South Pole joins the fight to tackle plastic pollution and transition towards a circular economy.

The Plastics Leadership Journey

South Pole supports companies on their plastics leadership journey based on the following five steps:

The Plastics Leadership Journey

Leveraging 15 years of experience in sustainability advisory and our groundbreaking contributions to the 3RI Corporate Accounting Guidelines, we are delighted to introduce the following services to help companies transition towards a circular economy for plastics and packaging:

  • Measurement of plastic footprint and assessment of related risks (e.g. risk of plastic leakage to the environment along the value chain)
  • Development of roadmap and targets to reduce plastic pollution and transition towards a circular economy
  • Design of a strategy that mitigates a company's plastic footprint, including actions within and beyond its value chain
  • Development of a portfolio of plastic reduction projects and related investment opportunities
  • Advise on communications strategy including credible leadership claims

Plastic credits

Plastic credits function like carbon credits and enable the financing of additional plastic collection and recycling projects - subject to third party certification. The concept is being pioneered by the 3R Initiative, which led to the Plastic Waste Reduction Programme managed by Verra. The 3RI Corporate Accounting Guidelines define best practices for corporate plastic stewardship, including guidance on plastic leadership claims using plastic credits.

As with carbon credits, plastic credits are a tool to complement efforts by companies to avoid unnecessary packaging and reduce their plastic footprint as much as possible. This is reflected in the following hierarchy of mitigation activities:

Plastic footprint activities hierarchy

Plastic Action Fund

The Plastic Action Fund is currently under development by South Pole and will serve as a platform for private companies to collectively finance plastic action projects. The Fund will provide upfront financing for plastic reduction/avoidance projects. It will also provide recovery and recycling infrastructure in developing countries, where access to financing is hard to come by. Once the plastic projects are up and running, the fund investors will get exclusive access to the plastic credits generated by the certified projects. Most importantly, the Fund will allow for the development of a customised portfolio of projects based on preferences for geographical and project type, to complement efforts by companies within their own value chains.

Why act now?

Without action, the amount of plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish by 2050, causing significant impact on marine ecosystems, and the plastics production will account for 15% of the world's carbon budget. Growing scientific evidence on the plastics crisis, increased public pressure by NGOs and consumers, combined with new policies and regulations, makes action an imperative for companies involved in the plastics value chain.

Why South Pole?

South Pole's experience in environmental markets and as a trusted sustainability actor makes us the ideal partner to help companies on their plastics leadership journey.

South Pole is a Founding Member of the 3R Initiative and a signatory of the Global Commitment by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Talk to us today to get started on your plastics footprint reduction journey!

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