A guarantee of origin is created for each megawatt hour of renewable energy produced. If this guarantee of origin is purchased as part of the supply of energy, this is known as a “bundled certificate”, i.e. energy and the guarantee of origin come from one unit (see also guarantees of origin, RECs and unbundled certificates).
Carbon neutrality means having a balance between emitting carbon dioxide and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere in carbon sinks such as soil, forests and oceans. The aim is to prevent emissions exceeding the levels that can be reabsorbed.
This London-based non-profit organization uses standardized questionnaires to collect data and information about CO2 emissions, climate risks and the reduction goals and strategies of companies on a voluntary basis. CDP now manages the world’s largest database of this kind.
The circular economy is a model for production and consumption where existing materials and products are shared, reused, repaired, reprocessed and recycled for as long as possible. This prolongs the life cycle of products.
CO2 emissions per unit of GDP
Like CO2 emissions per capita, CO2 emissions in relation to gross domestic product (GDP) is also a key economic indicator to show climate-related economic data. For example, a state’s gross domestic product can be used to express a country’s dependence on fossil fuels. Taken in isolation, low figures for this indicator could also be indicative of energy poverty in poorer states.
The chemical notation for carbon dioxide, a key component of the global carbon cycle. It is a gas that is naturally present in the Earth’s atmosphere and absorbs and reflects some of the heat emitted from the planet. Human activity massively increases the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, magnifying this greenhouse effect and resulting in global warming.
Compliance in the narrower sense means that the company and its employees obey the law and regulations. A company’s compliance management thus includes the structured development of internal rules and guidelines that are observed by the company’s employees.
The 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Paris in 2015. The Paris Agreement reached there is pivotal. Under the terms of the agreement, the global community will attempt to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5, degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
Digital watermarks are essentially technical markings on data media such as images, videos or audio files. In the packaging sector, they are markings invisible to the human eye in the form of codes that provide information on the packaging and the material (see also HolyGrail).
Developed in the mid-1990s, the ecological footprint has become an indicator of sustainability. It is a measure of the demand various lifestyles and economic practices place on the Earth’s ecosystem and natural resources.
EcoVadis provides holistic corporate responsibility evaluations of companies (see Corporate social responsibility, CSR). It covers the four areas Environmental, Labor & Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement and rates these as they pertain to the company’s size, location and industry.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
The foundation established by British record-holding round-the-world sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur in 2009 works together with companies, political decision-makers and scientists to advocate the development and promotion of the concept of a circular economy (www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org).
The Emissions factor indicates the average greenhouse gas emissions caused by an activity. As emissions can often not be directly measured, the amount of greenhouse gases is calculated by multiplying this factor and the activity rate.
One definition of the end of a product’s life cycle is when it is no longer produced. Beyond this, end-of-life management also covers a product’s entire life cycle. The focus here is mainly on disposing of or recycling the product after its useful life.
Based on the Latin “extrudere”, meaning “to push out”, extrusion describes a process where the solid to viscous, hardenable masses are continuously pressed out of a molding opening (known as a nozzle, die or mouthpiece). This creates bodies with the cross-section of the opening, known as extrudate, theoretically of any length.
Food and non-food sector
Areas of business and hospitality/the hotel industry relating to food are combined under the term food sector to create a clear linguistic distinction between this and the non-food sector. Non-food describes goods that are not food in the broader sense of the word and often have lower requirements than food items when it comes to logistics, storage and product presentation.
Gender pay gap
This describes the difference between the average gross hourly wage of women and of men. It is calculated from the different in average gross hourly wages (excluding special payments) of women compared to the gross hourly wages of men.
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol is a global tool for reporting greenhouse gas emissions. Companies use these standards to calculate their carbon footprint. The emissions are divided into the following three categories (Scopes).
- Scope 1
These are direct emissions from the company’s own facilities
- Scope 2
Purchased electricity, steam, heat and cooling that result in indirect emissions outside a company are reported under this category
- Scope 3
This covers all other indirect emissions generated as a result of activities outside the company such as manufacturing and transporting purchased goods and distributing, using and disposing of own goods
- Scope 1
Plastic granulates are the typical delivery form for raw material manufacturers’ thermoplastics for the plastics processing industry. Plastic supplied in this form, which is similar to sand or gravel, is easier to transport because it can be poured.
Greenhouse gas emissions
Anthropogenic greenhouse gases are produced as a result of the manufacturing and burning of fossil fuels, agricultural activities, deforestation and industrial processes and the municipal disposal of waste and wastewater. The carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases emitted as a result of these activities change the composition of the atmosphere and are a major driver of climate change.
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) provides standards and guidelines for sustainability reporting. The GRI standards are intended to support sustainable development around the world, while also creating a common language and guidance to help companies, governments, investors, workers and an interested general public make decisions. Creating certain key figures and indicators on economic, environmental and social aspects improves the comparability of reports.
Guarantees of origin
According to an EU Directive, guarantees of origin are precisely defined instruments evidencing the origin of electricity generated from renewable energy sources. The Directive defines the purposes of guarantees of origin as “proof to a final customer (…) of the share or quantity of energy from renewable sources in an energy supplier’s energy mix” (see also RECs, bundled and unbundled certificates).
In close collaboration with other companies, including Greiner Packaging, the HolyGrail 2.0 initiative works on the introduction of digital watermarks for packaging. In the future, these watermarks should make the work at sorting facilities easier and improve the recyclability of products and the quality of recycled materials.
This is the name given to systematically identifying the positive or negative impact of economic, environmental oder social activities, projects or policies in place at companies or organizations and assessing these using pre-defined criteria.
The International Organization for Standardization is an association under Swiss law and the international association of standard-setting bodies. The ISO establishes international standards in all areas except electrical and electronic engineering and telecommunication.
A basic model of the product life cycle defines five phases that a product passes through from market launch to eventual market exit: Introduction, growth, maturity, saturation and decline. The duration of a cycle depends largely on factors such as quality and the supplier’s innovation.
The job of logistics is to ensure the transport, storage, provision, procurement and distribution of goods, people, money, information and energy. This goes hand in hand with the need to manage and control all related tasks.
Masterbatches are plastic additives in the form of granulates that contain color or additives. Masterbatches are mixed into plastics to color them or impart other product properties.
This analysis identifies important sustainability issues for companies and their stakeholders. The results of partial analyses (external, internal, stakeholders) are combined in a materiality matrix.
Net zero emissions
Net zero means reducing the Earth’s carbon footprint to zero in net terms, i.e. after removing emissions through natural or artificial sinks (e.g. large-scale tree planting, carbon sequestration in soils and biomass, restoration of wetlands to permanently capture atmospheric CO2, or bioenergy in combination with CO2 capture and storage). This would make humanity carbon neutral.
The Paris Agreement is the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate change agreement signed by 190 parties. It was adopted at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in December 2015 and sets out a global framework to tackle climate change.
The abbreviation stands for polyethylene terephthalate. PET is a thermoplastic from the polyester family, produced by polycondensation, with a wide range of uses including the production of plastic bottles, films and textile fibers.
Polyolefins are made from oil and gas and are some of the most commonly used plastics thanks to their versatility. They are easy to process, have good chemical resistance and are an electrical insulator. Examples of use include films, bottles, food containers and food packaging.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC defines this as the period between 1850 and 1900. This is the period used to calculate global warming up to the present day.
Primary raw materials
Primary raw materials are natural, unprocessed resources extracted from nature. They include wood, wool, crude oil, iron ore and coal (see also secondary raw materials).
The Austrian training, certification and evaluation institute provides a central, national network hub for system and production certification and for assessing, evaluating and validating these.
The Renewable Energy Certificate System is a certification system for guarantees of origin for electricity from renewable energy. An accompanying certificate is created for each megawatt hour of renewable electricity generated and sold (see also guarantees of origin, bundled and unbundled certificates).
All forms of assessment and evaluation discussed with employees or at least brought to their attention (employee appraisals, performance reviews, team reviews etc.).
Science Based Targets Initiative
The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) promotes climate measures in the private sector by helping companies set science-based emission reduction targets. Targets are considered “science-based” if they tally with what the latest climate science considers necessary to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Secondary raw materials
Secondary raw materials are created by reprocessing primary raw materials. Secondary raw materials are produced through recycling and the use of natural resources can be decreased (see also primary raw materials).
In the context of packaging, a sleeve is a thin piece of plastic used for decoration. The sleeve is attached to the packaging and heated to fit it to the specific shape. It is important that the sleeve and the product can be separated so that they can be recycled.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
This collection of sustainability goals by the United Nations are intended to promote global sustainable development at economic, social and environmental level. They were designed based on the development process for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They came into effect on January 1, 2016 and are in force until 2030. The 17 goals serve to guide sustainable innovation and apply to all countries around the world.
Sustainable Sourcing Policy
The aim of a Sustainable Sourcing Policy is to create a sustainable procurement policy that incorporates social, ethical and environmental performance factors when selecting suppliers. This makes improving performance in environmental, social and ethical issues a key part of the overall business process.
A tipping point marks the time of a transition from one state to a new, stable state in the climate system. This transition does not take place at once – only after slow changes do very rapid changes occur at a particular moment in time due to small triggers, a process involving great uncertainties. The largest tipping point in climate research, for example, is the loss of ice in the Arctic, Greenland and the Antarctic.
Tonne kilometers (tkm)
Unit for calculating transport costs in freight transport per tonne and kilometer.
UN Global Compact
The UN Global Compact is the world’s largest and most important initiative for corporate responsibility and sustainability. Members from business, politics and civil society make a voluntary commitment to upholding ten sustainability principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
Guarantees of origin that are sold, delivered or purchased separately from electricity are considered “unbundled guarantees of origin” as opposed to “bundled certificates”. Electricity customers thus purchase guarantees of origin from another supplier separately to their physical supply of energy.
The United Nations Environment Program is a leading global environmental authority, coordinates United Nations environmental activities, monitors environmental situations worldwide and draws the attention of governments and the international community to emergencies and risks.
The value chain describes the steps along the production chain in order. These activities create value, consume resources and are interconnected in various processes.