Atlantic Packaging 2021-2022 Sustainability Report

Packaged for progress

As a major packaging supplier in the middle of the supply chain, Atlantic Packaging has a unique opportunity (and subsequent challenges) to create a lasting impact and promote sustainability. Their Sustainability Report sets the stage for their near and long-term goals set, as well as new initiatives in place to help them and their suppliers reach them.

In 2022, Atlantic submitted for approval their Science-Based Targets (SBTs) and expects them to be approved in August 2022.

 

Also in 2022, Atlantic Packaging officially hired their first fulltime Sustainability Director, Caroline James, who graduated with an MBA from the Yale School of Management with a focus on environmental sustainability.

 

In 2021, Atlantic experienced record growth and business sales. As a result, the company’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions increased from 2020 and 2021. However, the renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives they undertook in 2021 did lower the emissions intensity of their sales by 5.8% (Scope 1) and 6% (Scope 2).

 

Atlantic’s Scope 3 emissions increased as well, but their Scope 3 intensity (the Scope 3 emissions required to generate each dollar of sales) fell by 10% between 2020 and 2021.

 

Of their Scope 3 emissions, the vast majority (77%) stem from Purchased Goods & Services. The biggest impact Atlantic sees it can have as a company is to engage suppliers to ensure that they are reducing their own emissions.

 

In 2020, Atlantic began a full transition away from natural gas-powered forklifts to a fully electric fleet. In 2021, 35 LP forklifts were replaced resulting in a forklift fleet that is 75% electric—they aim to have 80% electric forklifts by 2023.

 

To help expand vehicle electrification in their fleet, Atlantic made deposits on ten Tesla semi trucks which are tentatively slated to arrive in 2023.

 

In January 2022, Atlantic approached a group of their key suppliers to discuss using collective buying power to enter a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) to help meet their climate goals and as a way to help partner organizations to produce products with 100% renewable energy.

 

Atlantic launched a major initiative and investment in renewable solar energy by partnering with Renewvia Energy to replace traditional sources of power across their entire network of operations, with the goal to dramatically reduce Scope 2 emissions.

In 2021, Atlantic completed solar installations at their Charlotte, NC and in Charleston, SC facilities. The Charleston facility has already generated enough energy to decrease energy required by the electric utility by about 50%.

 

In 2019, Atlantic began a transition to energy-efficient halogen lighting in all facilities (25 unique operations). This initiative was completed in Q1 2021, and current estimates show an annual reduction of 290 metric tons CO2e.

 

Atlantic’s goal is to be certified as a zero-waste company, which means they will have diverted more than 90% of their resources from landfills back into valuable resources.

 

As of November 2021, their Atlantic Printing & Graphics operation in Tabor City, NC achieved TRUE Certification, and they are aiming to certify two Atlantic facilities a year until all are complete.

 

Atlantic is one of 12 brands enrolling key suppliers in The Supplier Leadership on Climate Transitions (S-LoCT), a knowledge platform and brand collaborative.

 

In 2021 and 2022, Atlantic helped four of their largest suppliers join S-LoCT—making progress for Atlantic’s SBT to have 55% of their suppliers set SBTs by 2026.

 

Atlantic has partnered with their largest suppliers and will begin publishing product-level emissions for approximately 15% of their products (by spend) in 2023, which will allow their customers to make better decisions about the products they purchase.

 

As a company, Atlantic is focused on five main areas to help customers reduce the amount of packaging used: packaging effectiveness, sustainable materials, packaging efficiency, monitoring and standardization, and closed-loop systems.

 

Atlantic’s Solution Center in Charlotte, North Carolina serves as a hub for designing and testing the most innovative sustainable packaging solutions. Every year, the Solution Center welcomes dozens of customers to innovate their packaging by using the state-of-the-art equipment.

 

The MUST Management System is Atlantic’s patented optimization program for stretch wrapping systems to prevent waste caused by improper stretch wrapping in U.S. food, beverage, and consumer products.

 

Atlantic’s customers who use MUST reduce their annual usage of stretch film by 35-45%. MUST reduced stretch film usage by 30 million pounds in 2021 and is projected to reduce usage by 37 million pounds in 2022.

 

Atlantic works to optimize tape usage using their Guardian Taping System, a partnership with Shurtape Technologies.

 

The company carefully vets each packaging product for necessary certifications and assurances to ensure sustainability claims are legitimate, and they aim to offer sustainable packaging products across all industries served.

 

For example, they have the exclusive license to offer Fishbone Recyclable Can Carriers—the first 100% curbside recyclable beverage carrier.

 

Starting in early 2023, Atlantic will be collecting used stretch wrap from select customers and re-pelletizing the polyethylene (PE) to be re-extruded. The result will be a closed loop for stretch wrap, and has the potential to help recover and re-pelletize 10 million pounds of stretch wrap each year.

 

A New Earth Project was launched in April 2022 as an initiative within Atlantic Packaging. Its mission is to rid the world’s oceans, lakes, and rivers of plastic pollution. A New Earth Project is about bringing together the voices of ocean and water advocacy and the organizations in the supply chain that can solve these problems.

 

In 2021, A New Earth Project launched its website as a hub for articulating its mission, vision, and action. It released an eight-part television series called Journey to A New Earth that aired on Outside TV, FUELTV, and on A New Earth Project’s own YouTube channel.

30 million

pounds reduced in stretch film usage in 2021 using MUST system

100%

renewable electricity by 2030 (goal)

We are committed to creating, supporting, and managing sustainable systems in packaging and commerce. We acknowledge our unique position in the supply chain and our moral obligation to do our part in creating a world free of pollution.

Wes Carter

President of Atlantic Packaging and founder of A New Earth Project

Atlantic Packaging’s market strategies and philosophy are guided by sustainable practices in packaging and logistics. By utilizing a diversified approach that incorporates energy reduction, efficiency, and renewables, the company aims to reach a net-zero carbon footprint for their operations and entire value chain by 2046.

 

While 2021 has been set as their baseline year, Atlantic is focused on three areas to measure future success and drive change: how they operate their own facilities, the products they sell and engagement with suppliers, and how they engage with stakeholders to disclose progress and partner with others.

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70%

reduction of absolute scope 1&2 GHG emissions by 2030 (goal)

Our efforts are guided by a regenerative vision for the future of our planet and our children. We steward cooperation, collaboration, education, and transition throughout the marketplace.

Wes Carter

President of Atlantic Packaging and founder of A New Earth Project