Even more than before, sustainability is key in every business decision that we make. And what goes for Packaging also goes for all our other activities.
I see 4 main challenges that need to be addressed when building an assortment and choosing suppliers: product origin, composition, impact on health and recyclability.
- Where does my product come from?
Where was it produced? Does the producer have any certification related to its production process (ISO 14 001 for environment, ISO 9001 for quality, any Ecolabel, etc.) and to the product itself (FSC or PEFC certification for example, if the product is made of wood fibres)? There is a list of basic but essential documents or answers that you need to get from the supplier.
- What is the product made of?
Is it mono-material or multi-material? Made of plastic, wood fibres or something else? You should ask for a technical data sheet and the exact composition of the product.
- Is it safe for my customers to use?
What about the chemical substance found in my product, like endocrine disruptors or other nanomaterials? Is it REACH compliant? Is it ok for food contact or child safety?
What you need here is a Safety Data Sheet at other useful information from the supplier.
- What do we do with it when we no longer need it?
Is it recyclable? And if yes, how? What are the sorting instructions? Is there an easily accessible recycling sector in every country where this product is distributed? If not, chances are that the product will end up burnt or buried and that’s not what we would recognize as a sustainable choice…
If you cannot systematically replace a material with something more sustainable, then I believe you should focus on the steps below:
- Choose mono-material products when possible
- Get precise information about composition and recyclability from the manufacturer
- In every country you operate, clearly identify the existing recycling sectors dedicated to all the recyclable materials you use
We are fully aware that most of the packaging products we sell have a short life and that environmental concerns have become a major challenge for both our customers and ourselves.
In a world where every action has an impact on the environment, a more sustainable approach must be chosen. We believe that tomorrow's success and reliance is rooted in being responsible and making smart decisions today.
We have worked on our sustainable environmental approach, reviewing our entire chain of value, from product sourcing and design to distribution and recycling… In a nutshell, we considered the complete packaging lifecycle across these 4 pillars:
For greater traceability and a responsible choice of suppliers and base materials.
For a circular economic model anticipated by our Packaging Designers at the start of every project.
For more efficient processes that reduce the environmental footprint.
For renewed cooperation across the entire value chain.
And then we decided to make changes: promote and include more and more renewable and recycled materials; highlight products manufactured in factories with an environmental management system; promote reusable and/or recyclable products; and of course, encourage our customers to sort and recover their packaging waste.