Published on June 16th, 2011 | by Glenn Meyers1
Packaging World Reports on Sustainability Survey
In a recent article, Packaging World reports sustainability is becoming an integrated part of the majority of business operations today. Not only does a commitment to sustainability help reduce costs, it also helps in the recognition of meaningful brands.
The article concludes that while a majority of businesses see benefits resulting from their sustainability initiatives – many even exceeding expectations – some businesses still see no reason for committing to a sustainability action plan.
This international survey was conduced by Accenture. The survey involved corporate decision-makers in the U.S., U.K., and China. Of 247 contacts, 72 percent reported witnessing the benefits of their sustainability initiatives exceeding expectations. But 4 percent said their sustainability initiatives had failed to meet expectations.
“Although two thirds (68 percent) of senior business decision makers see sustainability as an integrated part of their business, 32 percent regard it is peripheral. As for a cost or an investment, the survey results showed 66 percent of responders said they see sustainability as an investment, while 34 percent regarded it as more of a cost.
The report from Packaging World is worth reading, considering that packaging remains one of the larger contributors to our waste stream, especially when materials involve non-recyclable plastics or foam.
The Accenture survey concludes that there is a disparity between what are the assumed and actual drivers of sustainability initiatives. “Companies expect that business in general will be driven by three key external factors: investment pressure, regulations, and customer expectations,” writes Packaging World. But it adds that the top motivations turn out to be a genuine concern for the environment and society, plus reducing energy and material costs.
Packaging is, and will continue to be, a critical part of the supply chain for most manufacturers and food products concerns. News of a growing interest for sustainability is good to hear, especially considering that the packaging waste trails already far too abundant in locales like the Pacific gyre and in poorer countries.