A decade ago, sustainability was seen by many as an optional extra that could be used to bolster their brands along with their green credentials.
Today, industry players are queuing up to place sustainability at the heart of their corporate strategy – and food and packaging companies are no exception.
The packaging sector has had it tougher than most – with consumer groups, environmental lobbyists and even governments lining up take pot shots at the apparent excessive and wasteful nature of packaging. Retailers, food brand owners and, by extension, packing suppliers were all guilty to one degree or other of contributing to a waste mountain that threatened to spiral out of control, said critics.
Packaging was seen as part of the problem rather than the solution. But was this fair?
Perhaps spurred on by feelings of injustice and the need to meet consumer demands for greener business practices, packaging and food firms have become some of the most dedicated and innovative in cutting their carbon footprint.
Customer pressure combined with an increasingly stringent regulatory framework has pushed the sector to accelerate its adoption of a host of methods that require low-energy consumption and reduce the adverse environmental impact of packaging.
But crucially industry has grasped the reality that enhanced sustainability and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. In fact the former is now seen as a key driver of the latter.
The debate about what constitutes sustainability in packaging has therefore become more sophisticated – moving on from just recyclability measurements to take in a raft of important parameter spanning the entire supply chain.
In the first of our webinars, Julian Carroll, industry leading voice on sustainability and former head of EUROPEN, will be examining how this debate has moved on to incorporate everything from renewable sourcing and compostability to transport distances and energy consumption along the full value chain – including end of life options.
In part one of the next webinar, Philippe Roulet, Head of Global Packaging, Materials & Training at Nestle, will be outlining the tools and approaches that inform attitudes to packaging materials and design at the world’s largest food company.
For the second part of this webinar, a leading packaging machinery expert will be giving an assessment of the technologies and trends that are being used to make packaging production more sustainable as well as efficient. Webinar three will be looking to the future. Datamonitor’s Andrew Streeter will give his take on which technologies he believes are most likely to flourish going forward as he focuses on the growing importance of active and intelligent packing.
Andy Sweetman, from the European Bioplastics Association, will look at the challenges facing the sector. He’ll be examining whether the future lies in improving the performance of established bio-based materials or in the development of conventional plastics from renewable sources.
We hope you enjoy the event.
Starts 9:00 am in New York | 6:00 am in Los Angeles | 3:00 pm in Paris
March 08th, 2012