Since its launch in late 2019, 4evergreen has grown steadily, welcoming new members from across the fibre-based packaging industry who are committed to its goals of increased circularity and sustainability. As the alliance prepares for the second half of 2020, with more members joining and the appetite for change increasing, the reasons behind its creation are as relevant as ever.

In an age where environmental awareness is spreading and, consequently, the concerns of consumers over their own impact are increasing, companies involved in the production of packaging and packaging materials are joining their forces to further optimise the packaging circularity and climate performance. The aim is not only to provide the public with more climate-friendly choices, such as fibre-based packaging, but to also make sure the industry meets the demands of recent and future packaging focused regulations, such as the Single-Use Plastics Directive and the principles of circular economy.

In a bid to boost the contribution of fibre-based packaging in a circular and sustainable economy that minimises climate and environmental impact, Cepi, the European association representing the paper industry, announced the formation of a new alliance, 4evergreen, in November 2019. 4evergreen has been created as a forum to encourage innovation and engage and connect industry members from across the fibre-based packaging value chain; from paper and board producers to packaging converters, brand-owners and retailers, technology and material suppliers, waste sorters and collectors, and more. Today, already 52 companies have joined.

Fibre-based packaging can be a game-changer for material substitution”, says Eija Hietavuo, Chairwoman of 4evergreen and Senior Vice President Sustainability Stora Enso Consumer Board. “Our common goal is to deliver a holistic approach to optimise the sustainability and circularity of the fibre-based packaging’s life cycle.”

4evergreen also aims to increase consumer awareness about the benefits of fibre-based packaging materials, advocate for EU legislation supporting product design for recyclability, and call for the development of optimised collection systems and appropriate recycling infrastructures. “The time to act is now,” adds Jori Ringman, Director General at Cepi. “Our industry already has a strong track record in environmental performance and recycling, with 85% of paper and board packaging already collected and recycled but our ambition is higher. We are driving a system-wide shift to transition to the next level of circularity and climate resilience. 4evergreen is the place for the whole industry value chain to co-create and collaborate for a change.”