Last month at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Publicis Impetu, a top creative agency, won a silver Lion for their promotional packaging of Nike Frees.
This cute little box not only advertises Nike’s new maximum flexibility sneakers, but also advocates environmentally friendly product packaging by emphasizing one of the many ways to go green: sizing.
According to a study by Joonas Rokka and Liisa Uusitalo, one third of respondents from a pool of 330 beverage consumers said that they prioritized eco-friendly labelling over other attributes when making purchasing decisions. Going green is a social trend that’s increasingly being adopted by businesses across all types of industries. In fact, LEGO just announced that they are now working on a new initiative to manufacture their colorful building blocks using eco-friendly material rather than plastic. Similarly, Adidas is working on sneakers made completely out of ocean debris. Here’s how your company can join the movement:
Before you begin your journey to sustainability, acknowledge your current status on the matter. Identify your starting point. This way, you can set goals, measure the impact of your efforts, and report it to your team and your consumers. Numbers mean a lot to people. Sometimes it’s not enough just to say that you’re going green; people want proof. Publishing numbers and goals also creates a sense of accountability for the company. As former Business Insider strategy reporter, Max Nisen, says, “There's a difference between a company having a sustainability program and actually being sustainable.”
2. Packaging Material
Package your products with recyclable material such as paper instead of plastic. Some companies such as B2B Industrial Packaging offer a host of innovative eco-friendly packaging options such as those made of mineral blends, mycelium found in the root of mushrooms, and stretch film without the plastic core. For those in the food industry, many companies that produce eco-friendly ‘flexible’ packaging are sprouting up. Some of these companies include TIPA, Polysack, and Tadbik.
A huge caveat that comes with green packaging material is the not-so-friendly price tag. Remember that going green is not an all-or-nothing game. Taking small steps in your mission to go green can make a huge difference. If shipping all of your products out in eco-friendly boxes isn’t viable, begin by choosing environmentally-friendly filling material such as biodegradable packing peanuts, or make the biodegradable box an option for consumers to choose and pay a little extra for. To confirm the green-factor of your packaging material, look for certification by organizations like FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) and C2C (Cradle to Cradle).
3. Packaging Size
Just as Nike did, you should reduce the size of each product’s packaging if possible. Often times when ordering goods online, they come in boxes that are four times the size of the product itself. The rest of the box is filled with packing material like packing peanuts or plastic. It’s a waste of space and money when products are not delicate and do not require extra fillers for protection. Reducing the size of your packaging is better for the environment and your company’s finances. With a smaller packaged product, you can ship more items at a time, decreasing the number of shipments and reducing your carbon footprint. Less packaging material will also cut costs for your company. This is especially beneficial if you decide to pursue a more expensive environmentally friendly packaging material.
Going green isn’t just about the box that your product comes in. It’s about the people behind it too. Integrate the initiative into your company culture as a way to bring the team together for the greater good. You can even go as far as creating a social media campaign to engage your customers. With everyone on board, the execution of your mission is sure to be more successful.
No one suffers from a little sustainability. Taking green measures will help your company, your customers, and the world.
Aya Tsuruta is a Content Marketing Journalist at Repsly where she covers sales and marketing content through a creative lens. In addition to writing for Repsly, she is a frequent contributor to the music blog, Indie Music Filter, and BC magazine, the Gavel.