Sunday, April 5, 2020

Packaging isn't the only subject of 'Sustainability'

When people write about sustainability, they generally focus on the reuse of materials. Carbon footprint plays a role, too, as well as energy savings, either from the reduced transportation costs that lightweight plastics bring to the table, or insulating properties of plastic building products.

But sustainability means many things to others, as this post from FastCompany.com shows.

The item, "Sustainability Faceoff: Coca-Cola vs. PepsiCo," does look at packaging, but that's just the beginning. How about issues like:


  • Where does the company source its sweetener?
  •  How is its worker safety record? Do employees participate in wellness programs?
  • Do workers own a share of the company? How much does the CEO earn compared with the worker bees?
  • Does the company buy products from minority-owned and women-owned suppliers?


And the bottom line -- that's important to having a sustainable business, too. How profitable is the company?

It's interesting to see this big-picture approach. I expect most plastics companies will continue to have their customers like Wal-Mart or Procter & Gamble define what's sustainable -- but there's a lot more to the equation than a typical packaging scorecard.