On World Rainforest Day, illus-tree-ous ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s has made an unbe-LEAF-able announcement. Ben & Jerry’s has become the first food brand in the Pack4Good initiative — committing to ensure its paper packaging does not come at the expense of the world’s most vital forest ecosystems. Instead, the company will prioritize lower impact solutions focused on reducing waste and employing Next Generation innovation in its packaging.
The world’s forests are being logged at an alarming rate — three billion trees a year go into the paper packaging supply chain. To put a fine pint on it, that many trees would fill an area the size of Germany. The necessary shift away from single-use plastics could put even more forests in danger, so it is time for food companies to replace high-carbon, single-use tree fibre with more circular feedstocks like recycled paper or agricultural residues to make paper packaging.
“Our environmental standards and commitments are very important to us as a company, and to the legacy Ben & Jerry’s wants to have in the world,” said Jenna Evans, Head of Global Sustainability for Ben & Jerry’s. “Protecting forests and doing everything we can to stabilize climate is an integral part of our work, and we are looking forward to collaborating with Canopy. We are committed to using the most sustainable paper packaging options.”
Pack4Good is an initiative spearheaded by international environmental non-profit Canopy. The initiative is dedicated to shifting the global paper packaging supply chain to protect the world’s most high-carbon, high-biodiversity forests.
“How tree-mendous to celebrate World Rainforest Day with one of the food sector’s most forward-thinking companies taking action to protect the world’s forests, climate, and biodiversity,” said Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s Founder and Executive Director. “We cone-gratulate Ben & Jerry’s on joining the Pack4Good movement to revolutionize paper packaging, kickstarting the production of game-changing, low-carbon solutions and saving forests in the process.”
Ben & Jerry’s is the first major food brand to scoop up Canopy’s Pack4Good initiative, signaling a shift in the trend to frame all paper packaging as sustainable. Ben & Jerry’s Pack4Good policy states that, by the end of 2022, Ben & Jerry’s paper packaging will:
- Reduce material use by design
- Maximize recycled and alternative Next Generation fibers (such as agricultural residues)
- Use FSC-certified wood when virgin forest fiber continues to be used
- Continue to be free of Ancient and Endangered Forest fiber
With the addition of Ben & Jerry’s, the Pack4Good initiative now has 341 brands, worth 194 bn USD in collective annual revenue, united in shifting their paper packaging supply away from vital ecosystems and investing in low-impact, recycled, reusable, and Next Generation alternatives.