Carter Holt Harvey Packaging turning waste into energy and product
Carter Holt Harvey (CHH), in conjunction with Carter Holt Harvey Packaging, is a truly circular business. Wood from sustainably managed forests and recycled paper finds its way into a multitude of products and, in the case of the packaging division, is turned into over 100 million ‘multiwall’ bags and 120 million paper cups each year, along with its specialty cardboards used in many packaging types.
Alongside, CHH also runs Fullcircle Recycling, which re-collects those items, along with 300,000-tonnes of recovered paper, processes it all, and the cycle begins again. It’s a long way from the humble beginnings of the original ‘Paper Chase’, a community based recycling initiative kicked off by the Scouts over 50 years ago.
What makes this all the more impressive, is that CHH generates nearly 80% of its electricity internally by using renewable sources such as wood processing residues and geothermal steam. “We have a bio energy resource available and we utilise it,” says Murray Parrish, environment manager at CHH. “Also grid electricity used at CHH manufacturing sites is largely hydro, geothermal, and wind generated.” The upshot of this energy innovation is that a much smaller amount of carbon is embodied in the production of every individual piece of packaging, and a hugely competitive offering for companies looking for an eco-friendly option for packaging their products. This is ultimately good for business, the environment and for consumers.