Green Stories: Peter Arne Ruzicka (Orkla)

Picture a Saturday evening in Oslo. Pierre Robert longjohns sound like a cozy choice while finishing up the laundry load. Milo and Klar are back on the shelf, there is a Grandiosa frozen pizza almost ready in the oven, and you plan to top it off with a bag of Nidar chocolates.

Sound familiar? That’s because Orkla products are everywhere! The company is a leading supplier of branded consumer goods for the grocery, specialist retail, pharmacy and bakery sectors.

Peter Arne Ruzicka has been President and CEO of Orkla since February 2014, with more than 25 years of experience in the retail sector. He is acutely aware of how the impact of households pose a responsibility to find new solutions.

“As head of Orkla, I consider it essential to understand how our products affect the climate so that we can address these impacts more purposefully.” – Peter Arne Ruzicka

You could say that this EGC Ambassador wants to be a good role model through the choices he makes on a daily basis. He simplifies his position saying, “We have the responsibility to leave a healthy planet to our children and grandchildren: I want to make sure that my grandchildren will not be able to say that we did not do enough.” In 2015, Orkla joined other UN Global Compact companies all over the world by placing the new global Sustainable Development Goals at the center of their agenda.

“I personally signed a pledge to work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. If we are to find new solutions, we need someone to lead the way. It’s inspiring for me personally to be able to contribute to these goals.” – Peter Arne Ruzicka

Orkla puts an enormous amount of effort into making the transition into sustainable production and value chains. Among others, the efforts include developing more eco-friendly packaging, contributing to recycling of packaging waste and preventing plastic pollution. “As a branded consumer goods company we can offer products that make it easier for the population at large to make greener choices in everyday life,” says Ruzicka.

Orkla aims for 100% recyclable packaging and 75% use of recycled packaging materials by 2025. To achieve these goals, the Orkla companies are collaborating with suppliers and research organisations to develop new packaging solutions. Orkla is also leading a Norwegian collaboration project to develop a roadmap for how to create circular plastic packaging value chains. The main challenge lies in ensuring that plastic does not end up in the natural environment, but is reused in a circular economy. Orkla recognizes that this is a difficult goal to achieve.

“We are tackling issues for which there are no clear answers at present. For example, the availability of recycled plastic packaging which is safe for food products is very limited. If we are to succeed, we must share knowledge and dare to be open about our common industry challenges.” – Peter Arne Ruzicka

More generally speaking, sustainability has become a natural part of Orkla’s business model. For example, the new headquarters, Orkla Hus, is one of the most energy-efficient office buildings in Oslo, and has been certified by the highest environmental building standards. Solar panels on the roof and railings enable them to produce their own electricity.

“I believe in people. By making conscious choices with the environment in mind and collaborate to tackle the most challenging issues, we can come a long way.” – Peter Arne Ruzicka

About Green Stories: Oslo Business Region is leading the business program during Oslo European Green Capital (EGC). The European Commission awarded Oslo the prestigious European Green Capital title for 2019. Being the European Green Capital in 2019 is a great recognition and an opportunity to showcase Oslo as a truly Green City linked to innovation, both in the international context and to Oslo’s population.  In 2019 we will invite the world to Oslo – to share and to learn. Read more about EGC here and about the Industry Challenges here.

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Posted on: March 12. 2019
European Green Capital 2019