Munich, Germany-based IFCO, the world’s leading provider of Reusable Packaging Containers (RPCs), has once again achieved the prestigious Cradle to Cradle Certified® Silver (Version 3.1) for the IFCO European Lift Lock RPCs. In addition to the overall Silver recertification, this Lift Lock range, including the recently launched Banana Lift Lock RPC, was awarded Gold in the assessment category of Material Reutilization, and in the Social Fairness category the IFCO rating advanced from Silver to Gold.
Central to the granting of the Gold rating for Social Fairness is the assessment of IFCO’s commitment to developing and implementing appropriate controls, tools and management procedures to safeguard fundamental human rights. Crucially, IFCO aligns its social responsibilities in the areas of labor, environment and anti-corruption with the key principles of the United Nations Global Compact. In addition, IFCO has widened its support of food banks around the world and entered a long-term agreement with the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) to become their official “RPC Partner.”
Cradle to Cradle Certified is the world’s most advanced science-based, multi-attribute certification program for designing, making and verifying materials and products that are safe, circular and responsibly made. The Version 3.1 program evaluates products across five categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. The overriding aim of Cradle to Cradle Certified is to improve the quality and circularity of products and their related processes so that they have a positive impact on the environment and people. Crucially, a certification is only valid for two years, which is why the IFCO European line of Lift Lock RPCs recently completed the highly demanding recertification process. A key criterion for recertification is the ability to demonstrate ongoing optimization strategies and continuous improvements to the product and processes.
Charles van Reij, Global Packaging, Print & Paper Sector Lead at the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, highlighted the pioneering nature of IFCO’s accomplishment. “IFCO was the first-ever provider of food-safe reusable containers to achieve Cradle to Cradle Certified at the Silver level in 2021,” he said. “This year, after undergoing our rigorous recertification process, we can confirm that IFCO’s commitment to bring sustainable packaging solutions to the fresh food supply chain stands firm. We set the highest standards for recertification in terms of optimization strategies and IFCO meets the challenging criteria for this sustainability certification.”
“IFCO has totally embraced the Cradle to Cradle mindset and taken the circular business model to heart, which I’m happy to say has led to the C2C recertification of their European Lift Lock RPCs,” said Professor Dr. Michael Braungart, co-founder of Cradle to Cradle, in praising IFCO’s longterm approach to sustainable packaging. “IFCO is able to define its material streams as well as recover and recycle their own containers, while all the time ensuring that no contaminations happen during the recycling process. They are a frontrunner in the design and pooling of reusable packaging for the supply chain for fresh products.”
Because of its comprehensive certification process Michael Pooley, IFCO CEO, believes that Cradle to Cradle Certified is a valuable achievement and is delighted with this recertification milestone. “This prestigious Cradle to Cradle Certified certification is the globally recognized standard for sustainable products,” he remarked. “The unique two-year recertification process challenges us to continuously improve our circular business model and to be mindful of the impact of our choices on the environment and the global community. We’re proud to have passed the rigorous recertification process and are delighted to have achieved the Gold level in the Social Fairness category. This certification recognizes the passion that goes into designing and implementing food-safe reusable packaging. We show there is a better way to use, reuse and recycle packaging.”
“Achieving Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver recertification for our European Lift Lock RPCs is a proud moment for the IFCO team,” added Inigo Canalejo, Vice President ESG and Strategic Marketing at IFCO, in underscoring the teamwork and partnerships required to achieve the Cradle to Cradle Certified recertification milestone. “It’s also an opportunity to recognize the commitment of our partners to reducing their carbon footprint and embracing our pioneering circular business model. We look forward to continuing to work together to make the fresh grocery supply chain sustainable.”
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IFCO is the leading global provider of reusable packaging solutions for fresh foods, serving customers in 50+ countries. IFCO operates a pool of over 370 million Reusable Packaging Containers (RPCs) globally, which are used for 2 billion shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, bread, and other items from suppliers to grocery retailers every year. IFCO RPCs ensure a better fresh food supply chain by protecting freshness and quality and lowering costs, food waste and environmental impact compared to single-use packaging. Find out more at www.ifco.com .