As a limited partner in the fund, Huhtamaki said the investment will help foster “next-generation sustainable packaging solutions” and tap into “nascent innovation” from startups.
The Finnish company told us that it will not disclose how much cash it will put into the fund. However, a spokesperson explained, the investment is one part of Huhtamaki’s three-pronged approach to packaging innovation, which aims to work together with startups while investing in acquiring new technology capabilities and driving internal innovation capabilities.
“At Huhtamaki, we have consciously decided to invest in acquiring and developing new technology capabilities, drawing on internal expertise in our business segments to solve key innovation challenges, but also seeking best practices to strengthen our innovation capabilities. This means that we also look for opportunities to partner with multiple stakeholders in the value chain and across industries to design for circularity, covering a wide range of systems and products.
“We believe that together we can create incremental, game-changing, transformational innovation that can lead to lasting, systemic change beyond the present. Ultimately, this collective effort can help us succeed in protecting food, people and the planet, while also delivering significant business value.”
Carbon neutral production and circular design
Huhtamaki is committed to ensuring that its innovation for sustainable packaging solutions has a net positive impact. By 2030, the company aims to achieve carbon neutral production and design all of its products to be recyclable, compostable or reusable.
Innovation is a key lever for Huhtamaki to deliver on this ambition. Therefore, the packaging supplier is working to develop a “next generation transformational innovation”.
“In order for us to proactively drive next-generation innovation that will change the face of the packaging industry, we must investigate every avenue and partner with experts to do so. Our focus is to deliver sustainable packaging solutions, with a net positive impact, driving accessibility, affordability, hygiene and food safety for consumers around the world.”explained Charles Héaulmé, president and CEO of Huhtamaki.
Héaulmé said Emerald’s sustainable packaging fund aligns with the packaging maker’s own strategic priorities, adding that the VC’s “experience and global reach” will help it “explore new possibilities” to create value for customers, shareholders, employees and the planet.
“With the investment, we are looking for opportunities to collaborate with new partners to help foster next-generation sustainable packaging solutions.”Huhtamaki told FoodNavigator.
Collaborate to generate impact throughout the packaging lifecycle
Tech-focused VC Emerald announced the launch of its sustainable packaging fund last April. It is one of the first corporate-backed investment vehicles to focus on the full packaging lifecycle.
With the global packaging sector poised for growth amid a major push to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, the fund aims to catalyze leaps in advanced materials and industrial technologies that will benefit the planet and gain ” significant returns.
Emerald will seek investments in sectors at all stages of the circular economy, from smart packaging to raw materials and plastics recycling.
“Packaging is a vital part of our modern business landscape, and we are excited to work with Huhtamaki in developing sustainable solutions that ensure packaging innovation has a positive impact.”commented Gina Domanig, managing partner of Emerald.
This is not Huhtamaki’s first foray into the startup world. The investment follows Huhtamaki’s previous collaboration with startups, launched in 2020 as part of Huhtamaki’s centennial, which, a spokesperson said, demonstrated the “value of partnerships” in identifying, developing and implementing “systemic solutions to deliver game-changing sustainable packaging. for the future.
Packaging innovation is a hot topic. Manufacturers are working to balance the need to address plastic pollution and reduce the carbon footprint of packaging while maintaining the functional and protective attributes of food packaging.
Huhtamaki will be joining FoodNavigator’s upcoming panel on packaging innovation as part of our climate smart foodevent next week (September 20-22).
Along with speakers from the Consumer Goods Forum, Great Wrap, Refresco and FoodBytes! For Rabobank, Huhtamaki will outline innovative approaches to F&B packaging.
Climate-Smart Food is a free, three-day digital broadcast event presented by FoodNavigator. Through a series of interactive panels, presentations and informal interviews, we will ask how to make the transition to a climate-smart food system.