03 Feb, 2022

Certification spotlight: IFCO Lift Lock reusable fresh food packaging

IFCO, the leading global provider of reusable packaging for fresh grocery products, recently introduced a comprehensive Environmental Social Governance (ESG) strategy.

Certification spotlight: IFCO Lift Lock reusable fresh food packaging

Rooted in the principles of the circular economy, the strategy is designed to help IFCO achieve the ambition of net zero carbon emissions in its value chain by 2040, help combat climate change, embrace diversity and inclusion, and reduce food waste and single-use packaging. Last year, IFCO reached a milestone in its journey towards these objectives by achieving Cradle to Cradle Certified® at the Silver level for its Lift Lock range in Europe – the first and only reusable food packaging container range to receive certification.

Reusable Lift Lock Crates

IFCO Lift Lock crates are reused up to 120 times, repaired when needed and granulated at the end of their life cycle to produce new crates. This process offers numerous environmental benefits, which have been validated by third-party peer-reviewed LCAs. For example, IFCO enables significant CO2e, water and energy savings compared to single-use packaging, as well as reducing solid and food waste. In turn, using the IFCO crates helps enable producers, retailers and consumers to do their part to protect the environment and create a resource-efficient supply chain. In 2021 IFCO customers shared and reused IFCO crates 1.9 billion times, reducing the carbon footprint in their supply chain by 616,699 metric tons compared to using single-use packaging. This is equivalent to taking 330,000 cars off the road for an entire year.

“Reusing materials as much as possible before recycling them is a key part of keeping our products and materials in a continuous cycle of use and reuse. It also helps our customers reduce waste throughout the food packaging supply chain,” says IFCO SYSTEMS CEO Michael Pooley. “Cradle to Cradle certification has also provided us with a framework for going beyond the current status quo to ensure material safety and circularity, and that our business practices align with the highest standards of social fairness and resource stewardship along the way. In other words, it is about making a positive impact on our society and on our environment.”

The Lift Lock range received a Gold performance rating for product circularity thanks to the company’s process for repairing and reusing containers - a fundamental part of IFCO’s circular mode, IFCO SmartCycle™.

“Cradle to Cradle Certified gives our customers, and in turn consumers, unprecedented transparency into the way IFCO does business,” Pooley adds. “We plan to use recertification every two years to drive new innovations and advancements in safe, circular and responsible food packaging solutions.”