And it’s about time too. Big brands are under pressure to “green up,” causing a blue haze in the C-Suite. Brands may be kicking and screaming to go green, but it’s got to happen.
With the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as only one of numerous “garbage patches” around the globe, the issue is only exacerbating. The charge is led by the Millennials, who are sick over the way their parents, grandparents are leaving the planet for them. But the entire consumer products industry is feeling pressure like never before. Some of the largest brands like Coke® has been working hard to reverse the negative trend of packaging.
“It’s not just our Abbey Well bottles that are 100% recyclable – all of our drinks packaging is. We’ve spent many years working behind the scenes to ensure all our drinks packaging meets the right requirements to be fully recyclable. Since 2007 we’ve decreased the weight of our packaging by 27%. Lowering the amount of material our packaging uses naturally lowers the quantity of natural resources and energy we need to manufacture it. We’ve seen encouraging results since 2007, but we’re not done yet. Take our bottles. We make sure the type of glue we use to stick on the labels, and even the colour of PET plastic we use, work seamlessly within the recycling and reprocessing systems here in Great Britain so that every bottle and can we sell can be recycled and reused.” – Coca-Cola UK
But the plastic industry isn’t alone in this.
The consumer products industry has long-been the perpetrators of a massive carbon footprint across every inch of the planet. Packaging has gone from no packaging or very modest packaging like a piece of brown paper to extravagant “art” to help sell products. From cans to bottles, disposable diapers to medical waste, packaging and single-use, throw-away materials are filling our landfills and our oceans.
With 2030 not too far off, the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals is hoping enough action will occur to help save the planet and its people.
I remember when I was a boy that a loaf of bread came in a waxed-paper wrapper and a great many products for consumption, were either in refundable glass or had no packaging at all.
The United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
All in all, there are 17 goals, with 169 associated targets for sustainable development to not only help under-developed countries live better, the concerns are largely environmental.
Unilever, a global consumer products firm, has received significant lift as having a focused mandate of 8 of the UNSDG’s.
“Our own research shows that over half of all consumers buy or want to buy sustainability. This is why we developed our ‘sustainable living brands,’ which have a clear purpose relating to a social or environmental concern and contribute to the USLP (Unilever Sustainable Living Plan). We now have 26 sustainable brands – including Dove, Lipton, Hellman’s, and Seventh Generation. They have continuously outperformed the average growth rate of Unilever.”
Other household goods have also been feeling the pressure as consumers demand more natural products, organic and chemical free. Everything from natural and organic foods to toilet bowl cleaner, eliminating the toxins, chemicals, man-made products are definitely earning less and less market share.
Brands like Whole Foods, Aldi, Tata Harper, The Good Trade, Honest Company, and many, many more are leading the way towards a lower carbon footprint, healthier people, environmentally healing action towards the critical issue of degradation of our world.
But, whose job is it? Great question.
While fingers get pointed in every direction, it’s this writer’s belief that we’re all in this together if we want a sustainable and green way of life.
Some say governments must take the lead, especially the United States because of the greenhouse gasses it emits. Others say its businesses responsibility because after all, they’re the ones that have profited off of Earth-destroying pesticides, chemicals, Co2, and plain old negligence toward responsible business practices.
It’s more than just a feeling; 9 out of 10 Americans expect companies to do more than make a profit—they expect them to operate socially and responsibly, and would boycott a company that egregiously violated these expectations. – Forbes
Getting back to the UNSDG’s, the countries and business leaders that formulated the Agenda believe it is everyone’s responsibility to do what it can to not only develop the third world but to do everything possible to repair the damage to the environment.
With 17 UN goals and 169 targets for action, there’s plenty of work to be done and little time to accomplish them.
Why brands are blue over green is unimaginable to me. It is their nature to make money, but it shouldn’t come without consequence. Obviously, this is just one man’s opinion, but I believe I’m not alone. We all benefit from the resources of this world, so we must all do what we can to be more responsible.
Have you documented your company’s environmental sustainability plan yet?