Promoting Green: Sustainable Operations Benefit the Planet – and Your Business

20 April 2018

by the Tetra Pak Editorial team

Environmental advocacy has undergone a fundamental shift. While many companies offer environmentally-friendly products, the need for sustainable practices in the manufacturing and production of such items is also reaching a critical impasse.
Globally, we continue to chip away at our natural resources – water, oil, gas, etc. – prompting the urgent need to conserve what remains. And as more consumers understand the benefits of sustainable operations on global health, many follow an eco-friendly path when making purchasing decisions.
While recycling remains important, a growing number of consumers want to purchase products from

companies that use sustainable materials and take demonstrable steps to decrease their environmental impact. This evolution means that food and beverage brands must prioritize responsible sourcing, sustainable materials and operations, and conservation – or risk being left behind. Recent industry research reveals the top ways food and beverage brands can do their part.
Green Makes Solid Business Sense
Ninety percent of companies in developed countries believe that protecting the planet is important to their business strategy, citing environmental responsibility, water use, and consumer demand as the top reasons why, according to 2017 research conducted by Tetra Pak and Ipsos, global market research firm. This data, based on surveying 6,500 consumers across 13 countries covering both developed and developing markets, also revealed that:

  • 85 percent of respondents said emotional drivers and personal benefit influence their green product purchases.
  • 43 percent said environmentally sound packaging is a driver for choosing one brand over another.
  • 42 percent of consumers look for environmental logos (such as “recyclable,” “renewable,” “plant based,” and “water footprint,”) on the package (on pack) because they make the brand appear more trustworthy and provide valuable information on the package’s environmental impact.
  • While the higher cost for environmentally sound products over standard products is the consumer’s top purchasing barrier, a lack of information about green products (what makes them sustainable, why the company values them, what the benefits are to consumers and the planet, etc.), as well as a lack of product choice, have a direct influence on purchases.

Sustainability Operations
The Tetra Pak/Ipsos research also revealed that more food manufacturers and retailers are engaging in environmentally sound practices on a greater scale today than in years past. These companies are working to improve operational efficiencies by reducing energy consumption and waste. They also choose materials that are responsibly sourced, such as paper products certified by Forestry Stewardship Council®, which engages in sustainable forest management practices.
Reducing water usage is also critical to optimization, and companies can streamline their operations with innovative filtration systems and equipment that recycles water or requires less water to operate on a daily basis.
Companies that leverage sustainable practices will ultimately save on cost. Further, they will be positioned to gain attention from consumers who see the brand as one that cares about their livelihood. And on the grandest scale, they will be protecting and replenishing the resources necessary for business survival and growth.

Recycling and Brand Loyalty
According to a recent report from The Carton Council, an advocate for carton recycling in the U.S., 92 percent of consumers surveyed in 2017 said they expect food and beverage brands to help increase the recycling of their product packages. The same research showed a strong correlation between package recycling and consumer commitment: 56 percent of respondents said a brand’s engagement with environmental causes influences their product loyalty.
Tetra Pak’s Green Focus
Tetra Pak's sustainability platform is based on our brand promise to Protect What’s Good, food, people, future. It includes initiatives that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 aspirations created by leaders of the 193 countries that comprise the United Nations. Tetra Pak has focused on fulfilling nine of these goals, clearly communicating actions and results to its stakeholders.  

From promoting sustainable package design with products such as the Tetra Rex® Bio-based cartons (the first fully renewable package), to ensuring all Tetra Pak factories comply with the ISO standards for environmental excellence, to transporting products in the most efficient ways possible, the company is on a continual quest to refine and optimize operations and its products to reduce its environmental footprint. 

Sustainability Is a Competitive Differentiator
The need for companies to demonstrate sustainable practices has become important to competitive differentiation. In the food and beverage industry, those companies that promote sustainability throughout the entire value chain are the ones most likely to have the greatest impact on consumer spending today – and will be positioned for business performance and growth in the future.
Learn more about the way in which Tetra Pak is a leader in water sustainabilitysustainable packagesresponsible sourcing, and sustainable freight.