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Sustainable packaging as competitive differentiator

Opportunities are ‘golden’ for companies to gain a competitive edge through sustainable packaging, but defining such packaging and identifying its role is debatable, says a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report.


The conclusion of a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report, “Sustainable packaging: Threat or opportunity,” notes, “Unless the industry becomes more proactive in the debate about the definition and role of sustainable packaging, it runs the risk of packaging continuing to receive disproportionate attention for its environmental impact.”

Packaging is a function of multiple industries, but that said, the report points out that companies that fail to address the demand for sustainable packaging will lose business to “forward-thinking competitors. …The wide uncertainty about what sustainable packaging actually is, and how and when different customer groups will adopt it, presents those commercially astute companies with a golden opportunity to steal a march on their competitors and use sustainability as a differentiator and source of added value in their market place.”

Author Sterling Anthony points out in an article, “Green consumers: sustainability’s science fiction,” that “consumers buy first and foremost to satisfy needs. Companies should incorporate sustainability as a product feature that provides a consumer benefit without sacrifice of quality, performance, convenience, and value (relative price).”

Want help with questions pertaining to sustainable packaging? Ask the Greener Package Advisory Board and Expert Network. The network helped design the Greener Package awards competition. The deadline for the 2010 competition is May 28.

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