit film.
Customers purchasing coated NatureFlex films from now on will do so in the knowledge that these films are effectively CarbonZero at the point of despatch from Innovia Films’ premises.