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Looking Beyond Current Hesitations

One would think that after the COVID-19 pandemic we would sail through calmer waters, but as the end of 2022 approaches, I can’t help but ponder on the uneasy realization that we’re not liberated from COVID variants. Further, we have navigated through another set of immense challenges - endless supply chain issues; a terrible, unjust war in Europe; resounding inflationary pressure; and a widespread sentiment that the world economy is about to collapse. Alas, a disappointing COP-27 conference lacked introducing tangible measures to stem climate-change. In other words, the immediate future appears highly uncertain and several long-term options seem worrisome at best.

So, how do we not succumb to pessimism? Beyond being thankful for the opportunities afforded to us, we have our vision “to provide the best packaging solutions for people and planet” to guide our thinking and behavior. If we stay the course we’ve laid out, we will be able to pursue our drive for a safer, more sustainable future and impart a smaller resource footprint. We will strive towards a circular economy keeping people, ourselves, our communities, and customers central to our objectives.

Let’s not forget our pursuit of Winpak’s vision begins with our own people. Although many may think of Winpak as the physical sites and machinery that we operate, it is the people at Winpak that make us who we are. So, let’s relentlessly pursue our commitment to zero accidents in all sites, accelerate our innovation drive towards sustainable products, and deepen our diversity, equity, and inclusion actions.

Sharing and building upon a more diverse background will help improve all aspects of our organization especially when considering innovation, whether in business and human resource processes or with new products and manufacturing capabilities. Broader consultations, wider inclusions, and diverse ideas will help accelerate and enhance the quality of our innovation ecosystem. We have a unique opportunity to change the game going forward, accelerating the path of the sustainability transformation, positioning ourselves as a clear market leader, and enabling growth in revenues and earnings for Winpak. This year, we instituted awareness days and recognized Indigenous Peoples Day, International Women’s Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This is in addition to World Food Day where Winpak acknowledges the challenges of our food supply chain and steps we take to improve food protection and security. In 2023, we will continue to recognize these awareness days, and are especially looking forward to celebrating International Women’s Day with its new theme – “Embrace Equity”.  

Besides expanding our portfolio of recyclable products and products from renewable resources, we are aligning ourselves with existing and future sources of post-consumer recycled materials. To that end, three sites have been qualified ISCC PLUS (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) to certify qualification in traceability, mass balance methodology, and greenhouse gas accounting as crucial elements. However, our main drive is to develop circular products first and then, the introduction of recycled content is reasonably straightforward. Today, we can be very proud that 34 percent of our revenues is constituted by sustainable, recycle-ready or recyclable products, such as many of our thermoformed containers and our technology-driven product platforms.  Our OneWinpak ideology is coming to life in just about every faculty and most visible with the innovation teams working across ALL business units to bring FlexPod™, SqueezePod™ and our own spouted pouches to life.

Winpak operations are making tremendous strides towards our 2025 Sustainability Goals. Our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions intensity, energy intensity, and waste-to-landfill are at all-time best levels. Besides a variety of projects in all our sites to reduce energy intensity further, dedicated efforts are spent on waste to landfill elimination. While one Winpak site in Toronto has reached the zero waste-to-landfill goal, additional sites are getting closer to the same achievement in 2023. I implore our employees to remain steadfast in driving efficiencies in operations and staying focused on waste reduction. It is a never-ending journey.

Many significant expansion projects are in the pipeline for 2023 and are the strongest signal of our technological foray in new sustainable products, while pursuing some of the great new investments for in-mold label containers and injection molding itself. Our engineering, R&D, and innovation teams are eager and enthusiastic to drive all these projects.

As the holiday season is near, let’s reflect on the tremendous accomplishments of Winpak employees, who again, despite extraordinary supply chain challenges and high input costs, were able to rise above and beyond the normal call of duty and shape another record-setting year.

I am very excited for the road ahead, as our pipeline of new technologies, new products, and capacity expansion is at an unprecedented level. We can confidently implement all these opportunities when we continue to work together as OneWinpak, united in our efforts to overcome our current uncertainties and focus on a promising future.

Safe and Happy Holidays to All!

Olivier Muggli
Olivier Muggli
Winpak President & CEO
Winnipeg, MB Canada

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