Who are the world’s key green packaging leaders?
Overflowing landfill sites, oceanic garbage patches and microplastics in the most remote waters of the Earth are all indicative of the increasingly pressing need for industries, governments and consumers to approach waste more effectively. International tensions, such as those between the Philippines and Canada relating to the dumping of Canadian waste on Filipino shores, are similarly stark warnings that the wastefulness of modern societies does not necessarily directly impact the societies that created such refuse.
Each sector and industry faces its own unique challenges when it comes to waste and the development of circular economies: whether it’s the inability of recycling plants to cater to the full range of recyclable packaging that houses consumer goods; the propensity for microscopic plastics to enter the atmosphere through production of protective coatings for homes, vehicles and buildings; or the abundance of single use plastics across society at large. That being said, a revolution in the way that packaging materials are manufactured and consumed presents perhaps one of the clearest and most tangible avenues to reducing the amount of waste that enters environments around the world.
Solutions to packaging challenges are becoming more apparent all the time, with companies developing biodegradable solutions, maximising the use of recycled and recyclable content in the manufacturing process, and funding public education schemes to promote recycling and environmental awareness. With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that the green packaging market is in the ascendancy. According to a report from Research and Markets, the global market was worth US$168.2bn in 2018. At a CAGR of around 6% between 2019 and 2024, the analysts expect the market’s value to hit a staggering $238.6bn by 2024. The report also highlighted the key players in this deeply competitive landscape as Amcor, Sealed Air Corp, TetraPak, DuPont, Mondi, Ardagh Group, PlastiPak and more.
In 2018, Amcor announced that all of its packaging would be recycling or multi-use by 2025, factoring in seven options to increase the sustainability of its solutions. SealedAir Corp, the original inventor of bubble wrap, has made a similar commitment for 2025, along with a pledge to ensure its packaging is comprised of 50% recycled materials. TetraPak began restructuring its portfolio in 2018 to focus on innovation in the sustainability space and the establishment of a circular economy. Among other strategies at present, the firm has ensured that over 70% of a TetraPak carton by weight is paperboard sourced from sustainable timber.
Outside the big players in the packaging industry, many firms are working internally to provide their own solutions to the need for sustainable packaging. Carlsberg, for example, recently showcased its 100% recyclable bio-based bottle.
DHL partners with Riversimple in sustainability move
Riversimple Movement, a Welsh hydrogen vehicle manufacturer, has found a new partner in the world's 11th largest employer: DHL Supply Chain. The two companies, who have recently signed an MoU, pledge to bring sustainable zero-emission vehicles to the UK, and their targets don’t stop there. The duo looks to be busy, with their sights set on developing sustainability initiatives, securing the necessary finances required to achieve the volume production of hydrogen vehicles, and designing and subsequent trialling of zero-emission transport.
DHL has already begun assisting its new partner in preparing for its first full-scale manufacturing facility, which will house the production of hydrogen-electric vehicles.
“It’s exciting to be partnering with a highly innovative company like Riversimple, which has sustainability at the heart of its mission,” says Managing Director of DHL Manufacturing Logistics UKI, Mike Bristow. “As the world’s leading logistics company, it is our responsibility to guide the industry to a sustainable future.”
DHL has recently launched “The Sustainability Playbook”, designed to create a roadmap to implement the next generation of global supply chain.
“Excellence. Simply delivered. In a sustainable way.”
As one of the leading drivers in global trade, DHL claims to be aware of its immense responsibility to steer innovation. Conscious of the impact their global operations have on the environment, the company initiated “Strategy 2025” - delivering excellence in the digital world. The goal: to focus increasingly on harnessing the potential for sustainable long-term growth and expanding the already-underway digital transformations within the business.
“Strategy 2025” aims to cumulatively invest €2bn in digitalisation through to 2025, in the hope that this will enhance customer experiences. They also predict a €1.5bn yearly run rate by FY’25.
Currently, DHL boasts a large green logistics portfolio, including carbon offsetting, green optimisation, and clean fuel and energy products, all as available ways to make the supply chain industry more sustainable.
“We have repeatedly redefined logistics, from introducing the industry’s first green product to becoming the first logistics company to commit to a zero-emissions target,” says DHL.
“In the past 15 years, we have continuously improved our carbon efficiency while introducing innovative green logistics solutions to make supply chains more sustainable and help our customers achieve their environmental goals.”
DHL move to lead supply chain sustainability
As the world’s 11th largest employer, and with around 570,000 employees worldwide, DHL is in a position to lead the supply chain towards a greener future. Its recent partnership with Riversimple hopes to inspire other companies within the industry to follow.
Hugo Spowers, Founder and Managing Director of Riversimple, acknowledges DHL’s commitment to sustainability.
“We’re very pleased to be collaborating with DHL to help us achieve mass production in the UK in the near term, and hopefully partner with us on a global level as we deliver our goal of systematically eliminating the environmental impact of personal transport.