Many businesses have begun to focus on green practices in product packaging.
But at the same time, many of the most encouraged practices cost money to implement.
These financial challenges can put businesses off making the move.
Being green might entail some cost for your organisation. But taking steps to become more environmentally sound offers some reward. Here are five of the biggest business benefits of eco-friendly packaging.
1. Get grants and incentives
Your organisation can seek out grants, incentives, and favourable loan rates.
Governments and independent bodies like the Carbon Trust offer incentives to invest in energy efficient and green technologies.
For example, if you’re in England, Scotland or Wales, the Carbon Trust Green Business Fund offers up to £10,000 to small and medium sized businesses. These funds help them buy equipment to reduce their carbon footprint. In addition, it offers a no-interest energy efficiency loan program to businesses in Wales.
Generally, these types of incentive are available first come, first served. So apply sooner rather than later to avoid any impact on your bottom line.
2. Lessen your impact on the environment
A company shouldn’t focus entirely on the financial benefits of being green.
Your competitors may consider the environment a concern that stretches well beyond what goes into the coffers.
For many business owners and decision-makers, being green is an important part of running a good company.
Eco-friendly packaging means much more than recyclability. You need to understand your packaging’s life-cycle. It extends from the raw materials and techniques used, all the way through to the impact and practicalities of disposal or reuse.
Does such a broad view of your packaging sound complicated? Then find an expert partner.
Curtis Packaging are sustainable packaging company. It is the first in the UK to offer World Land Trust certified carbon-balanced packaging. Its customer consultation process discovers the goals of their client organisations.
If you have good environmental intentions and want help re-thinking your packaging, working with an experienced and accredited partner like Curtis keeps corporate sustainability from becoming a headache.
3. Improve your brand image
The market for environmentally sound products grows daily. Numerous worldwide customer behaviour studies demonstrate this trend, and primarily young people drive it.
Adults born after 1990 consistently give ‘environment’ and ‘sustainability’ as two of the biggest factors that influence their buying decisions. If you’re in any doubt, look for environmental influences in the marketing and advertising material you see. Advertising is worth hundreds of billions of pounds worldwide. So you better believe the big players have their fingers on the pulse of what people want to see.
But it’s not just the younger generations that want to see eco-friendly packaging either. Another study shows that 78% of customers between the ages of 18 and 72 feel more positive about a product or manufacturer whose packaging contained recycled materials.
Quite simply, being green and shouting about it will bring you more customers – the kind of customers that will keep coming back based almost entirely on your environmental attitudes.
4. Go green on your terms
But that attitude can lead you into a tricky situation when changing culture forces your hand.
In 2015, the UK enacted its ‘Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulation.’ Many companies came under a legal obligation to change their products.
The law stipulated that the volume and weight of a products package must be kept to a minimum.
But it had to maintain safety and hygiene levels. This requirement meant big overhauls, for companies that over-packed their products.
Packaging hadn’t appeared a problem that needed resolution – until the UK Government decided otherwise.
But don’t wait for eco-friendly considerations to become law. You will only give your company a massively reduced period of time to adapt to the changes.
What’s more, when this time arrives, there is likely to be a significant drain on those first come, first serve grants and incentives. If you want to operate your business on your terms, move toward green packaging sooner rather than later.
5. Reduce shipping costs
When a business reduces the size of its packaging, it ticks two significant environmental boxes. First, it greatly reduces the amount of raw materials used to create the packaging. Reduced materials also mean reduced effort at the end of the packaging life-cycle when it comes time to dispose or reuse it.
Second, smaller is almost always cheaper to move. Consider all the shipping between the factory and the store. Then look at how much your business paid for it. It’s likely to be a big figure. And green packaging can significantly reduce it.