The Swedish fast-moving consumer goods sector (FMCG) has a chance to transition to climate neutrality while remaining economically competitive, but success will be dependent on developments outside the sector’s control as well as developments beyond Sweden.
By 2045, market forces will drive sustainable FMCG production. Price, convenience, taste, quality, healthiness and experiences are still the most important attributes to customers and consumers making purchasing decisions, but sustainability has by now become a hygiene factor.
Swedish FMCG industry operations are completely fossil-free, having achieved their goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Energy-intensive processes and transports have been optimized and are running entirely on renewable energy. All packaging products are 100 percent fossil-free and recyclable. The collection and analysis of data throughout the value chain has facilitated the industry’s successful transition to renewables, something which in turn will help spur competition among companies to develop best-in-class products.
The industry did not embark on the path to climate neutrality alone; the goal was reached by staying in tune with changes in the market and the industry as well as the introduction of new policies and infrastructure.
The spirit of collaboration is strong within the FMCG industry, both between fishermen/growers and manufacturers, as well as between suppliers and retailers.
The Swedish fast-moving consumer goods sector is composed of companies that sell food, drink, healthand self-care products, magazines, tobacco and specialty goods to retailers, restaurants and large businesses and households in Sweden. Its companies have a wide range of products, but also a variety of business models, and organise their operations in different ways and across different geographies. Many handle products from several categories. These companies use fossil fuels and affect the climate in different ways, and as such have different options for influencing the climate impact
associated with their businesses, depending on which operations they control and which they do not.
For the companies that sell food products, primary production – mainly agriculture and animal husbandry – generates the majority of their climate impact. Processing and production of these companies’ goods generates a smaller part of their climate impact, via the energy used to power a range of industrial processes. The climate impact of the industry’s packaging comes mostly from primary production – mostly production of petrochemicals for plastics, but also from the manufacture of the actual product packaging and the handling of waste (recycling, incineration). Transport of goods is done by rail and road, both upstream and downstream, and by sea and air for imported goods.