5 Minute Read
Packaging Sustainability Starts With Your Supply Chain
Consumers worldwide want brands to offer sustainable options. Governments across the globe are signing legislation promising to battle climate change, reduce carbon emissions and protect the planet. Consumers want to do their part, too, and it’s why 65% of people are willing to spend 20% more on eco-friendly products. When it comes to packaging, 75% are happy to pay more.
People are getting more particular with who they buy from, and it’s why you need to move towards sustainable options — this actually starts directly through your supply chain.
Brands Are Adopting Sustainable Initiatives
It’s a competitive world for brands. Not only do they need to give in to consumer demand and adopt more sustainable initiatives, but they also need to see out any advantage to stay ahead of the competition. That’s why there’s such a big focus on sustainable packaging — because when you use less packaging and lighter materials for your products, it reduces costs throughout the supply chain.
As many big-name brands are focusing on the supply chain when it comes to packaging sustainability, it makes sense for others to do the same.
- Nestle plans to invest millions of dollars so all of its packaging becomes reusable and recyclable by 2025.
- Calvin Klein’s big goal is to become a zero-waste company by 2030, with 74% of its packaging already recyclable.
- The White Company has switched to using recycled LDPE poly bags, which is a more sustainable and transparent solution.
Plus, we’ve all heard what the likes of ASOS, Gucci, Zara, Puma and plenty of other brands are doing regarding sustainable packaging options. As these leaders are taking “Reduce, Reuse. Recycle” seriously, brands like yours need to position themselves similarly.
Start By Focusing on Your Supply Chain
A key objective of green supply chain management is to relieve some strain on the planet while catering to customers looking for eco-friendly alternatives. The way current trends are playing out — like using fewer materials, not using paper and wood or focusing on reusability — you should do your part regardless of however you’re involved in the supply chain.
So, how do you go about doing it?
Identify How You Currently Use Packaging
As a brand, you’re already using packaging for your products. Before making drastic (and necessary) changes to your supply chain, first figure out how you currently use packaging in terms of materials and volume. This data will help you pivot and help you achieve green supply chain management objectives with your sustainable packaging.
Start by looking at all of your products and reviewing all the packaging you use for each product. This should include all the packaging as it arrives, the packaging you store it in, and the packaging you send the product out to your customers. Once you have this for all of your products, store it in one place so you can compare how packaging differs between product types, locations and every other part of the supply chain.
Now it’s time to be critical and chop down the wasteful packaging you don’t need. Look through all of your packaging and decide on the materials that take up the most resources. When you identify these, you can find eco-friendly replacements.
Work With the Right Supply Chain Partners
Once you understand how your brand is using packaging, that’s when you can start looking for sustainable alternatives. Here, you’d need to research supply chain partners and the ones that can help you meet your green supply chain management objectives.
When you have your shortlist, ask about their range of eco-friendly packaging options starting with your products that use the most wasteful packaging. Tackle this first, so you start with a much bigger impact. Then, explore the types of the different materials you can adopt to reduce your environmental impact. However, it’s crucial that although the materials should be good for the planet, they should also protect your products during delivery.
Then you need to speak to your designers and manufacturers to create these new sustainable packaging options and bring them to life. Make sure you look over various samples before choosing one. This can take a while, especially if you’re using different designers and manufacturers.
Although, there are companies that can take care of the process end-to-end. At Weavabel, for example, we’re equipped with the latest technology so we can work with you to create sustainable packaging concepts, turn ideas into technical drawings and transform them into eco-friendly packaging you can use for your premium products.
You can also gain insight into future packaging trends that you can either begin adopting early or know what changes you’ll need to make in your offering soon. The next step is to convince upstream providers to change their packaging and roll out your new eco-friendly packaging.
Keep Making Improvements
Once you’ve identified your wasteful packaging and have replaced it with sustainable alternatives, it shouldn’t end there. Now, you’d need to continue collecting data into your packaging and the worldwide trends so you can continue developing even more sustainable packaging alternatives.
Some of the areas you can analyse include:
- How much does the logistics cost now with less packaging compared to how much you were being charged with your old packaging? You never know; it could lead to lower rates.
- Analyse the new packaging material use and see if there are other, new materials you could switch to for a bigger environmental impact.
- How are consumers feeling towards your packaging? Are they buying more and making it known that they appreciate your efforts? If the signs are good, it shows your consumers want greater sustainability.
- Regularly audit your packaging process so you can identify how you can streamline your packaging and distribution even more without it impacting your sustainability efforts.
You can genuinely reduce waste and develop sustainable packaging that consumers desire by maintaining close relationships throughout the supply chain. It might sound like a big jump, but eco-friendly packaging is attainable regardless of how complex your supply chain is.
Our new guide can help you achieve your green supply chain management objectives by making fashion more sustainable.
Start Making Fashion Sustainable Today
Your brand’s packaging is just one way to make your offering sustainable. If you’re venturing into new eco horizons, our new sustainability checklist will help. It’s a simple yet effective resource that will highlight all of the other areas you need to work on to achieve your environmental goals.
Plus, it’s free to access for life. Just click the link below to get your copy and start transitioning to becoming a sustainable brand today.