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Energy efficiency

At EPS, we have also taken concrete steps to reduce our energy consumption by fitting our locations with energy-efficient LED lights. Already, 65% of our European locations are equipped with LED lights. In 2022, in the light of the energy crisis, we also worked hard to reduce the energy used to heat our buildings. We raised awareness with the operations teams in our regions, who visiting the various locations regularly. During their visits, the teams always bring up energy consumption to increase awareness. 

Transition to green energy

At EPS, we are fully committed to using green energy and have extended and maintained our contracts to ensure that our locations are powered by renewable sources. While this does entail some additional costs, we see it as a worthwhile investment to ensure that the energy we consume is green. Currently, around 80% of the locations where we handle energy contracts are using green energy. This resulted in a CO2 reduction over 9.000 tonnes, which means that we are close to our goal of running 80% of our depots on green energy. It is important to note that for the remaining depots, green energy contracts are not always available, or the depots are located on our customers’ sites.

At LPR, we are also working towards increasing the use of green energy in our service centres. We are happy to report that we have installed solar panels at our external service centre in Portugal and have switched our energy contract to a green supplier. By 2025, our goal is to run all our service centres on green energy. 

At LPR, we are also working towards increasing the use of green energy in our service centres. We are happy to report that we have installed solar panels at our external service centre in Portugal and have switched our energy contract to a green supplier. By 2025, our goal is to run all our service centres on green energy. 

Sustainability on track: CoolRail

Get on board with CoolRail, the eco-friendly train connection for transporting fresh products. Originally operating between Valencia and Rotterdam, CoolRail expanded its reach to include new destinations in the United Kingdom, Nordic countries, and Germany in 2022. Initiated by Euro Pool System in 2019 and operated by Transfesa logistics since 2020, CoolRail offers a responsible alternative to traditional road transport. By relocating trays back to the south for the next cycle, CoolRail adds synergy to Euro Pool System while achieving a CO2 reduction of 70-90% compared to road transport. In 2022, this initiative was expanded by involving the retailer Tesco in the second half of the Year. This collaboration not only brought us closer to our client, but also strengthened the collaboration between LPR and EPS.


In 2018, LPR set the goal to reduce its overall carbon footprint by 20% per movement by 2025. Since then, we have optimised the distances that our pallets travel and increased the loading rate per pallet. This was a great jumping off point towards 2021. That year our SHEQ team joined FRET21, an ADEME initiative that encourages companies to reduce the climate impact of freight transport. LPR France is collaborating with Operations & Assets to create an action plan to reduce our transport emissions by 5.5% between 2021 and 2023. Our four main pillars are: greener means of transport, loading rate, distance optimisation, and partnerships with green carriers. Thanks to the hard work of our LPR France team, we are happy to report that in 2022, we exceeded our goal and reduced our emissions by 5.8%. Our strong relationships with retailers and the daily efforts of our assets and collection teams allowed us to increase our loading rate to almost 95%. At the end of 2022, we reached 70% of the flows with carriers who obtained a green certification, and we expect to be close to 85% at the end of this year. This is close to the goal we set in 2021 of 94% green carriers in 2023. As of now, we have reached 70% and are challenging carriers to join the ‘Objectif CO2’ certification. We are implementing this requirement in tenders to ensure our partners have green certification to partner with us. This is further encouraged by tightening legislation that motivates carriers to develop alternative transportation methods. We see that larger carrier partners are taking big steps in becoming greener by adopting HVO, Biogas, and electric alternatives. We also noticed that the Green Deal and the Paris Agreement influence our customers. Many have the target to become ‘Net Zero’ by 2050. The French initiative FRET21 is fully in line with this goal because it allows us to define a precise action plan for the LPR France’s transport pillar. 

The progress on project CYAN at EPS: moving from blue to green trays

In Project Cyan we replaced the rigid blue trays with a new generation of foldable green trays. The green trays take up less volume when folded than the blue model. We successfully completed our transition from blue to green folding trays in March 2022. The last rotations of blue trays were made in February, and since then, all relevant products have been packed in green trays. We regrinded a significant number of blue trays into regranulate over the last years, and we were able to reuse part of the material. While there is still a flow of blue trays being returned, we have been able to reduce our scrapping activities since July 2022. Overall, everything has gone according to plan. In 2022, we produced approximately five million green trays, made with a mix of virgin plastic and recycled granulate. Our granulate is of exceptionally high quality and is certified for use in food-grade packaging. Our partners were able to reuse the granulate EPS could not use to produce new trays, significantly reducing their need for virgin plastic. This shows how we work together in partnerships to move towards a circular system and reduce our environmental impact. 

Pallet purchasing and sustainable sourcing at LPR

The second biggest impact area is pallet purchasing and repair. We cannot avoid buying new pallets: some are lost in the supply chain, some are damaged, and so on. However, we continue to work on different aspects to make improvements in this area. We are improving collections, we purchase our wood from sustainable (PEFC) suppliers, and we are repairing damaged pallets with less wood. 

Since 2010, we have held PEFC Chain of Custody, a certification ensuring that the forest-based materials used in our pallets come from sustainably managed forests. In 2022, we signed a new wood sourcing policy to further reinforce our commitment to responsible and sustainable sourcing. However, we want to set our ambitions even higher. That is why we are committed to sourcing 100% of our wooden pallets from manufacturers and repairers who are PEFC or FSC certified. We acknowledge that it may not be easy to find immediately available sourcing in every country that meets our expectations, but we are determined to reach this goal as it impacts all our activities.

We are actively seeking new reforestation projects and have already identified several leads. In Spain, we compensated 5% of our emissions from 2019 to 2021 with CO2 Revolution, a company that provides carbon credits, and we plan to create our own LPR forest in Spain next year for direct CO2 compensation. To further our commitment to sustainability, we have launched a new plan to source 100% PEFC wood. While this may mean sourcing from different suppliers at a slightly higher cost, we believe it is a necessary step in reducing our impact on the environment.

Water management at EPS

We have developed a clear blueprint to reduce our water usage and at the same time have made significant improvements in energy efficiency and gas consumption. We are also increasing our efforts to reduce our water consumption through water reutilisation. Our unique system could potentially reduce our washing process water consumption by 70%. In 2021, we initiated a project with the University of Leiden and conducted tests and pilots on hydro systems in 2022. In one year, in one of our pilot depots, we were able to save 50,000 m3 of water through reversed osmosis, equivalent to enough drinking water for 70,000 people. We will begin larger-scale testing in two pilot plants in Belgium and the UK in 2023 to further prove our concept and identify the right partners for European-wide deployment. Although national legislation and permit requirements may vary, our blueprint provides a detailed plan for equipment placement and installation for various regions, and we have already deployed our first pilots in Spain, Belgium, and the UK.

Our Dissolved Air Floatation system pilot showed promising results in 2022. This wastewater treatment system removes various chemicals like oil, which are suspended in water by using air bubbles to separate the suspension. EPS has successfully studied and tested different chemicals to find the optimal combination. In March 2023, the treated water and effluent will be analysed to evaluate the system's performance, followed by the implementation of an extra disinfection step to ensure the treated water is safe for reuse. We are excited to continue our journey towards a more sustainable future with this innovative technology.

Another wastewater treatment that we are working on is a promising new technology, claiming to achieve 80% water reuse. This solution is based on biological wastewater treatment using aeration and a biological floc composed of bacteria and protozoa that use CO22, nitrogen and phosphorus as a nutrient source, reducing the wastewater impact. The membrane bioreactor has already been installed in the Sint Katelijne Waver depot for initial testing and data collection, and a Proof of Concept is planned for April in Roeselare. This is a full modular solution that optimises the space to be used inside or outside our depots.

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Ecovadis Sustainability Rating 2022

Ecovadis Sustainability Rating 2022

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Read more of the sustainability report

Read more on the sustainability report and its most important pillars: People, Planet, Partners.

EPS0117 Iconen-25

Our people are the key assets of our business. We are committed to providing training and development opportunities to strengthen our teams in all regions. We take measures across the organisation to contribute to the health and safety of our employees.

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EPS0117 Iconen-28

We set the ambition to reduce the carbon footprint for each rotation of our trays and pallets by 20% by 2025, in comparison to the baseline in 2017. To achieve this goal, we are committed to strategic projects that focus on optimising logistics, green energy and our reusable carriers.

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EPS0117 Iconen-34

Innovation and partnering with customers are key to driving circularity in the supply chain further. Together with our partners, we are constantly working on innovations and deploying new tools and technologies such as the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and other traceability tools.

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