Thomas Körmendi: Our aim is to protect the product and the planet
Having announced the creation of GLS Elopak earlier this year, Elopak CEO Thomas Körmendi discusses the company’s latest plans and vision for India and beyond.
07 Oct 2022 | By Abhay Avadhani
WhatPackaging? (WP?): Why India and why now?
Thomas Körmendi (TK): India is exciting because it is the largest milk market and the fastest growing liquid carton packaging market in the world. Having identified an opportunity to enter into a long-term strategic partnership with GLS, we are now working to leverage our respective expertise, assets and networks to capitalise on the significant consumer demand in India.
WP?: Is that what warranted the creation of GLS Elopak?
TK: The creation of GLS Elopak is one of the key steps we have taken in recent months to deliver on our growth strategy. Elopak already sells more than 14 billion cartons every year across more than 70 countries, but we believe we are well positioned to meet growing global demand for sustainable
packaging thanks to our strong track record and investment in sustainability-focused innovations.
WP?: What are Elopak's plans for rolling out products and services in the country?
TK: GLS Elopak caters to both fresh and aseptic segments with applications such as dairy, plant-based drinks, juice, water and liquor. We have started with offering Roll-Fed aseptic cartons under the brand Alpak in various sizes, along with end-to-end service support to customers. Next, we plan to introduce Pure-Pak fresh cartons, Pure-Pak aseptic cartons and complementary solutions. We see huge potential to grow this offering in the future and offer brands and consumers in India with some of Elopak’s latest innovations.
WP?: What does Elopak's packaging bring to the market?
TK: The UN estimates that over one million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and over half of all plastic products are thrown away after just one use, with roughly 400 million tonnes of plastic waste produced each year. Elopak’s beverage cartons provide a natural and convenient alternative to plastic bottles and fit within a low carbon circular economy. Our aim is to protect both the product and the planet, offering brands and consumers a packaging solution that empowers them to make environmentally conscious choices and helps them to reach their sustainability goals.
Elopak and GLS is headquartered in Gurugram
WP?: How sustainable is Elopak's packaging?
TK: Beverage cartons are a natural and convenient alternative to plastic bottles that fit within a low-carbon circular economy.
WP?: Is there any data to substantiate this?
TK: Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) studies have shown that these cartons, which are based primarily on paperboard, contribute to fewer greenhouse gas emissions and have a lower carbon footprint than plastic bottles. For instance, a May 2021 LCA conducted for fresh milk and juice packaging in North America found that cartons have a 32% smaller carbon footprint than HDPE bottles and 60% smaller than PET. Elopak’s iconic Pure-Pak cartons are designed with the environment, safety and convenience front of mind and are made using renewable, recyclable and sustainably sourced material.
WP?: Describe your sustainability commitment?
TK: We also take our commitment to sustainability as a company very seriously. Sustainability is not something we do; it is something we are. Elopak is a UN Global Compact participant with a platinum EcoVadis rating and has been carbon neutral since 2016. The company is working to become a net-zero company by 2050, with its company-wide emission reduction targets verified by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). We believe that now is the time to shift our focus from simply doing less harm towards doing more good.
WP? What is next for the new company - GLS Elopak in India?
TK: In the coming weeks and months we look forward to bringing on board new customers and growing our offering in India to include some of Elopak’s latest innovations. Working alongside GLS we are excited to leverage our joint expertise to make sure we deliver so that consumers in India are empowered to make more environmentally conscious choices when it comes to packaging.
Thomas Körmendi, CEO, Elopak India