Tetra Pak takes steps to address water scarcity and reduce carbon emissions for the dairy sector

Tetra Pak’s new UHT 2.0 heating portfolio combined with Tetra Pak® E3/Speed Hyper bring significant sustainability benefits, cutting GHG emissions and water usage while reducing operational costs by up to 30%

Tetra Pak showcases its new UHT 2.0 heating portfolio and Tetra Pak® E3/Speed Hyper packaging equipment in line with World Milk Day earlier this week in support of this year’s theme of sustainability and Dairy’s commitment to innovation to reduce environmental footprint. Tetra Pak’s new UHT 2.0 portfolio with OneStep technology and Tetra Pak® E3/Speed Hyper reduce water and steam consumption, creating less wastewater and therefore also lowering the cost of its removal for Dairy manufacturers. Adding a Water Filtering Station unit to Tetra Pak® E3/Speed Hyper helps recover up to 95% of the production water of the filling machines, while contributing to lower water consumption.

With water scarcity on the rise, wastewater is increasingly becoming a pressing industry concern. Up to a fifth of Tetra Pak’s customers are based in high or extremely high-risk water areas and the company is prioritising action to address this.

The combination of UHT 2.0 with OneStep technology and Tetra Pak® E3/Speed Hyper scores highly across industry benchmarks for sustainability, with a 0.8 GHG Index score, a 0.3 Water Index score and a Product Losses Index score of 0.71. When compared to a conventional line solution2 this optimal integrated solution reduces GHG emissions by 20%, water usage by 70% and product losses by 30%.

Stefan Fageräng, Managing Director of Tetra Pak South Africa said: ‘As part of Tetra Pak’s wider ambition to reach net zero emissions across the value chain by 2050, we want to be part of the solution to limit climate change for the global dairy sector. To achieve this, accelerating the development of our low carbon circular packaging and equipment portfolio and working to help customers realise their emission reduction targets is a priority. A significant share of emissions comes from the operation of equipment at customers’ sites. Addressing this through innovation and collaboration is vital.’

‘We continuously innovate in both food processing and packaging to offer solutions which enable reduction in water consumption, carbon footprint and product losses. In addition to this, we offer environmental benchmarking and improvement services, helping customers achieve their own sustainability targets. Through this holistic approach to sustainability, our customers will benefit both from low-carbon equipment and packaging, a reduction in operational costs as well as an enhanced brand image – that is increasingly proving attractive to sustainability-savvy consumers,’ Fageräng continued.

Upgrades to Tetra Pak’s UHT 2.0 portfolio will enhance automation possibilities and performance, with the offering representing the strongest in the industry. The new UHT 2.0 portfolio combined with OneStep technology cuts processing steps out of the production line without affecting end-product quality.

Tetra Pak® E3/Speed Hyper represents the future of portion package production. It is one of the world’s fastest aseptic carton filling machines, producing up to 40,000 portion packs per hour, using eBeam5 sterilisation technology to complete the task more efficiently and more rapidly than has previously been possible. This reduces the environmental impact and makes water recycling easier. It couples low-cost high-speed production with significant environmental advantages. While its increased capacity can reduce manufacturers’ operational costs by up to 20%, it also represents a low carbon alternative to aseptic PET – since electricity consumption and carbon footprint are both five times lower than for aseptic PET lines.

The announcement follows Tetra Pak’s 2020 pledge to not only reach net-zero emissions in its own operations by 2030, but to also realise a net-zero emissions ambition across the value chain by 2050. Tetra Pak has planned a step-change in investment levels in sustainable innovation, committing at least €100 million annually over the next 5-10 years. This will help the company realise its goal of offering processing and packaging solutions with a minimal carbon footprint.

Notes:

  1. The combination of UHT 2.0’s OneStep technology with Tetra Pak® E3/Speed Hyper has a 0.8 GHG Index score, a 0.3 Water Index score and a Product Losses Index score of 0.7. A GHG Index is the ratio of the CO2 equivalent on the energy consumption of UHT 2.0’s heating with OneStep technology processing and packaging line with the CO2 equivalent on the energy consumption of a conventional indirect heating line. The UHT2.0 heating line consists of processing equipment including raw milk storage tank, Tetra Pak® Indirect UHT unit D, Homogeniser, Deaerator, Separator Hot Milk, Cream Cooler, Aseptic Tank VD and packaging equipment such as Tetra Pak® E3 Speed Hyper with capacity of 40.000 packs/h connected with Tetra Pak® Water Filtering Station unit and downstream equipment for producing TBA 200 Slim Leaf. The conventional indirect heating line includes an additional Tetra Pak® Pasteurizer D to UHT 2.0 heating processing lines and Tetra Pak® A3 Speed with capacity of 24.000 packs/h without Tetra Pak® Water Filtering Station. The energy consumption is referring to electricity, heating and cooling energy for producing unit of UTH milk of the defined processing and packaging lines. World average of GHG emission factor is applied. This calculation is done by using Tetra Pak Processing Solution and Equipment Global TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) tool, Version 1.3. In the similar way, Water and Product Losses Indexes are calculated.
  2. Benchmark is based on a conventional indirect heating UHT milk processing line with a packaging line that doesn’t use eBeam technology.
  3. Applying a Tetra Pak Water Filtering Station removes lubrication, residues from packaging material, hydrogen peroxide (if using a conventional packaging line) and cleans water before circulating it back into the system. The result on water efficiency is excellent with reductions in water usage by up to 95%, which reduces the water index of the optimal solution by more than half (from 0.6 to 0.3).
  4. Verification and assurance are essential. To that end, Tetra Pak’s practices, processes and performance are verified externally to World-Class Manufacturing standards, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, and Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody and Quality Assurance Management certification. The company’s greenhouse gas emissions data is externally audited.
  5. eBeam is a technology that has been developed by Tetra Pak in collaboration with its partner COMET. The eBeam technology sterilises packaging material using electron beams and replaces the traditional hydrogen peroxide sterilisation process for packaging material while guaranteeing the same sterilisation performance.