ITC’s sustainable packaging revenue doubled in a year; to invest in plant-based moulded fibre plant in MP – Sanjiv Puri

11 August 2023

ITC’s Paperboards, Paper and Packaging Business is today one of India’s largest, greenest and technologically advanced. India’s ambitious growth trajectory is expected to drive demand for high quality value-added paperboards and sustainable packaging. Current per capita paperboard and paper consumption in India is considerably low at 14 kgs, compared to world average of 57 kgs, pointing to the growth potential. The emerging trend for plastic substitution will also provide further fillip to the demand for paperboards and plant-based moulded fibre biodegradable products.

In order to realise the significant market potential, the ITC Next strategy for the Paperboards and Packaging Business entails development of a portfolio of Value-Added Paperboards and Sustainable Packaging, strengthening structural competitiveness, scaling up a cost-effective fibre chain and leveraging opportunities arising out of the mega trends of digital and sustainability.  

The Value-Added Paperboards portfolio has been fortified with substantial capacity augmentation in the last 5 years. The Paperboard Business, together with the Packaging Business, is at the forefront of developing sustainable packaging solutions and a range of planet-friendly, biodegradable and recyclable products have been launched on existing platforms under the ‘Filo’, ‘Omega’, ‘Bio-seal’ and ‘Oxyblock’ series. These eco-labelled products have recorded a 2x increase in revenue over last year. Pioneering work has been undertaken to create a new platform with exciting market opportunity for substituting plastic packaging with plant-based premium moulded fibre products that are capable of solving complex engineering and aesthetic requirements. Accordingly, ITC is investing in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh, to manufacture technologically sophisticated products with promising applications in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, electronics and other sectors.

The Business is an acknowledged icon of environmental stewardship, with focus on decarbonisation, sequestration and livelihood generation. The recent state-of-the-art High-Pressure Recovery Boiler commissioned at Bhadrachalam will reduce coal usage by one-third while improving ITC’s share of renewable energy by 6%. ITC’s afforestation programme has greened over 1 million acres and supported over 190 million person-days of employment for marginal farmers whilst creating a sustainable and competitive fibre chain for ITC.

It is evident that a competitive wood-based industry can generate large economic multipliers, enable significant carbon sequestration and livelihood generation. Our country has 30 million hectares of degraded forest land capable of being converted into productive and green assets. An enabling policy framework that would permit enterprises to lease degraded forest land can enhance competitiveness, spawn new wood-based industries, enable import substitution to the tune of US$ 4 billion annually, create large carbon sinks and generate significant rural employment of nearly 1.3 billion person-days.
ITC’s manufacturing excellence, thrust on digital, sustainability and frugal innovation capacity will enable competitively superior performance whilst also creating significant environmental and social capital as it embraces the vast opportunities ahead.