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The End Justifies the Means

By: Sara Mason
Posted: February 11, 2008, from the February 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 5

Curtis Packaging launched its complete corporate commitment to sustainability on its Web site. The company is among the first in the industry to be 100% carbon neutral, use 100% renewable energy and be Forestry Stewardship Council certified. In addition, Curtis invested in efficient lighting throughout its entire plant, and has been able to effectively reduce and recycle most of the waste it generates. And these commitments carry through to eco-friendly products and processes—such as a biodegradable and recyclable printing alternative to foil lamination and hot stamping and an ultra-gloss alternative to acetate film lamination—and bolster the message behind such offerings.

HLP Clear Packaging Products has responded to current trends by offering more recyclable PET and polypropylene packaging material and improving the printing and antiscratch and antistatic processes on these materials.

Suppliers are working to improve techniques such as this because they realize the importance of offering customers the same level of quality with greener raw material, and, therefore, suppliers are playing a bigger role in determining a package’s sustainability.
Being sustainable is also about efficiency, which saves money in the short and long run.

Up to 45% of the electricity used to manufacture Monadnock’s Envi is generated at its paper mill through company-owned, low-impact hydroelectric generators. “As sustainability continues to penetrate the industry, marketers will rely on suppliers to improve their eco-profiles,” said Lunati. “We have a responsibility to help them achieve their sustainability goals.”

The key to being successful and profitable in commitments such as these is to take notice of broader trends and determine the impact and implications of taking action. Change costs more when reactive instead of proactive, and it will no longer be optional, but vital, to take some actions when issues such as regulations for landfills and laws regarding packaging and recycling increase. And according to Duber-Smith, companies are held responsible for raw materials and suppliers in addition to their products.