According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), only 14% of the plastic packaging used globally is recycled. Whereas, more than 40% of packaging ends up in a landfill. In the previous series, we have seen how the companies like Puma, Lego, KFC, Dell, and Frito-Lay are opting for sustainable packaging solutions for their products. We now bring the environment-friendly packaging and sustainable approaches of P&G, HUL, H&M, Apple, and Philips.
Click here to read the first part of sustainable packaging solutions implemented by leading manufacturers.
#6 P&G- Rethinking Plastic
Procter & Gamble Co. popularly known with its acronym P&G is the United States multinational consumer goods manufacturing company. P&G was founded in the year 1837 and specializes in hygiene and personal care products.
Head & Shoulders- Rethinking Plastic Packaging
P&G has launched the world’s first completely recyclable shampoo bottle for its product Head & Shoulders. Teaming with the recycling experts- TerraCycle and SUEZ, P&G made this bottle with 25% recycled beach plastic.
The company aims to make more than half a billion Hair Care bottles with 25% PCR plastic (Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic).
Here is the video shared by the company to demonstrate the Head & Shoulders shampoo bottle packaging.
P&G’s Sustainability Philosophy
In the quest for sustainability, P&G is making efforts in the areas where they can make the most positive impact viz climate, water, and waste. P&G also envisions zero manufacturing and consumer waste going to the landfill by 2020.
Our aspiration is to positively impact all our stakeholders in each area of our Citizenship work: Ethics & Corporate Responsibility, Community Impact, Diversity & Inclusion, Gender Equality, and Environmental Sustainability.
– David S. Taylor, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer
Following are P&G’s sustainable packaging goals:
- To ensure 20% less packaging per consumer use
- Double the recycled resin in plastic packaging
- Making 90% of P&G product packaging recyclable and launching programs to develop an ability to recycle packaging.
P&G’s Initiatives Towards Sustainable Packaging
P&G has been using recycled plastic for packaging since the late 1980s. Here are some remarkable initiatives of the company confined towards sustainable packaging.
- P&G has invented PureCycle Technologies (PCT) to recycle polypropylene into almost new condition. This technology has a potential to u-turn the plastic recycling industry.
- P&G is a founding member of the Plant PET Technology Collaborative. This institution aims at promoting plant-based PET for packaging.
- For product and packaging manufacturing, the company is striving to use renewable sources of energy like solar and wind.
- P&G is a co-founder of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
- P&G uses the elemental chlorine-free pulp for company’s all paper products and packaging.
- To improve recyclability, many P&G product packaging has switched from colored PET to transparent PET.
P&G is the pioneer in using Life Cycle Assessment to design Municipal Solid Waste Management. The company is also one of the 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. Following are the milestones achieved in P&G’s sustainability efforts.
- P&G won the National Inventor of the Year award in 2006 for the design and development of PūR purification sachets.
- With redesigned packaging for products like Gillette Venus, Venus, and Olay, the company is able to save 26% plastic.
- In the year 2017, the company reduced its packaging by 13%.
- Today, the company has used more than 34,400 metric tons of PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic) in its packaging.
- The company has collected 500,000 waste pieces equal to 13 tons of waste.
Here is the detailed sustainability report of the company.
#7 HUL – Moving Towards Reusable, Recyclable, and Compostable Packaging
Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is a subsidiary of British-Dutch Unilever company. Established in 1933 as Lever Brothers, the company became Hindustan Lever Limited in 1956 after its merger with Hindustan Vanaspati Mfg. Co. Ltd. and United Traders Ltd.
HUL is a multi-dimensional product manufacturing company. Its portfolio includes food, beverages, hygiene and personal care products, and water purifiers.
HUL’s r-PET Packaging
HUL is keen on using innovative packaging designs for its product to reduce the use of plastic.
- The company’s products like Pepsodent toothbrush and Fair & Lovely use blister packaging made from r-PET (80% recycled PET).
- In most of its packaging, HUL has substituted commodity polymers with performance-based polymers.
- HUL is also incorporating smaller packaging for its products like Axe, Lipton, Knorr, and Dove.
- The company introduced Surf Excel Matic Liquid in refill packaging pouch format.
HUL’s Sustainability Philosophy
Hindustan Unilever Limited commits to 100% recyclable plastic packaging by 2025. The company acknowledges plastic to be a valuable resource and believes in managing it efficiently. HUL is trying to shift from the “take-make-dispose” consumption model.
Our plastic packaging plays a critical role in making our products appealing, safe, and enjoyable for our consumers. Yet it is clear that if we want to continue to reap the benefits of this versatile material, we need to do much more as an industry to help ensure it is managed responsibly and efficiently post consumer-use.
– Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
You can read in detail about Hindustan Unilever Limited Sustainable Living Plan here.
HUL’s Initiatives Towards Sustainable Packaging
To reduce the packaging waste, HUL adheres to the idea of reusing packaging. By using the appropriate material, the company is able to extend the life cycle of packaging for intended use. Following are some of the milestones in the company’s efforts towards sustainable packaging.
- Refill packs for dishwashing liquid, detergents, cooking oil, etc. are successful in the Indian market.
- The company is partners with energy from waste agencies like IL&FS. This enables the company to use the energy generated from waste for its manufacturing plants.
- HUL also partners with NGOs for waste collection and segregation at source.
- By switching to performance-based polymers from commodity polymers, HUL is able to reduce 1,700 tonnes of polymer waste in 2017.
- With its redesigned packaging, the company saved 1300 tonnes of paper and 95 tonnes of glass.
- Since 2010, the company is able to save one-third of its plastic packaging across the globe.
- In 2017, the company collected, segregated, and co-processed 380 tonnes of plastic waste.
#8 H&M- Leading the Change Towards a Toxic-Free Fashion Future
Hennes & Mauritz AB, popular as H&M is a multinational clothing retail company from Sweden. Founded in 1947, H&M and the associated companies operate in 62 countries with more than 4,500 stores.
The packaging at H&M is 100% circular and renewable. The packaging manufacturing, transport, sales, and use are thoroughly considered at H&M. The company is also careful towards using organic chemicals for printing and labeling.
For its cosmetic product and packaging, H&M is using Ecocert certified ingredients.
H&M’s Sustainability Philosophy
H&M aims at using 100% recycled or sustainably sourced materials across its production line by 2030. Also, H&M believes in working with experts to follow a science-based approach for defining sustainability targets.
Sustainability is not a task that we can manage on our own; collaboration, new ways of working and joint industry goals are key to accelerating the changes and results needed. Our continued commitment to the United Nations Global Compact and our ongoing collaborative work with stakeholders, including local and global experts and NGOs, are a few examples of how we work to achieve positive change through shared responsibility.
-Karl-Johan Persson, CEO, H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB
H&M’s Initiatives Towards Sustainable Packaging
H&M believes in a collaborative approach towards environmental sustainability. 100% of the company’s commercial business partners have signed a sustainability commitment. Following are H&M’s remarkable steps for a sustainable future.
- Since 2014, H&M is partners with Zara and other apparel companies in changing their supply chain to save endangered forests.
- Plastic carry bags are completely replaced with sustainably sourced paper bags.
- To appreciate the efforts towards sustainability, H&M Foundation awards the advanced recycling technology and techniques every year.
- To encourage people to recycle, H&M invites the used textiles and beauty containers and presents 10% Thank-You-Treat.
H&M has set a vision and roadmap to lead the change towards a toxic-free fashion future. Here are some of the notable outcomes from H&M’s efforts for sustainability.
- The company has reduced 35% of emissions from its manufacturing, supply chain, and packaging operations.
- 64% of companies stores across the world have a recycling system for store waste.
- In 2017, H&M collected more than 17K tonnes of textiles and beauty containers through its garment collecting initiative for reuse and recycling.
#9 Apple- Eliminating Toxins from Supply Chain
Apple Inc. is a multinational technology company, known for one of the best technologies of all time- iPhone and Mac. Founded in the year 1976, Apple Inc. has reported a revenue of $229 billion for 2017.
As a brand, along with its products, Apple also considers its practices for the environment sake.
Apple’s Eco-Friendly Packaging
Apple takes the responsibility for the energy used to ship and recycle its products. The company reflects this ideology in its packaging. The salient features of packaging at Apple are-
- The iMac Pro packaging contains 78 percent less plastic and 85 percent recycled content.
- Apple has changed the plastic tray in the packaging to an all molded fiber alternative.
- The company has replaced polystyrene padding with 100% recycled paper padding (for shipping perusal).
Apple’s Sustainability Philosophy
Apple aims at eliminating toxins at each stage of its process- from design and development to reach out to the end user.
Apple’s green initiative includes eco-friendly packaging as well. The company plans to strategically use paper-based packaging with three core values-
- Using paper efficiently and wherever possible, prefer using recycled paper.
- Sourcing paper responsibly.
- Protecting forests and planting trees for creating sustainable working forests.
Apple’s Initiatives Towards Sustainable Packaging
The company has formed Green Chemistry Advisory Board with world’s leading toxicologists, researchers, and academics. With the board’s help, Apple is able to identify innovative ways to minimize toxins from the entire supply chain.
Apple has reduced the packaging dimensions to reduce the packaging and supply chain footprint. For example, The packaging for the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar weighs 19 percent less than the previous generation.
The company is trying to use recycled or bio-based plastics for its packaging and wherever possible, eliminating the need for plastic altogether.
Highlights of Apple’s sustainable packaging initiatives-
- The packaging is smaller and lighter. This saves the energy while shipping the products to a distant location.
- Using fewer and sustainable materials for packaging.
- Since 2015, Apple is partners with WWF (World Wildlife Federation) for responsible forest management.
- Apple provides the necessary tools and guidance to its suppliers for sustainable waste management.
Some people see innovation as change, but we have never really seen it like that. It’s making things better.
-Tim Cook, CEO, Apple Inc.
Apple has successfully created a closed-loop supply chain for the paper. It means that 100% of the wood-fibers used in Apple products packaging is either recycled or comes from sustainably managed forests. Some of the sustainability milestones achieved by Apple are-
- According to 2016 data, Apple has reduced the amount of plastics in its packaging by almost 30 percent.
- Apple has protected and created responsibly managed forests to cover the 51,000 metric tons of virgin paper they used for packaging in 2017.
#10 Philips- Transitioning to Circular Economy
Koninklijke Philips N.V., stylized as PHILIPS, is a Dutch multinational technology company founded in 1891. It is one of the world’s largest electronics companies in the world operating in over 60 countries.
The salient features of packaging at Philips are-
- Lightweight packaging
- Maximizing the use of recycled content
Using recyclable packaging helps in minimizing resource consumption and reduces the overall carbon footprint of the product.
Although the combined packaging, transport, and end-of-life phases represent only about a percentage of the company’s total environmental impact, Philips is keen at making that impact a positive one.
Philips’ Sustainability Philosophy
At Philips, we fully embrace sustainability because of the benefits for societies, and because we believe that it is a driver for economic growth. That’s why we have sustainability incorporated in our company strategy.
-Frans van Houten, CEO, Koninklijke Philips N.V.
Philips is committed to carbon neutrality for its global operations by 2020. For being more energy efficient Philips is driving down carbon emissions in its operations and logistics. Philips also aims at recycling 90 % of operational waste and contributing zero landfills.
Philips’ Initiatives Towards Sustainable Packaging
In its sustainability drive, Philips is trying to compensate emissions via carbon credits. For attaining sustainability in the complete lifecycle of its products, Philips is collaborating with business partners, NGOs, and stakeholders.
In its Green Innovation drive, Philips has successfully employed EcoDesign and circular economy principles in designing products and packaging. Philips is able to recycle 90% of its operational waste (a considerable portion from packaging and supply chain). The company is also able to minimize the waste going to the landfill.3