Graphics Solutions Sustainability FAQ & Glossary

Mactac FAQ and Glossary Page

We are delighted to present a comprehensive FAQ section together with Glossary! Whether it is more sustainable materials or responsible production practices, we have curated a selection of answers to empower your decision-making.

Your questions on sustainability - answered!

- Discover answers to your inquiries in General, Product, or Operations & Supply Chain categories

- Enhance your comprehension and achieve a clearer understanding of the terminology through our Glossary

- Reach out to us if you have any additional questions!

General Questions

What does “sustainability” mean to us?

We are committed to developing a sustainable graphics industry. As a leading manufacturer and supplier of materials-based solutions, we are committed to a net-zero future for our own impact and are innovating solutions to support our stakeholders to make more sustainable choices. We are especially focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain and on increasing the recyclability of materials.

What are Avery Dennison’s climate targets?

We have SBTi-approved climate targets for 2030 i.e. we will reduce our Scope 1+2 emissions by 70% (compared to 2015), and we will work with our value chain partners to reduce our Scope 3 emissions by 30% (compared to 2018). In addition, we also have the ambition to be net zero on greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

See more about our 2030 sustainability goals on our ESG website.

Product Questions

How is Avery Dennison designing products to be more sustainable? 

Our EcoDesign methodology allows us to measure the environmental impact of every new product throughout its entire lifecycle. We are using EcoDesign to develop products with the best positive social and environmental attributes so that each successive generation of a product is more sustainable than the last. For more information about Ecodesign, check here: LINK

What are your current sustainable graphics products?

Take a look at our Sustainable Graphics Solutions Portfolio Catalog, which gives our customers access to the latest generation of sustainable products! 

We define the sustainable benefits that can be achieved by different product technologies, for example, PVC-free technology, and then list out all the applicable products in our portfolio. 

Does Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions provide Carbon Footprint results for its products?

In collaboration with the Carbon Trust, we have developed a bespoke carbon footprint tool, which is in line with reporting and verification methodology of GHG Protocol Product Standard, PAS2050, and ISO-14067. This tool measures the carbon and water footprints of our graphics products across their entire life cycle (cradle-to-gate and cradle-to-grave), using primary data from our operations and industry averages for the raw material extraction and end-of-life stages. For more information, check here: LINK

What happens to Graphics products at the end of life? 

One of the challenges in the graphics industry is increasing recycling at end-of-life. Our products are composite constructions that can contain inks, color pigments, and adhesives. Current technologies make these products a challenge to recycle. We have initiatives looking at all the waste that is created from our products, including films and liners, and are working on solutions to recycle them.

We are currently running several pilot recycling programs. For more information please contact your local sales representative.

Is the packaging used for graphics products sustainably sourced? 

To minimize the environmental footprint of our packaging we are utilizing recycled materials and components that can be reused. For example, the majority of our plastic core stoppers are made with recycled plastic granulate.

Operations & Supply Chain Questions

How is Avery Dennison reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its supply chain?

In 2018, we completed our scope 3 GHG emissions inventory and determined that upstream goods and services are our largest category of scope 3 emissions, due to the volumes of paper, films, and chemicals we purchase. Accordingly, we set a 2030 sustainability goal to reduce our scope 3 emissions by 30% and are partnering with CDP Supply Chain and EcoVadis to collect energy and emissions-related data from our key suppliers in order to partner with them to achieve our target.

To further understand opportunities for reducing our carbon footprint, we will use our bespoke carbon footprint tool that we developed in collaboration with the Carbon Trust. The tool enables us to capture our holistic carbon picture, providing specific carbon emissions information for our products based on their region of production, raw material sourcing, and different end-of-life scenarios.

Avery Dennison has committed to reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 70% by 2030. How will you do this? 

Multiple initiatives are being implemented in order for us to achieve this target, and they can be grouped into the following categories in the following order of priority:

  1. Reduce energy consumption in all operations -  e.g. utilizing 100% LED lighting in all production areas

  2. Replace fossil-based electricity with renewable sources - e.g. solar electricity

  3. Improve the energy efficiency of the processes -  e.g. more efficient pumps

To monitor and track our progress, we have annual energy intensity improvement targets. 

For more information on our Environment, Social, And Governance Policy Metrics, please refer to this document.

What happens to the water Avery Dennison uses during production in its plants? 

For information on Avery Dennison's water policy, please see here: LINK

What technology has Avery Dennison installed in its plants to reduce VOCs and how do you measure performance?

We have Thermal Oxidizers (TOX) to ensure no VOCs are emitted into the atmosphere. These are monitored and maintained on a regular basis. If there are any issues, the local environmental agency is informed.

How is AD dealing with scrap, return shipments of defective materials, and obsolescence?

We have a zero-to-landfill policy in our plants.

The scrap of raw material in our plant is separated: chemical scrap is treated by a specialized company, and plastic and paper materials (e.g. face stocks and liners) are separated in order to be recycled or repurposed.

Sorting non-quality finished goods or materials returned from customers is more challenging. Some of these materials are reworked and sold again, or they are used internally (e.g. for training purposes). In case the materials are completely unrecoverable, they are sent to incineration with energy recovery.

We also like to donate some old or defective materials from our Belgian site to a local non-profit school in Brussels, which uses the material for arts and crafts.

What ISO certificates does Avery Dennison have for its production plants?

You can find all our ISO certificates for our Avery Dennison production plants here: LINK

Does Avery Dennison have a Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® ) Chain of Custody (COC) certification for its production sites?

You can find our FSC® COC certificate for our Avery Dennison sites here: LINK


What is a Greenhouse Gas (GHG)?

A greenhouse gas (GHG) is a gas that absorbs and emits radiant energy within the thermal infrared range, causing the greenhouse effect. There are currently six main greenhouse gases that are identified by the UNFCCC/Kyoto Protocol to be causing Climate change— namely, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). Read more about the Kyoto Protocol at the UNFCCC website.

What are Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions?

The GHG Protocol establishes comprehensive global standardized frameworks to measure and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Scope 1 - direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. 

Scope 2 - indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy. 

Scope 3 - indirect emissions (not in Scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions.

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint represents the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, service, or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent. Carbon footprints for products show the greenhouse gas emissions throughout the entire production process from raw material extraction (cradle), through final disposition (grave) or re-use (cradle to cradle).  These emissions are measured in CO2e (where ‘e’ stands for equivalent) using GWP for other GHGs emitted during the product's life. 

What is a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)?

Life cycle assessment, or LCA, is an analysis technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life, which is from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, and final disposition. LCAs are multi-factored and can show environmental impact from a variety of perspectives. These can be used to determine the pluses and minuses of product construction. The terms used to describe LCA often include  “cradle-to-gate”, “cradle-to-grave” or “cradle-to-cradle”: impact from raw material extraction (cradle) to the factory gate, i.e. before it is transported to the consumer (gate), to final disposal (grave) or back to raw materials in a regenerative design (cradle). 

What is the key difference between an LCA and product carbon footprints?

LCA is a tool/methodology that can help you to assess the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle. A carbon footprint at the product level is a special application of the LCA methodology that specifically focuses on greenhouse gas emissions.

What are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)? 

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are potentially harmful gasses emitted from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Learn more about VOCs on the US EPA website

What is the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)?

SBTi is a partnership between Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). It drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling organisations to set science-based emissions reduction targets.  In Oct 2021, Avery Dennison’s 2030 climate targets met SBTi’s stringent requirements and were approved by SBTi.