Thursday, March 29, 2012

Can stand the competition...

... plus bottles, jars, cartons, etc.

On matters triple bottom line, I noticed this story and asked for the Press Release (much too lazy to rejig much as it doesn't need it). Seems some can make green out of, well... green:

‘Innocent’ named as most admired brand for its environmental approach to packaging

Packaging professionals have named ‘Innocent’ their most admired brand for its environmental approach to packaging according to a new survey released today.

The survey, put together by packaging trade show specialist’s easyFairs, questioned 289 packaging professionals, asking them a number of questions, of which one was to openly name a brand that they really admired for its green packaging approach. In response 10% suggested the ‘Innocent’ brand, followed by ‘Marks & Spencer’ (7%) and ‘Kenco’ (5%).

Matt Benyon, managing director at easyFairs UK and Ireland comments: “Innocent have made tremendous steps over the last few years in making their packaging better for the environment, from using food grade recycled plastic in their bottles, to making their cartons from 100% Forest Stewardship Council certified material. They also have a very strong sustainable packaging policy in place.”

He continues: “What impresses me most, is that we asked all those surveyed to name any brand they like, so to have 10% come back saying ‘Innocent’ is quite amazing, and just shows how Innocent get things right in not only the green packaging side of things, but conveying their green message across to its peers and consumers. A lot of companies are doing great things out there, just they don’t tell us, which is a real shame.”

Indeed, over a quarter (27%) surveyed, admitted that they were doing lots when it comes to environmental packaging but not shouting about it.

However, when asked what is driving their packaging decisions at the moment, top of the list was cost, with a huge 69% stating this. Over half (58%) also said that the tougher economic climate means they are less likely to introduce more environmentally sound packaging unless it saves them money as well.

This shows that there is still a battle between keeping costs to a minimum and improving environmental performance of packaging for most professionals working in the industry.

Matt explains: “Our survey showed that 46% are interested in greener materials, but it’s paying that bit extra for these materials that is the problem. It’s that catch 22, companies need to keep costs down, but also understand the importance of having a proactive approach to environmental packaging. At the moment too many companies are still afraid to take that risk to switch to a greener solution, unless it costs them less, which in most cases is unlikely. We all know that Innocent is not the cheapest of products on the market, but it has educated the market place on environmental issues and how purchasing their products can help, which is why they have become so successful.”

Without a doubt, and issues that many professionals identify and agree with. For example over a third (35%) said that it is the brand owner’s responsibility to educate consumers on the positive effect that environmental packaging has. 75% of those surveyed also admitted that it is the customer who is driving them to improve their green packaging and 66% said that their environmental performance was important to their consumers of their products. It’s just delivering at a cost that works for them.

Matt comments: “I do think we’ve come along way, and packaging professionals are doing a lot more than they ever have done compared to previous years to meet the ‘green’ demand from consumers. For example, we asked our respondents to be truly frank, and rate on a scale whether they could be doing any more to reduce the environment impact of their packaging, where 10 meant they couldn’t be doing anything more. 65% wrote down either 7 or above, which is very promising.”

Elsewhere the survey also showed that the toy industry is the most guilty of over-packaging, with 26% thinking this. Whilst 61% thought that the cosmetics/perfumery/toiletries industries were the most innovative when it comes to packaging.

Now this is all very interesting, given's ongoing efforts to promote RE:tie, especially given the latter's latest research to show that there are ways that consumer can be delivered eco-innovation that also translates into sales. Extra and/or sucking share from competitors.

By sheer coincidence, Innocent, or at least one of its founders, has cropped up today with a competition we have been invited to enter: BBC's 'Be Your Own Boss'

Now, I have entered too (sadly Innocent have shown no interest in RE:tie, despite its obvious relevance to their brand and environmental commitments, so no point rehashing that route. Luckily, Yoda-like, 'there is another') so if, in sharing this you enter and kick me off... at least put in a good word!

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