Packaging Print & Paper

There is a growing demand for more environmental information on packaging to enable consumers to make informed choices.

Consumers are now far better informed and knowledgeable about their purchasing decisions and how they affect the environment.

Companies are also increasingly keen to demonstrate their commitment to responsible sourcing of paper and packaging products by developing responsible paper procurement policies which recognise both recycled and certified virgin fibre. 

Corporate social responsibility reporting is now an everyday management process while financial institutions are recognising that shareholder value is protected through greener procurement policies.

A 2013 Tetrapack survey found that 37% of consumers regularly search for environmental logos on food packaging, with 54% of consumers trusting environmental labels, compared with 37% in 2011. Retailers, brand owners and their packaging suppliers can help meet customer expectations by using packaging from renewable, responsibly-managed and sustainable sources.

Selfridges Bag

Organisations such as the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) are concentrating efforts on expanding the use of certified products. Earlier this year, the CGF published guidelines to support its target of zero net deforestation by 2020 and recognised PEFC certified products as providing companies with verification of legality and providing a low risk of controversial sources which contribute to deforestation.

In 2010, the CGF Board of Directors committed its 400 members, with a combined procurement power of over $3 trillion, to achieving zero net deforestation in their supply chains by 2020. 

The CGF brings together more than 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders. Members include global players such as Carrefour, Coca Cola, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg's, Kimberly-Clark, L’Oreal, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble, Tesco, and Asda-WalMart.

To promote forest certification, the WBCSD Forest Solutions Group also committed to work with stakeholders to spread sustainable forest management, support and promote the expansion of forest certification and grow markets for certified forest products. The Group includes some of the world’s largest packaging companies amongst its members in addition to global consumer goods giants such as P&G, Johnson & Johnson and Unilever.

The CGF is also working with the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) on the Soft Commodities Compact. The BEI currently counts ten international banks as members, headquartered across Asia, Europe and North America including Barclays, BNY Mellon, China Construction Bank, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Nomura, Northern Trust, Santander, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Westpac.

The Compact commits banks to raise the standards they expect of certain clients in high risk locations so that they are encouraged to improve their sustainability performance in line with CGF expectations through to 2020.  Compact banks will confirm that customer operations have achieved the same internationally-recognised means of verification that the CGF is prioritising for timber products, including forest certification systems such as PEFC.

PEFC provides a range of brochures and guidance for the sector:

Marcomms, Print & Certified Paper
PEFC Sustainability for Packaging Professionals
PEFC: Your Assurance of Responsible Sourcing
PEFC Certified Paper for the Print, Packaging and Publishing Industries
Why Labels Matter: The Business Case for Using the PEFC Logo