Posts Tagged ‘sustainability’

Education in Sustainability

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

sustainable manufacturingThe American Institute of Chemical Engineers Institute for Sustainability offers specialized credentials for sustainability professionals as a response to the growing demand for specialized knowledge in sustainable industrial practice. The chair of the Institute and president of Sustainability Solutions LLC, Deb Grubbe, has noted that the credentialing effort has shaped a program built on existing curricula that includes real world case studies from companies. The body of knowledge that students will learn stems from the Institute’s Sustainability Index. The index focuses on seven areas that are critical to a sustainability effort. They are: strategic commitment, innovation, environmental performance, safety performance, product stewardship, social responsibility and value chain management.

Blog Source: Packaging Digest

Eco-Friendly Business Practices for Retail

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

local manufacturingWhile consumers are more in tune with how their decisions affect the environment, it is only logical that retailers, manufacturers, and shippers strive toward the same goal. For any business to succeed in captivating an eco-conscious customer, they need to be fully aware of how their products and practices affect our world. One step that many retailers are missing is the use of eco-friendly materials in their products. Despite the green movement, many companies continue to rely on cheap, toxic and unsustainable materials for their products. Aside from materials, a company should also employ sustainable practices like choosing local suppliers or manufacturers. By choosing local suppliers, companies build a close community, invest in the local market, and reduce their carbon footprint. Shipping costs increase exponentially when using overseas suppliers, not to mention taking an important investment away from a local company that needs the business.

Blog Source: Greener Ideal

Sprint Excels with Sustainable Packaging

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

sustainable packagingSince 2009, Sprint has improved the sustainability of its product packaging by 55%. “The Evolution of Green Device Packaging and Sprint” is a recently published white paper that closely examines Sprint’s branded device packaging and its impacts. The report explains Sprint’s commitment to managing the environmental performance of all of its products, packaging and the services they offer. The 55% reduction in environmental effect is largely attributed to careful and innovation driven design. The company explored all options by reworking everything from raw materials to inks and adhesives. Compared to previous packaging solutions, the current packaging used by Sprint is 60% smaller in volume and 50% light in weight. They lowered both use and cost of materials, therefore fitting more devices onto each loading palette and reducing shipping needs. For each million devices produced, Sprint saves a significant amount of resources.

Read more at PackWorld

Limited Packaging

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

green-packagingEco-friendly packaging characteristics like biodegradable, recycled, and reusable all strive toward the same goal of having the least affect on the environment. In reality, less is more. Next time you search for a “green” product, or environmentally safe packaging options for something you sell, keep limited packaging in mind. Sounds a little crazy coming from a packaging company, right? Well in all honesty, limited or no packaging is really the most environmentally friendly option there is. We are so concerned with the reusablity and recycled content in our packaging products, but if we didn’t use them in the first place we would need to justify using them again. Realistically, you are going to need some form of packaging to protect products in shipping, on the shelf, and even in your car on the way home- so eliminating packaging entirely isn’t necessarily an option. Instead, try to choose packaging that is more frugal with its resources. For example, buy products that are not individually wrapped, bring your own reusable bag to the store, even choose beverage bottles that use less plastic. Incorporating these habits in your shopping and business will save resources, cut costs, and save you the hassle of having to determine which products with “green” claims are really the best choice.

APR Opposes Degradable Additives

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

recyclable plasticsThe trade association of companies that recycle plastic, also known as The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, opposes the use of degradable additives in currently recyclable bottles, containers, and films. There are serious implications of using said additives on the recyclability of packaging. While it may seem understandable to use an additive that will help the plastic degrade, the concern is the impact of this additive when used in successive applications. Most secondary uses of recycled plastics are intended for long term uses such as carpeting, plastic lumber, and pipe. Such items have an expected life span of 30 years or more, however if the plastics being recycled to make the product have this degradable additive, the polymer molecules will start to break down, vastly decreasing the product’s life span that consumers depend on. The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) is in support of legislation that would require containers with degradable additives to be labeled with the instruction “do not recycle”. The APR have looked for instances and proof of no harm done from the providers of this additive, and do not have the evidence to change their opposition.

Read more at Packworld

Fishing Plastic Waste from the Seas

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

In seas around theUK, fisherman are being sent to collect waste plastic for recycling. The innovative project is supported by Ecover and Closed Loop Recycling. The waste being salvaged will go towards trials of a new type of plastic that uses rHDPE, plantastic, and the waste marine plastic that is collected. Both organizations involved are supporting the Waste Free Oceans initiative by sending an important anti-litter message to consumers to help in the efforts of reducing floating marine debris and highlighting the importance of recycling and the value of used plastic as a resource. Along with supporting these efforts, Ecover has launched it ‘Message in our Bottle’ campaign, along with the use of an entirely new form of fully sustainable and recyclable plastic made from 100% sugarcane and plastic fished from the sea- the use of this plastic will start in 2014.

Source: Packaging Digest

Extended Producer Responsibility

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Extended Producer Responsibility is gaining favor among environmentally conscious brands. For example, Recycling Reinvented recently announced that is has received a pledge of support from New Belgium Brewing Co. a brewery based inFort Collins,CO that produces over 25 varieties of craft beer. The director of sustainability for New Belgium states, “I believe that if the producers were held accountable for the end of life of their packages, more efficient and effective systems would be created to promote landfill diversion.” Going along with one of the company’s core values of “honoring nature at every turn of the business.” Through Extended Producer Responsibility, brand owners and manufacturers will help communities increase access to curbside recycling and recycling away from home for all product packaging. The program is pleased to have this pledge from New Belgium, and recognizes their long standing commitment to environmentally friendly production and packaging practices.

Source: Packaging Digest

Sustainable Packaging in the Spotlight

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Sustainable Packaging takes the stage as PBS’s In Focus educational program spotlights this growing industrial trend. In this program, Martin Sheen will look at the various ways that companies save money and help the environment by reducing the amount of packaging on their products. Companies that produce anything from electronics components to automobiles, companies are using less packaging material- especially for internal use. These cut companies’ costs and lead to less waste, meaning less garbage ending up in landfills where it will take years to decompose. This show will travel across the United States and profile different companies that have taken the steps to embrace sustainable packaging efforts.

Source: Packaging Digest

Building a Culture of Sustainability in the Workplace

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

The more aware we become of sustainability and what we can do to lessen our impact on the environment, the more organizations are looking to engage their employees in sustainable efforts in the workplace. There are 5 main steps that are extremely beneficial to ensure compliance and engagement with sustainability practices; permit, educate and engage, act, embed, and evaluate. The first step, permit, is important to establish support and permission from top leaders and management. Second, by educating employees of the newly established practices, they are more likely going to be willing and able to engage in eco-friendly practices. The most common ways to do this is to establish “green teams” among employees, volunteers to ensure compliance, social media, and awards or incentives for contributing to the effort. Next, each employee should have the knowledge and resources to be empowered to take action in the office, in their home, and elsewhere in the community. The fourth step is to embed sustainability efforts into the corporate culture. By doing this, sustainability should be mentioned in or involved in recruitment, operations, employee performance reviews, and product/service development. Finally, evaluate how you are doing. Gauge how all of your efforts are impacting the community and how well it has been integrated into the culture of the workplace. The goal of the 5 aforementioned steps is to really create a sustainable culture in a timely manner and realize the value of these efforts.

Read more at Green Business Times

Sustainable Packaging curriculum gives insight to decision makers

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project of GreenBlue offers a comprehensive curriculum introducing sustainability considerations for packaging called the Essentials of Sustainable Packaging. The program offers insight into the entire packaging life cycle: material sourcing, packaging design, manufacturing, transportation and the final disposal of the product. Corporate decision makers that attend will learn how a holistic view of sustainability can apply to all of their daily operations. Attendees will learn about the following categories: sustainability and balancing tradeoffs, tools for measuring and reporting sustainability, sourcing and recovering materials, communicating initiatives for sustainability, and finally understanding environmental and human health impacts. The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging have been attended by hundreds of professionals  from leading companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations and educational institutions.

Read more about the Sustainable Packaging Coalition