The overwhelming take out from the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) sustainability webinar which majored on packaging was that doing nothing was not an option.
The event which took place on June 8th was packed with delegates, who heard speakers Tracy Sutton and Sarah Greenaway from the sustainable packaging consultancy, Root provide insights into consumer and legislative demands and on sustainable packaging strategies to ensure a positive brand future.
Outlining the cost of doing nothing as being even greater than the impact of the forthcoming plastic packaging tax and the implications of shifting of responsibility for waste to the supplier company, in terms of reputation, delisting, loss of investment and decline in share value, Root stressed the need for longer term thinking. In particular, the development of sustainable packaging strategies which could be communicated clearly and simply to all stakeholders and supply chain partners.
Covering off the legislative picture, Tracy and Sarah gave a balanced and independent view of the future role of plastics and cardboard alongside all other materials, the need for straightforward consumer and retailer and supply chain communications and transparent understandable labelling.
Root was clear that terms such as the circular economy, recyclable, recycled, compostable and biodegradable could be unhelpful, misinterpreted and abused. The key was firstly to develop holistic innovation which viewed the packaging solution as an intrinsic part of the product. Then equally to articulate and communicate the chosen packaging strategy clearly to avoid it being pulled out of shape by the demands of other parties such as suppliers or retailers.
Root was founded by Tracy Sutton in 2013 to help organisations use less and focus on becoming regenerative, inclusive and kinder. It works in partnership with many UK companies to create low-impact packaging solutions and blueprints for business sustainability, and has delivered projects for Diageo, Pukka and PepsiCo.
BHETA’s Chief Operating Officer, Will Jones commented, “Sustainability is no longer just about compliance. Consumer and retailer demands are now echoed by shareholders and investors with the pressure on suppliers to respond. This was a helpful, insightful webinar in which many questions were asked and answered in terms of how suppliers need to approach the issues.”
For more details of BHETA and its business support services, retailer networking events and market data, visit www.bheta.co.uk.