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Report highlights CPGs' sustainability achievements

Industry association publishes report on the successes of some of its members in making sustainability advancements in the areas of air, waste, and water.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has released a report that spotlights progress and achievements by food, beverage, and consumer products companies as they work to reduce their environmental footprints and implement innovative sustainable business practices. Titled Environmental Success Stories in the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry, the report was compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers and features industry success stories in the categories of air, water, and waste management.This is the second edition of the report; the first edition was released in 2012.

“This report demonstrates the strong and longstanding commitment GMA member companies have to reducing their environmental footprint and to creating value for consumers and communities.Their sustainability stories represent the best of the CPG industry—leadership, pioneering collaborations, and bold innovation,” says Pamela G. Bailey, GMA president and CEO.

The report highlights a diverse cross-section of initiatives from an equally diverse slate of manufacturers.The cases featured were selected because they met some or all of the following criteria: use innovative technology, process, or approach; yield a quantifiable return on investment; document a reduction in impact or improvement in efficiency; or involve engagement with stakeholders.

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Broken down into three sections—Air, Waste, and Water—the report includes a number of packaging-related improvements. Among them:

  • In 2011, Ocean Spray Cranberries redesigned its bottling distribution network to better align with demand for its juices in the southeast U.S., resulting in a reduction of 14,000 tons of CO2/yr as well as a 40% savings in transportation costs.
  • Procter & Gamble’s use of best-in-class film for its cold water PODS detergent, which allows it to dissolve in cold water and requires less energy to heat the wash water, has helped the company increase the percentage of global washing machine loads washed in cold water from 38% to 50% from 2010-2012.
  • The removal of cardboard inserts into packages for Campbell’s 1.89-L V8 and V8 Splash beverages eliminated 900,000 cardboard sleeves and generated an annual savings of $230,000.
  • In redesigning every bottle size for HERSHEY’s Syrup to remove material from the body and improve the bottle cap, the company eliminated 1.7 million lb of high-density polyethylene.

For more comprehensive information on each of these case studies as well as other examples, view the full study. 

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