As concerns about the environment grow, companies that handle packaging of consumer goods are placing increasing emphasis on sustainability, according to the third annual “Sustainability in Packaging” study sponsored by Packaging Digest magazine and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC).

 

More than 1,000 packaging industry professionals participated in the survey. Full results are available at http://www.packagingdigest.com.

 

“This survey is an important tool to see how companies are changing their packaging operations to address environmental challenges," said Anne Johnson, director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. “Not only are companies more aware of the environmental impacts of packaging, but they are taking concrete steps to reduce those impacts by minimizing materials, waste, energy, and measuring their progress through defined sustainability metrics."

 

Some revealing data from respondents:

·        41 percent said they are very familiar with the issues of sustainability versus 21 percent in the 2007 survey.

·        68 percent said the emphasis on sustainable packaging has increased in the last year, while only 4 percent said they’ve seen a decrease in emphasis.

·        Nearly nine out of 10 said that sustainability is a consideration in packaging-design decisions, although just 21 percent said it is a very important factor.

·        Walmart and Procter & Gamble were identified most often as leaders on environmental issues involving packaging.

·        Only 21 percent said their companies have formal, written sustainability policies. Another 22 percent said they have informal, unwritten guidelines, and 28 percent have none at all.

·        The most common policy guidelines included recycled content specifications, bans or limits on specific material usage and new design guidelines.

·        53 percent said their business has no measurement tool in place to evaluate performance or track the progress of sustainability activities.