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No Time To Waste - Elevate, Embrace, & Enable Packaging Sustainability

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<p>The lifestyle, actions, and behaviors that my parents exhibited while I was growing up in India comes full circle today as we think about the two biggest issues dealing with packaging sustainability i.e. minimizing waste and lowering carbon footprint. As an example, growing up, my parents utilized reusable cloth bags to pack and bring home a lot of everyday living essentials. Those bags were washable and would last us forever. According to World Bank, a global plastic waste volume which stood at 242 million tonnes in 2016 is expected to significantly increase over the next decade.</p><p>We need to do our part not only in our personal lives but also in our professional ones to strive towards zero waste and reducing carbon footprint. Sustainability conversations at a Company are never easy and more than ever they require bold leadership to elevate and push the sustainable packaging agenda.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Here&rsquo;s what I think can help accelerate a company&rsquo;s goal towards sustainability:</p><ol><li><strong>Seat At the Table:</strong> &nbsp;A collaborative effort between several departments i.e. Technical, Supply-Chain, Procurement, &amp; Marketing functions to come up with a bold vision for sustainability. It helps to organize the thinking and layout the vision in Objective, Goals, Strategies, &amp; Measures (OGSM) format. Be prepared to identify resources necessary (people &amp; money) as you will be asked to explain the rationale and importantly if the vision is compelling then be asked the question of &ldquo;what do you need to accelerate executing this vision&rdquo;.</li><li><strong>Commitment:</strong> Find a sponsor at the senior most level in order to seek commitment for resources. In most organizations (1) and (2) work in parallel.</li><li><strong>Organize to act with urgency:</strong> Pull together a cross functional team (keep it small) with a team leader. Empower the team for decisions to be made at the lowest level while pushing progress over perfection. Learn to behave like a start-up i.e. Organized for effective decision making with a sense of urgency</li><li><strong>Design Thinking:</strong> Sustainability cannot be an afterthought and needs to be part of the packaging design process. Design packaging with Sustainability as one of the key drivers. Embrace Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) design guide to help design sustainable packaging</li></ol>
KR Expert - Ravi Mody