Sustainability a Top Corporate Priority for Packaging

March 29, 2013
Steel industry looks to takes advantage of this trend by marketing its product’s recyclability.

An independent research study commissioned by the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), revealed 65 percent of decision makers at Fortune 500 consumer product companies view packaging sustainability as a high priority. The survey was conducted by MindClick in January and February and included packaging decision makers from major consumer packaged goods companies.

The challenge for consumer products firms, according to the research study, is the lack of meaningful information available to evaluate and compare the sustainability performance of competitive packaging materials. Packaging executives define sustainability as the way individual materials contribute to the environmental and social story of products and brands. Key contributors to determining sustainability include recycling and the energy required to transport, store, use and dispose of the packaging. Secondary considerations include the greater societal, environmental and community impacts related to the materials themselves. 

With an emphasis on performance, SMDI will launch a national education campaign to highlight steel's ability to meet the sustainability needs of the packaging industry. The campaign will include the following highlights:

·       Across all markets, steel is the world’s most recycled material; 

·       Steel cans are the most recycled food package with a 71 percent recycling rate;

·       Steel food cans are more than 30 percent lighter than 25 years ago.

“Through the outreach effort, SMDI's Steel Packaging Council will highlight steel's role in meeting the sustainability needs of the packaging industry, while communicating the broader benefits of steel packaging,” said Lawrence Kavanagh, president, SMDI.

The SMDI's steel packaging campaign will continue through 2013 with online education sessions for professionals, industry-wide surveys about steel packaging and videos. The group also will launch an educational website and present at future packaging industry events.