Avery Dennison Corporate / A Sustainability Conversation with Maarten Eddes

A Sustainability Conversation with
Maarten Eddes

"Our 2025 Sustainability Goal is to achieve at least 3 percent absolute reduction year over year. We are making great progress, and with the speed of technology and increasing availability of renewable energy, this way of working ensures we have the latest information. "

Whether we’re making CSR investments that support responsible forestry in Vietnam, responsibly sourcing materials or innovating more environmentally friendly technologies and processes, Avery Dennison is firmly committed to our 2025 Sustainability Goals.

Recently, we caught up with our colleague, Maarten Eddes, global business and process manager for Indirect Procurement and Sustainability Contact for Europe, to discuss Avery Dennison’s approach to GHG emission reduction and enabling renewable sources of energy.  

Tell us about your role at Avery Dennison and the businesses you support.

I work in procurement with global responsibility for procurement processes.  I also serve as the category manager for utilities across Europe and leader for sustainability initiatives for indirect procurement. I support corporate initiatives as well our Label and Graphic Materials and Industrial Health Care businesses.

maarten eddes
maarten eddes

How is Avery Dennison taking a holistic approach to GHG emission reduction?

There are many functions involved in decision making for sourcing our energy.  We have an engineering team managing our operations facilities, a procurement team negotiating prices, and then a sustainability team focused on cleaner energy solutions and investment in renewable energy. Over the last few years, we have joined the initiatives, bringing together everyone’s expertise to align on our strategy and specific projects going on in each region.  

Our 2025 Sustainability Goal is to achieve at least 3 percent absolute reduction year over year. We are making great progress, and with the speed of technology and increasing availability of renewable energy, this way of working ensures we have the latest information.   

Avery Dennison successfully introduced a wind turbine at its Turnhout, Belgium facility. What was that process was like, the impact on operations, and the financial benefit of investing in this kind of infrastructure projects?

The wind turbine project was a learning process for everyone involved. The project is a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), in combination with a private wire, and was interesting for a few reasons:

  1. There was no investment from the Avery Dennison side. The project developer leases our land and put up the wind turbine. The developer is responsible for the electricity production and maintenance of the wind turbine.

  2. In Belgium, a private wire connection with delivery behind the meter is very advantageous as you don’t have to pay for the non-energy costs that you normally would pay (i.e. costs for the national grid and taxes). This is a saving of around 50% of the Total Cost (of Ownership).

  3. We are getting the GoOs (Guarantees of Origin) that are produced by the wind turbine so we can claim that the energy produced by the wind turbine and we consumed was indeed green.

What are European green energy certificates, and how do they work?

The Guarantees of Energy (GoO) market is a parallel market to the electricity market. You can buy your electricity from your supplier, including or excluding a GoO. Avery Dennison decided to buy the GoO’s separately, as we believe this is more cost-effective and a way to foster clean energy. There are many different types of GoO’s available in the market for different prices.

What do you think the business case is for renewable energy?

We think about renewable energy in a few different ways:

  1. Where can we find operational efficiencies? Manufacturing requires energy, and in a growing business, in certain locations and time of year, that energy requirement can be intense. Our first strategy is to use the minimum amount of energy to make a high quality product. Then, with that minimum amount of energy, how do we source?

  2. Where it makes financial sense, directly source the renewable energy, as in the Turnhout example.

  3. Where there is not a financial business case - typically due to the amount of renewable energy that can be generated in a geography (e.g. amount of sunshine in Cleveland) we have taken a strategy of investing in GoO or other PPA agreements where we are investing in "additionality," or new sources of renewable energy.

From your perspective, where are we in terms of energy consumption globally?

Over the last three years, after the Paris Agreement, every major manufacturer is aware of the link of energy and GHG emissions. Across the world, we are seeing companies work towards reducing energy and their emissions. And where companies are not paying attention, we are seeing legislation come into place to protect the communities surrounding the highest emission areas. (Eg. 2017 China shutdown 40% of factories.)

As a result of the focus on emissions, we also see the the utility markets are changing around the world given new technology and consumer focus on doing their part. In the past, a utility company and network delivered the electricity to your business or home, but now there are many different options. Businesses or homeowners can now produce all or part of their own energy demand via wind turbines, solar panels and/or heat exchangers. Batteries will play a larger role in the near future. When you produce electricity during the day via solar panels, you can store it in batteries (such as the battery of your electrical vehicle) and use it later.

We thank Maarten Eddes for his time and for sharing his insights about sustainability and Avery Dennison’s approach to green energy. As we work toward achieving our 2025 sustainability goals, we’re thinking bigger and reaching higher to serve as a force for good.

To learn more about our sustainability efforts, visit www.sustainability.averydennison.com.

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