Addressing Growing Environmental Concerns with Sustainable Packaging

June 18, 2019

With various key environmental issues at the forefront of global conversations, brands need to actively consider how they incorporate sustainable packaging into their business models.

While this may seem daunting, adopting sustainable packaging solutions provides an opportunity for companies to set themselves apart in a competitive marketplace and store shelf. The FPA Sustainability Outreach and Consumer Conversations report found 82% of consumers say they care about the sustainability of packaging and 79% of consumers shared they prefer products in sustainable packaging over products which are not. Through sustainable packaging innovations, businesses can capitalize on the sustainability interests of consumers to further the success of their products.

As a result, younger generations are even more concerned with the sustainability of the products which they purchase than the remainder of the population. The FPA report states 18-34 year olds feel more strongly about product packaging having a sustainable life cycle than any other age group. According to the FPA, this age group is more likely than other generations to consider some of the more “behind the scenes” aspects of sustainability, and is more likely to take actions related to the sustainability of packaging, such as seeking out products which are more sustainable.

While this demographic currently only accounts for 23.3 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, they are the future decision-makers and are already starting to climb their way up the corporate ladder. Many young professionals within this age range have found themselves in demanding jobs quickly after graduating from college, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. This opens the door in allowing them to share their point-of-views among critical stakeholders within the corporate world.

Innovation cannot be pushed off as a problem to be dealt with in the future, when the age group that cares most about the environmental impact of their products is already making large decisions within the business world and accounts for almost 25 percent of all consumers. Furthermore, if this trend of younger generations caring about the sustainability of their products grows, then eventually the majority of consumers will have a strong interest in environmental sustainability.    

So how can brands make adjustments that are compatible with this modern environmental movement?

Digital printing allows brands to address the increasing need for smaller manufacturing runs while reducing waste. Packaging printers and converters can reduce inventory and the inevitable scrap of unused packaging that happens today when using traditional analogue technology.

Digital printing is a complement to traditional technology. With a small investment, it is either possible to add digital printing capabilities to an existing printer or purchase a separate digital printer just for short runs, and make immediate changes to increase the sustainability of a business’ packaging products. These existing first steps allow businesses to promptly implement environmental sustainability measures while at the same time innovating on how to make packaging and products more sustainable on an even greater scale.

The technology is available to make changes to more sustainable packaging, the generation driving environmentalism is actively making decisions within the workforce, and environmental issues are more prevalent than ever. Will your company rise to the challenge and invest in a solution to create more sustainable packaging or will you be left behind in a future where environmental sustainability is a key aspect of business practices?

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