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Pragmatic Approaches

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: June 22, 2010, from the July 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 6 of 9

I certainly believe that consumers are more aware of sustainability as an issue, and highly aware consumers are voicing what they believe should be the proper package size. But it is also clear that sustainability efforts just make good business sense and are strongly tied to the normal continuous improvement processes that companies have run for years—now they have a different approach.

GCI: What opportunities—such as product innovations, unexpected cost savings and efficiencies—have sustainability efforts created or revealed? How has this fostered product development? How is that development realized on shelf?

Abramowicz: Actually, many strides made in sustainable manufacturing have resulted from companies employing good economics. An industry focus on discovering more cost-efficient options in manufacturing, and the implementation of practices that reduce spoilage, material use and energy consumption are measures that have resulted in more sustainable products.

One example is how the lightweighting of metal packaging generates more material savings.

Innovations in sustainable packaging have also been reactionary to the implementation of new regulations. Last year, Crown introduced its EarthSafe Dispensing System, which uses a multi-layer barrier piston that eliminates primary and secondary gas permeation. The technology was developed to help brands accommodate California’s new restrictions on VOC levels, effective as of January 2010, and which may become standard practice in other places.