IPG operates 28 facilities in the U.S., Canada, Portugal, and India, that produce a variety of paper and film-based pressure-sensitive and water-activated tapes, polyethylene and specialized polyolefin films, protective packaging, engineered coated products, and packaging machinery for industrial and retail use. Our corporate offices, machine assembly, and distribution sites also contribute to our operational footprint.
Environmental performance across our operational footprint is overseen by the Senior Vice-President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary reporting to the Chief Executive Officer and President.
In 2020, we revised our IPG Environmental Policy to align with our vision of embracing sustainability and driving continuous improvement. The policy guides our operations and includes commitments to continual improvement, compliance with environmental laws, regulations, and other applicable requirements, conservation of natural resources, assessment of operational impacts and the systems used to manage them, employee training and education, and transparency, as well as other items. Key successes and challenges in 2020 were largely tied to COVID-19 and the challenges presented with needing to manage our operations with the minimum number of physically present employees at our locations.
Our Operational Footprint SVN’s mission is to eliminate the concept of waste in its broadest terms. In 2020 the team, headed by the Director, Corporate Energy, reporting to the Senior Vice-President, Operations, worked to establish benchmarks, set targets, and develop data collection processes to measure our progress. Our public commitments are to reduce water consumption by 25%, energy intensity by 25%, and CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 (using 2019 as our baseline year). We are exploring goals to reduce waste to landfill and VOC emissions. An IPG Sustainability Summit held in October 2020 provided an opportunity for each of our operating facilities to share successes and challenges and maximize learning across our operations.
As discussed in the Approach to Sustainability Bridge to Excellence IPS section of this report, 15 of our 28 operating facilities have implemented the IPS, an ISO-based management system, and we plan to implement the IPS system at all other facilities-- the majority of which are recent acquisitions. As of 2020, three of our operating facilities, Danville, VA (Manufacturing), Danville, VA (RDC), and Daman, India, are ISO 14001 certified.
We see the effects from climate change worldwide, from more intense storms to changing weather patterns. World leaders have acknowledged the challenge, and at IPG, we have as well. In 2020, we joined REBA, the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, a group of large, clean energy buyers, energy providers, and service providers working with NGO partners to unlock the marketplace for nonresidential energy buyers, enabling a more rapid transition to a zero-carbon energy future.
IPG’s energy efficiency efforts began over fifteen years ago, and we have made significant progress since then. Our Energy Policy, updated in 2020, commits the Company to reduce energy intensity by 2.5% per year (25% by 2030) and CO2 emissions by 3% per year (30% by 2030). IPG’s Sustainability Pillar Team measures progress towards the goals, identifies viable projects, and provides a forum for identifying best practices. Since we established this goal in 2020, and using 2019 as the baseline year, we have reduced our energy intensity by 7.16% and our CO2 emissions by 3.67%. 103-2; RT-CP-110A.2
To achieve these goals, IPG maintains an Energy Action Plan (EAP) that sets out one–and five-year company-wide energy goals and identifies projects to help us meet those goals. Facility progress is reported weekly by a manager at each facility responsible for its energy use, and the Sustainability Pillar Team reviews and updates the plan monthly. An annual IPG Energy and Sustainability Summit, held virtually in 2020, allows for sharing successes and challenges, and recognizing accomplishments.
Notable accomplishments in 2020 include:
- Receiving the 2020 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award (6th year in a row).
- Earning the first ENERGY STAR certification at the Danville Regional Distribution Center.
- Achieving the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry at the Danville stretch film operation by reducing energy intensity by more than 21 percent within four years from a 2015 baseline year.
- Conducting energy treasure hunts at Tremonton, Chicago and Danville. In total, IPG has conducted 18 treasure hunts at various facilities, which have engaged 250 individuals and identified more than $2.3 million in potential savings since we adopted the approach in 2013.
- Obtaining ISO 50001 certification in Truro, Nova Scotia.
- Maintaining partnerships with SmartWay and UPS Carbon Neutral.
In 2020, these efforts resulted in:
- A 7.03% decrease in direct (Scope 1) energy use and a 1.95% decrease in indirect (Scope 2) energy use from 2019 to 2020.
- A 7.16% reduction in energy intensity in 2020 compared to 2019, adding to the 3.7% reduction in energy intensity in 2019 compared to 2018.*
- A 5.86% reduction in direct CO2 emissions and 2.19% increase in indirect CO2 emissions in 2020 compared to 2019.
- A 2.79% reduction in carbon intensity in 2020 compared to 2019.
- Savings of over $441,000 in avoided energy costs in 2020 and approximately $6.5 million since 2009.
IPG is continuing to work on programs to improve the efficiency of our distribution network. Even though COVID-19 challenges may have slowed down the transportation network, we undertook to broaden our pool points across the country (grouping shipments for the initial portion of the trip) and reducing our footprint in the less-than-full-truckload (LTL) network, increasing logistic efficiency, and further reducing our overall impact on the planet. In 2020 the expanded use of pool points resulted in a savings of over 651,000 CO2 metric tons. We are planning on expanding this service to further reduce CO2 emissions in 2021.
IPG has participated in EPA’s SmartWay program since 2010. SmartWay data provided to IPG reported 28,492 metric tons of CO2 associated with upstream distribution in 2018 and 49,061 metric tons in 2019 (the increase is primarily due to increased sales volume and the acquisition of Polyair Inter Pack Inc., which took place in the third quarter of 2018). The SmartWay program has allowed us to partner with transportation providers who work with the EPA to enhance their supply chains’ sustainability. We did realize a 21% decrease in the percent of total SmartWay miles from 2018 to 2019 primarily due to the acquisition of incumbent carriers. IPG also participates in the UPS Carbon Neutral Program. In 2020, UPS offset approximately 930 metric tons through its Carbon Neutral Program. 305-3 
* Reduction from 2019 to 2018 included only, Blythewood, Brighton, Cornwall, Carbondale, Danville. Delta, Marysville, Menasha, Midland, Tremonton and Truro
 EPA Smartway Program evaluates shippers compliance annually in Q4 for the previous calendar year. 2019 data is not available until late 2020 and is therefore not reported.
* Excludes Polyair, Maiweave, and Karoli.
Energy Star Timeline
We have received the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award every year since 2016, as well as receiving the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry at numerous U.S. and Canadian plant locations.
Waste does not exist in a circular economy, as every waste product is a raw material for another process. Our Operational Footprint SVN has a mission to eliminate the concept of waste and explore a wide variety of opportunities to meet that challenge.
IPG generates both hazardous and non-hazardous wastes during the manufacturing of our products. The vast majority of wastes are non-hazardous in nature. Impacts from our wastes could occur from spills or releases of liquid waste, or landfilling. Currently, our wastes are recycled, incinerated for waste to energy, or otherwise disposed of. 306-1
As discussed in the Our Products section of this report, IPG is making significant efforts to minimize the environmental impacts from our products, increase the use of renewable raw materials, and think about designing our manufacturing processes with a circular approach. Waste minimization efforts have been in place at IPG for years and have been extremely successful. We are currently exploring goals to reduce our waste-to-landfills. All waste generation is measured and tracked. We evaluate waste contractors when setting them up as vendors. 306-2
Our waste generation and disposal activities in 2020 are shown in the adjacent table. 306-3; 306-4; 306-5; RT-CP-150A.1
Water is a scarce resource in many parts of the world. In 2020, IPG completed a water risk analysis using the World Resources Institute Aqueduct tool to evaluate the status of water resources in the areas in which we operate and determined that seven of our operating facilities, or 27 percent, were in parts of the world considered to be at high or extremely high-water risk.
In 2020, we developed an IPG Water Policy that commits us to reduce water withdrawal by 25% by 2030, using 2019 as our baseline year, focusing on reductions at those operations with water stress conditions. To arrive at this goal, we worked with MBDC and our Operational Footprint SVN to identify a target that made sense for IPG, informed by benchmarking. IPG’s Sustainability Pillar Team has the role of measuring progress towards achieving the water reduction goals, identifying projects, and providing a forum for identifying best practices. We made progress against this goal in 2020, with a 36.25 megaliter (6.37%) reduction in our water use, with 6.83 mega-liters of this reduction coming from facilities in water-stressed locations. 303-1
To assist in meeting this goal, we formed a water conservation team with representatives from the IPG manufacturing sites located in water-stressed areas and began the work to identify opportunities to reduce our water use. Several have already been implemented, including changing the time that solar panels at our Indian facilities are washed from day to evening, when evaporation from the day’s heat lessens. Other actions taken by our manufacturing facilities involve installing chillers with closed-loop cooling at some locations and developing a water conservation video to raise water conservation awareness among our employees at our Daman and Dahej sites.
Longer-term, we are cognizant of the risks operating in water-stressed areas present, including the availability of adequate and clean water supplies for our operations, our potential impact on water supplies in water-stressed regions, and the ability to discharge wastewater and meet discharge requirements. To manage these risks, IPG will implement continuous improvement programs to reduce water consumption, consider significant water users when identifying opportunities for improvement, and provide ongoing training for IPG employees on water conservation techniques. We also will consider performance in the design of new equipment and processes, along with modifications to existing equipment and processes for the facility, implement water conservation best practices and technologies at facilities expected to have the greatest water-related impacts, and implement projects that will positively impact local and supply chain water issues. 303-1; RT-CP-140A.2
IPG purchases water for our operating sites in the United States and Canada from public service companies and tracks usage using utility reports. In Portugal, water is sourced from municipal water and groundwater wells, and in India, our four operating facilities obtain their water from a combination of municipal and groundwater sources. Our water usage (withdrawal) volume decreased 6.37% from 2019 to 2020, primarily due to capital projects and our water conservation efforts. 303-1
At all our operating facilities, wastewater is either captured and trucked offsite for disposal or discharged to the local publicly owned treatment works in accordance with applicable permits, discharge limitations, and regulations. 303-2 We do not track wastewater discharge volumes. 303-4 In 2020, we experienced two incidents of non- compliance associated with water quality permits, standards, and regulations RT-CP-140A.3.