Global spirits, wine, and beer company Diageo has published its first Sustainable Packaging Guidelines. According to the company, the guidelines reflect its commitment to a holistic approach to reducing its overall impact on the environment across the whole value chain “from barley for the breweries to the bottle in the bin,” and at the same time supports its customers and consumers’ desire for more sustainable living.
Diageo says its vision is to manage and reduce the impact of its packaging at every stage of its life—from supplier through to consumer. The guidelines, developed by a cross-functional team, define the company’s approach to sustainable packaging based on the common principles of “reduce, reuse, recycle” and include examples of best practice as well as recognition that working with suppliers and other stakeholders is key to success, says the company.
According to the guidelines, improving the sustainability of packaging at Diageo is based on three principles:
• Optimizing packaging material use to derive the smallest possible environmental footprint where practical.
• Designing packaging with full consideration to the whole life cycle—cradle-to-cradle.
• Using leading-edge technologies and design techniques where practical to minimize packaging materials and optimize the use of recyclable materials.
Says Diageo CMO Andy Fennell, “Packaging is vital in delivering and protecting our valuable brands—and increasingly customers and consumers are demanding more sustainable packs from all leading consumer goods companies. Walmart, for example, has established a comprehensive packaging scorecard on which suppliers are evaluated. These new guidelines will be adopted throughout our business to ensure we drive year-on-year improvements.”
David Gosnell, the company’s president of global supply and procurement, adds, “This is an important milestone that will ensure a consistent approach to developing new packaging and reviewing existing packs. The guidelines will not only help us meet our stretching sustainable packaging targets for 2015, but also support our engagement with customers and consumers—and further embed our position as corporate leaders in environmental sustainability.”