by | Nov 1, 2022 | Integrated Packaging, Packaging Supply Chain, Sustainable Packaging

Did you know that sustainable gains can be amplified through labor, freight reduction, waste avoidance and working with low or zero waste sustainably focused partners too?

Below are four ways to drive greater sustainability in your contract packaging supply chain:

1. Labor – Do you consider labor management as part of your sustainability strategy?
Your labor force leaves a carbon footprint every time they commute to and from your facility. Not to mention, labor is difficult to come by. Through strategic automation you can reduce that carbon footprint, lower labor costs, improve consistency and transform your supply chain in a measurable and sustainable way. While you’re at it, look at what automation strategies your contract packaging partners are using to decrease their carbon footprint related to labor. You can incorporate their successes to help reach your sustainability goals.

2. Freight Reduction – Is freight reduction part of your sustainable packaging strategy?
Every time a truck leaves or arrives at your dock your carbon footprint grows. By partnering with contract packaging suppliers that are vertically integrated, or located closer to the source of supply, you can make sustainable gains that are meaningful and measurable. The Environmental Defense Fund provides guidance on how to measure your sustainable gains related to truck moves, click here to read.

3. Waste Avoidance – Do you experience color variation on printed packaging from multiple vendors on different substrates?
Non-conforming product has an obvious impact when it has to be disposed of due to color inconsistencies across multiple vendors. A vendor with G7 Master certification will deliver consistent color and branding from substrate to substrate eliminating rejects, saving time and driving waste avoidance. Look for vendors who can support the printing of multiple product formats in one facility to reduce rejects and waste. Then measure month to month for downward trends related to waste.

4. Waste Reduction – Do you do business with low waste or zero-waste facilities?
Sustainability measures such as recycling fiber and other packaging materials and related production waste is more common today. Seek out contract packaging suppliers who take sustainability seriously and look for ways to incorporate their metrics into your supply chain sustainability goals. You can also partner with suppliers to help them along. Waste-to-Energy (WTE) processing centers are more prevalent throughout North America. If your supplier isn’t doing so already, a first step might be converting packaging waste into fuel pellets to reduce overall carbon footprint. A wholistic look at your contract packaging supply chain may provide more opportunities for meeting sustainability goals than you think. Dig deep and partner with your suppliers for mutual success.