Eco-efficiency at Huhtamaki means continuously working to reduce negative environmental impacts through efficiency improvements in our operations and our products.
Huhtamaki uses both primary energy sources, such as natural gas, and secondary energy, such as electricity. Primary energy is mainly used in the drying process for fiber based products. Electricity is used in the production process for flexible, films and paperboard products. In addition, electricity is used for heating, lighting and internal logistics.
Treasure hunts diminsh energy use
Jani Saarinen, continuous improvement program manager an Six Sigma Black Belt at Huhtamaki's Hämeenlinna, Finland, site: "During two days, 27 people searched our whole site for possible energy saving objects. We saw where energy was unnecessarily consumed, like having lights on. We also located leakages in the compressed air devices by listening. The same search routine was performed when machines were shut down, started and in normal use."
Similar energy treasure hunts were performed at other sites. They have already lead to 4-5% savings in annual relative energy consumption on targeted sites. New actions to save energy are constantly discovered and the treasure hunt concept will be applied at all Huhtamaki sites. This type of energy saving effort will soon expand to include waste hunts to improve material efficiency.
Material use is key to eco-efficiency at Huhtamaki. Ultra-thin layers of raw material are used to produce both flexible packaging and films and plastic materials are recycled internally, sold and later used to make flower pots. Virgin fiber also is recycled internally to make plates.
Huhtamaki works to reduce energy consuming raw material layers further and develop lighter traditional packaging without sacrificing functional and protective properties or the highest standards for hygiene and safety. In addition, solvents used for printing and small fiber particles are recovered at some sites that use these materials. Overall, Huhtamaki recovers 84% of all waste from production.