Protecting biodiversity and ecosystems
We see that protecting biodiversity plays an important role in our business with climate change as one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss. Biodiversity loss is a threat to long-term economic sustainability, as species and ecosystems cannot adapt to severe climate change. Biodiversity is the variety of living species and ecosystems on Earth. Healthy ecosystems generate oxygen, supply food and resources, provide wildlife habitat and ensure pollination. Biodiversity is part of renewable natural capital, and it is affected by climate and human activities, such as forest and land use, agriculture and manufacturing.
Promoting biodiversity through sustainable sourcing of fiber and local cooperation
For Huhtamaki, forests are one of the main natural resources for fiberbased materials. Preventing loss or degradation of forests is essential to mitigate climate change and manage fiber-based production systems sustainably. Conservation of natural habitats helps reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. Growing forests remove carbon and store them in carbon sinks. In biologically diverse forests, organisms can adapt to continually changing environmental conditions and maintain ecosystem functions.
As Huhtamaki does not own forests directly, we promote forest biodiversity by engaging with our suppliers in protecting natural ecosystems, managing land and water use sustainably, as well as ensuring sustainable sourcing practices. During 2021, we published our Environmental Policy where we commit to sustainable forestry and biodiversity protection. Huhtamaki is committed to zero deforestation and no use of illegal or controversial wood fiber sources. We do not use tree species listed by the Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) in our raw materials or products. To ensure that our wood fiber supply is responsibly produced, we source virgin fiber from certified forests (FSC®, PEFC™ or SFI®) and target to have 100% fiber from recycled or certified sources by 2030.
We acknowledge that local communities contribute to biodiversity conservation through their knowledge of local flora and fauna, local circumstances and practices. We aim to cooperate with local communities through structured community work and ensure their involvement in relevant decision-making processes. In 2021, Huhtamaki engaged with community involvement projects that had significant impact on biodiversity protection and restoring degraded habitats, such as cleaning up the Mithi river in India and working with WasteAid in Vietnam, India and South Africa to drive innovations supporting circular economy in urban areas. Going forward, we will continue to safeguard biodiversity in our operations and work closely with our value chain to promote the protection of ecosystems and our natural capital.
In 2021, we joined the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) that aims to provide organizations a framework for evaluating, mitigating, and disclosing their nature-related risks and opportunities. The TNFD is a joint initiative by Global Canopy, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Joining TNFD helps us deepen our understanding on how our activities impact nature, and to explore potential ways to measure and address our nature related risks and opportunities.