"Sustainability in 2012: Putting the 6Rs into Thought and Action" Food & Beverage Packaging

Food & Beverage Packaging

The packaging landscape has been “greened” the past years by consumer packaged goods companies (CPGCs) making sustainability improvements, initiative by initiative and packaged product by packaged product.  These changes have been made for a number of reasons including meeting internal goals, meeting external expectations and/or cutting costs.

Benchmarking is as crucial on the machinery side as on the materials side. Barry Lynch, global industry manager, consumer packaged goods, GE Intelligent Platforms (www.ge-ip.com) has conducted “treasure hunts” for efficiency savings at production facilities. He sees automated data acquisition as the ideal way to capture production metrics. “Packaging is one of those areas where you can see immediate benefits in sustainability,” he says. “What we’re trying to do is get manufacturers to treat utility costs as a Bill of Materials so that’s part of the cost of making—and packaging—a product that you can put a dollar value against. That’s why benchmarking is so important, to understand what it costs to make these products and what is the impact if something is changed such as a carton? Manufacturers want to know how much it cost to manufacture that product, literally at the end of the day.”