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Becoming sustainable means much more than checking a box for big corporations.  Executives and employees are aware of conversations around earth-friendly practices and products, of consumers’ sensitivity to recyclable and sustainably sourced products, and to their own measurable impact on the world stage of sustainability.

Sustainability initiatives are good for people, good for the environment, and good for business.

STEPS TO BECOMING MORE SUSTAINABLE

There are a number of specific steps companies can take to improve their sustainability.  First, you can develop a business case for your sustainability initiatives. This will help leaders communicate the goals and strategies with clear and positive outcomes for the business.

You can assess and audit your own internal practices of recycling and promoting green practices within the company.

If building or expanding, you can look into repurposing existing space or investing in LEED-certified building practices.

You can audit your energy usage and look for ways to be more energy efficient.

You can examine your supply chain and find opportunities for greater sustainability throughout.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT PACKAGING?

Packaging is often pinpointed as an opportunity where companies can reduce their footprint (See: Finding Our Way to Greener Packaging).

Using less material, whether on the primary packaging – like the bottle or carton – or with the secondary packaging – like the stretch, shrink, strapping, and cornerboard – seems an obvious place to improve sustainability. This is often true.  But if not done with a scientific approach that shows exactly how much you can reduce before jeopardizing the integrity of the packaging, these reductions can actually cause damage and waste far beyond what you saved in the first place.

In our work with stretch packaging and unit load testing at the Packaging Solution Center, we’ve found that the most sustainable thing we can possibly do is to make sure that manufactured goods arrive to the customer safely and securely.  The second any damage occurs, you have unsaleable product.  And that’s unsustainable. The transit and the energy required to either fix or repair those products is also unsustainable.

See also: The Big Picture of Sustainable Packaging

So, our first priority for you is to make sure that your product itself is protected as it travels from point to point.  This allows you to avoid rework, restocking, and repairs that are inefficient, expensive, and unsustainable.

If you’re interested in learning how you can reduce your packaging in a way that’s optimal and effective for both your product and your sustainability goals, schedule a visit to the Packaging Solution Center today and meet with our experts.