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Sustainable Packaging—A Value Proposition

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: February 27, 2009, from the March 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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The call for sustainable efforts became difficult to ignore.

“The sustainability movement has gained tremendous momentum due to a confluence of legislative, corporate and consumer interest,” says Dennis Bacchetta, director of marketing, Diamond Packaging, Rochester, New York. “As a result, more companies are implementing green purchasing policies, and a majority include environmental performance considerations in product specifications. Marketers are interested in packaging that captures the essence of the brand and delivers impact while communicating an environmentally friendly image or awareness. As consumers become more aware of the term ‘sustainability’ and what it means to them, they will likely expect their favorite brands to adopt an environmentally friendly approach with regard to their product and its packaging.”

“As people recycle more, they look for more recycled materials when they are making a product purchase,” adds Jennifer Schweitzer, brand manager at Nature’s Gate in Chatsworth, California.

A growing number of companies have addressed the sustainability movement by reviewing their product packaging—including graphics, structures and choice of materials—and have found it is possible to maintain an upscale look appropriate to the luxury positioning that is important to many beauty brands. Bacchetta calls the move to support environmental concerns without sacrificing identity “green chic.”

“The use of sustainable packaging does impact the overall marketing and business strategies of a company, but in [positive] ways,” says Bacchetta. “Many consumer product companies have become educated on sustainability, and have refined their packaging to be more eco-friendly without significantly altering the brand image. Rather, they have adapted their brand positioning to become more ‘eco-conscious’ or responsible.”

Two Paths Merge