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Sustainable Innovation

By: Sara Mason
Posted: December 6, 2010, from the December 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.
  • By adopting sustainable packaging and methods deemed more eco-conscious, brands are able to appeal to a wider consumer base.
  • The best way any company can explore increased use of recycled content is to discuss goals and objectives, performance requirements and suppliers’ technical capabilities.
  • Biodegradables represent the fastest-growing material segment in packaging.
  • Partnerships should enable brands to have a healthy emphasis on creating environmentally friendly packaging that isn’t perceived as over-packaged—but still addresses the brand story.

While the world keeps turning, the rate of change and speed of advancement in the consumer market is enough to make your head spin. It is hard to grasp the significant changes that have revolutionized the industry in the past decade, much less what that change might look like in the coming years. To continue thinking about your product and its packaging in the same way you have in the past can mean doom as the world speeds on by.

It feels as though there are so few new ideas in proportion to the speed at which expectations escalate, particularly when it comes to truly green packaging. Nonetheless, companies now have to decide whether to think differently about their packaging or be left behind.

Consumers are becoming more educated on sustainability and its role in packaging. They are looking closely at what is really sustainable and holding brands more accountable for making sure that they’re staying true to their message. Environmentally responsible packaging, in part, means decreased packaging sizes, an increased use of recycled or compostable materials, and greater accountability of suppliers. “We have long recognized that packaging plays a front and center role in both the consumer first moment of truth—in store—and second moment of truth when consumers interact with our products in their homes,” said Jenny Rushmore, global sustainability leader for P&G Beauty & Grooming.

Efficiency of Resources

While still looking at price, consumers are increasingly interested in their personal impact on the environment, and are demanding more from brand owners. By adopting sustainable packaging and methods deemed more eco-conscious, brands are able to appeal to a wider consumer base in a competitive marketplace.