BERLIN Packaging has organised the ‘Shaping the future of sustainable packaging’ roundtable event, offering stakeholders the chance to debate sustainability in the packaging world of today and tomorrow.
As part of Luxe Pack 2023, Berlin Packaging invited Quantis, an environmental consulting company, and partners Rituals, Argotier and Tapì Group to discuss the future of sustainable packaging, focusing on issues such as emerging consumer trends, the latest regulations, the role of eco-design, and the power of collaboration.
“Sustainability is crucial for the future of people and the planet, and packaging plays a crucial role in this process,” said Dario Bassetti, chief marketing officer of Berlin Packaging EMEA. “We are aware that only through dialogue with all the stakeholders, first and foremost our customers and suppliers, can we overcome the current challenges together, which involve consumers becoming increasingly demanding on sustainability issues.”
Berlin explained that the environmental impact of packaging varies greatly by sector. In the production of packaged foods, for example, far more emissions are generated than those of the packaging. However, the use of cosmetics and personal care products by consumers is said to be responsible for generating the most emissions – as much as 40%, compared to the sourcing of raw materials (about 10%) and packaging (20%).
“Even though manufacturers, retailers and regulators are aware of the need for greater sustainability, to date there is no global agreement on values and measures,” said Marcial Vargas, global lead science & innovation at Quantis. “In addition, given also the lack of consistent priorities, it is up to the individual brands to determine their own timelines and actions.
“Often business decision makers find themselves in a situation where they have to choose between investing efforts and resources in the sustainability of the product supply chain, or in sustainable packaging, whereas they should prioritise both aspects. As far as packaging is concerned, much higher levels of innovation and flexibility will be required to cope with the pressure and potential critical issues deriving from the ongoing trends.”
Quantis has identified five main trends tipped to change the rules of the game in the packaging industry and raise the level of performance. They are: the growing pressure to reduce packaging waste through regulations; the growth of e-commerce; the change in consumers’ purchasing preferences; the increasing strain on costs in the value chain of packaging resulting in the reduction of retail sales margins; and artificial intelligence and other new technologies that can simplify the entire packaging design process.
Berlin Packaging said its business model provides ‘maximum freedom’ in the use of materials and processes that can be optimised.
“At Berlin Packaging, we have chosen to put sustainability at the centre of our strategy, precisely because we are aware that it is an indispensable priority,” said Paolo Recrosio, CEO of Berlin Packaging EMEA. “We are the world’s largest Hybrid packaging supplier and we feel we must drive the future of sustainable packaging, accelerating the creation of value and pursuing our vision of being a reference player also in terms of sustainability.
“We make a daily commitment to ensuring our business and that of our customers become increasingly sustainable, also with the help of a team dedicated to sustainability and our company’s own innovation engine Studio One Eleven.”
Berlin added that focusing on ‘lighter and optimised’ products, where possible recycled and recyclable, designing systems that involve the value chain to introduce reusable and refillable solutions, and launching ‘innovative’ circular materials, has already achieved ‘significant’ results. In its first Sustainability Report, Berlin highlighted that in 2022 it enabled its customers to eliminate over 2,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and conducted 120 Life-Cycle Assessments.
Over the past year, the company has aligned its ESG commitments with globally recognised metrics, adhering to the United Nations Global Compact and setting emissions reduction targets in line with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).
Berlin Packaging aims to make a 25% reduction in direct and indirect CO2 emissions generated by the company and emissions related to the value chain by 2030, monitoring energy consumption and implementing specific initiatives to reduce emissions and transition to renewable energy sources.
The firm is also committed to offering customers a range of fully recyclable products, and continuing to develop products with a reduced environmental impact.
The company also announced it has obtained the LEED Gold certification for the new EMEA HQ in Milan, converting a former warehouse and using technologies that enable energy savings.
Furthermore, Berlin Packaging has received the EcoVadis Silver rating, an internationally recognised platform that evaluates sustainability, ethical practices, and social responsibility.