A common phrase in management, “What gets measured, gets done,” is one you’ve likely heard before. It means ongoing tracking and measurement that helps keep a company focused on improving helps uncover insight and data to inform important decisions. And when it comes to corporate sustainability, that phrase is one worth paying attention to.
Consumer demand for sustainable products and services is only increasing. Shoppers are paying attention to every facet of how companies do business, from how they source their food to the packaging they use, sustainability initiatives and more.
The smart – and most successful – companies have been paying attention to this growing trend and setting goals for their corporate sustainability efforts. Giants like Starbucks and McDonald’s have made moves to make their operations more sustainable, in part through implementing goals to use packaging made with recycled content.
For food and beverage manufacturers, it’s important to recognize that packaging is an integral part of their sustainability efforts. Especially as food delivery apps climb in popularity and more companies experiment with alternatives for to-go containers, using more environmentally friendly packaging with recycled content is a crucial step for food and beverage companies to meet their sustainability goals.
The entire lifecycle counts
Measuring the environmental impact of a product means looking at its entire life cycle, through the whole supply chain. Consumers and businesses alike often think about what happens to the packaging used to hold their food and drinks after they’re done using them. That’s important, but we should consider how it got there, too.
Studies have shown that the greenhouse gas emissions leading to climate change are largely linked to energy used in the product lifecycle. In other words, everything it takes to produce a product, including getting it to the shelf, takes energy – so the smarter it’s manufactured, the more sustainable the product.
Companies looking to set – and meet – meaningful corporate sustainability goals cannot ignore how their partners bring their products to the shelf.
At Sustana Fiber, we keep this in mind. We’ve long recognized our role in helping our customers measure the environmental impact of their businesses, by measuring our own – holding ourselves accountable and transparently sharing our results. So, as part of our overarching Sustainability Strategy, we conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to measure the full environmental impact of our fiber products, throughout their entire journey.
This includes every facet of bringing products to market, from sourcing post-consumer recycled content from the “urban forest” – using discarded sorted office papers, promotional materials, school and business documents, paper cups and cartons to create new products – to a state-of-the-art proprietary recycling process that minimizes water usage, energy usage and waste. Collectively, this is a sustainable circular economy, which we believe is the future of packaging.
Better for the environment, safe for food
The impact of our EnviroLife™ recycled fiber on climate change is 26% lower and uses 9 times less water than virgin (non-recycled) paper fibers. This can play a major role in helping other businesses, especially food brands, who have sustainability goals in mind.
Along with being more sustainable than virgin fiber alternatives, EnviroLife™ 100% post-consumer recycled fiber is compliant with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) standards for food grade packaging, having received a no objection letter stating that the fiber is “of purity and suitable for food contact use.”
In other words, food and beverage manufacturers interested in creating greater sustainability in their businesses can confidently use recycled fibers.
Whatever stage your company is in when it comes to corporate sustainability goals, measuring and quantifying your results is vital to holding yourself accountable to reaching them. Take a look at our Life Cycle Assessment to learn more about how we do this – and how the right recycled food-grade fiber can help your brand reduce your environmental footprint.