HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Novolex™, an industry leader in packaging and foodservice product choice, innovation and sustainability, has published its first Sustainability Report, which focuses on its operations, products and people that contribute to building our company and having a positive impact on society.
“Novolex has grown rapidly. Our first report catalogs our sustainability accomplishments and enables us to identify new opportunities to meet our obligations as a responsible corporate citizen,” explained Stan Bikulege, Novolex Chairman and CEO. “How Novolex performs on environmental and social metrics is increasingly important to our customers and to the communities where our products are produced and used. The report also is a way to share our accomplishments, such as our safety program, with our more than 10,000 employee families who contribute every day to our success.”
A key component of Novolex operations and product strategies are sourcing practices designed to reduce the use of virgin fiber and plastic resin content. In 2018, 48 percent of the fiber used in operations consisted of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content. The company’s Dubl Life® paper bags, for example, use 100 percent recycled fiber, increasingly sourced from corrugated boxes that have proliferated because of deliveries due to e-commerce, and can also be recycled.
Plastic resin used by the company consisted of a total of 20 percent recycled content, of which 6 percent was PCR content and 14 percent post-industrial (PI) recycled content. Use of PCR content was driven in part by the company’s long-standing Bag-2-Bag® program that recycles plastic consumer retail bags as well as films such as dry-cleaning bags, newspaper bags, pallet wrap and more. The company operates two world-class recycling centers where it processes both PCR and PI material. The company’s commitment to reduce waste is further supported by its Eco-Products® division, whose offerings include compostable foodservice packaging and broader collaboration with customers to advance zero waste strategies.
To prepare the report, the company also collected enterprise-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data, an important operations-based environmental metric for a number of stakeholders. The data will provide a vital benchmark for future reporting both for customers and other opportunities such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and help Novolex assess where reductions may be feasible.
“The 2018 Novolex Sustainability Report represents a key step towards establishing what we stand for as a company,” said Erik Gonring, Novolex Director of Sustainability. “Importantly, the preparation of our first report provided an opportunity to look across our business through an environmental and social lens and identify opportunities to improve the circularity of our products. We have benchmarked critical programs and the results of that exercise will enable us to identify goals in the years to come.”
The people of Novolex are key to our success and their safety is a company priority. The report reveals workplace health and safety initiatives in place across the company’s 61 facilities and the positive impact these programs have had. Incidents of workplace injury, measured by the industry standard of Total Injury Recordable (TIR) Rate, have declined consistently over the past five years, eclipsing the industry norm, all while integrating new businesses.
Social obligations that reflect both the broader environment, social and governance (ESG) framework and customer priorities regarding workplace responsibility, are also discussed in the report. As part of its commitment to ethics and responsibility, the company integrates both an internal workplace responsibility and supply chain social compliance program.
The report provides a starting point for Novolex. The company will continue to assess performance against ESG goals to define ways to improve existing program performance and identify new opportunities. Collaboration has been and will remain an important part of that process. Engaging with customers and suppliers, interest groups and policy makers and with members of the Novolex family can ensure different viewpoints are understood and can continue to inform company sustainability strategies.
The full report can be downloaded at https://novolex.com/novolex-sustainability/.
Novolex™ develops and manufactures diverse packaging and food service products that touch nearly every aspect of daily life for multiple industries ranging from grocery, food packaging, restaurant and retail to medical applications and building supplies. The Novolex family of brands provides customers innovative paper and plastic solutions for their business needs today while investing in research and development to engineer more sustainable choices for the future. With more than 10,000 employee families, Novolex operates 61 manufacturing plants in North America and Europe, including two world-class plastic film recycling facilities. To learn more about Novolex, visit www.Novolex.com.