Labeling for a more sustainable, future-proof packaging

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Reduce, recycle and renew – the core of sustainable labeling

Companies in the label industry desire to make their operations and products more sustainable.  We aim to build partnerships that create value and enable our customers and brands to go beyond their sustainability goals. We also want to make sure that what we say is something that we put into practice.

At the end of September we took part in the largest label event in the world,  Labelexpo Europe 2019. We made a conscious choice to focus our presence at the fair entirely on sustainability. This decision was easy for us, as our value proposition revolves largely around the key sustainability elements of Reduce, Recycle & Renew, which are connected to UPM Raflatac’s holistic approach to sustainable labeling.

An example of material efficiency in the spirit of Reduce is our UPM Raflatac RAFNXT+ product range. This top-of-the-line sustainable labeling solution is made with paper originating from 100 percent certified forests. Through optimization we are delivering reductions in the use of energy and water as well as the carbon footprint of the product – making the range carbon positive. To further enable Reduce and resource efficiency we also provide a unique service – Label Life by UPM Raflatac –that helps companies better understand the environmental impact of their labeling materials.

A concrete example of Renew is UPM Raflatac Forest Film™, which is a new product created in collaboration with UPM Biofuels. It is the industry’s first wood-based PP film material and is made with UPM BioVerno™ naphtha. By choosing Forest Film, brands can replace raw fossil materials with renewable ones. And this is just the first of many products to come that will complete our selection of sustainable labels.

Finally, as an example of Recycle, I want to mention UPM Raflatac SmartCircle™ Wash-off labeling solutions that ensure label materials will separate during the PET or glass washing process. This increases the recyclability of PET and reuse of glass containers, and promotes circular economy.

The positive feedback we received at the trade show brought pure joy to us. Our customers praised us for being on the right track and way ahead of others in creating a sustainable product offering for them to choose from.

Future generations depend on us leaving things better than we found them

I view sustainability as a catalyst for a change in our industry. As there is a need for more sustainable solutions, brand owners are proactively looking for alternatives and collaborating to take their packaging to the next level. I believe that our company has a significant role in leading the way to a more sustainable future. One of our strengths in driving that change is our capability to listen and understand the needs of our customers and end-users. In addition, our product offering will continue to strongly emphasize sustainability which is also evident in our innovation pipeline.

As a proud father of a nine-year old girl, I feel that I have a responsibility to leave a clean – or possibly even a cleaner – world behind than what I received, but we have a lot of work to do to achieve that. Therefore, being part of UPM Raflatac’s ambition of labeling a smarter future beyond fossils is a reason of personal pride for me.