ISLAMABAD-International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a deal for a five-year loan investment of $25 million in Packages Limited, one of Pakistan’s leading packaging and tissue paper producers, to modernise its operations, and cut its water and energy use.IFC has been advising Packages on ways to cut its water and energy use, in a country ranked as among the world’s most energy intensive and facing water shortages. By adopting resource efficiency measures, Packages will be able to annually decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, and save about 43,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) and about 214,000 cubic meters (m3) of water per annum. Overall the company will save annually about $1.4 million in its operations.

The investment in Packages will help the company sustain and expand its operations to respond to rising consumer demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Packages produces essential hygiene products such as tissues, toilet rolls, wipes as well as packaging for food, pharmaceuticals and other products needed by other producers of other consumer goods. The company’s market standing as a critical and reliable provider of hygiene products and packaging materials will help ensure that supply chains are not disrupted and that prices in the sector remain at reasonable levels. “This IFC program will not only contribute towards our core sustainability drive for resource conservation but will also upgrade our packaging capability to serve the growing needs of our clients in a more sustainable manner,” said , Packages Chief Executive Officer Syed Hyder Ali.

“This is an investment which will deliver multiple dividends for Pakistan. It will help ensure that people can continue to buy critically needed hygiene products amid COVID-19, at reasonable prices. There’s also the additional benefit of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and importantly conserving water and energy use,” said IFC Senior Country Manager for Pakistan Nadeem A. Siddiqui. “IFC financing will play a countercyclical role during the current COVID-19 crisis and provide the company with access to much needed long-term foreign currency funding. It will help Packages improve its competitiveness and allow it to stay ahead of the technological curve.”

Packages is one of IFC’s oldest clients with relationship initiated in 1964. The project aligns with IFC’s COVID-19 response strategy to support clients. It also addresses IFC’s strategic focus on climate change through investment in energy conservation and efficiency programs.