'GREEN': A Tale Of Two Definitions

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					        ‘GREEN’:                                                                A Tale Of Two
                  How to become a sustainability practitioner. By Elizabeth Abrams

      t used to be that the concept of “green” was confusing: being envi-        Beautify And Simplify
      ronmentally friendly cost more to accomplish, and that extra cost got          Forward-thinking executives realize that packaging serves dual pur-
      passed on to consumers. That approach used to work; shoppers who           poses. It has to be both aesthetically pleasing and transportation-friendly.
      bought “green” would buy your cereal and juice regardless of price,        Approach both aspects with the idea of simplification in mind. Large
and those who wouldn’t, well they weren’t the ones wanting all-natural           brands, like Tropicana and Pepsi, have undergone a total brand redesign,
or organic products. That philosophy is a thing of the past. Two-thirds          swapping out cluttered, overly intricate logos for simpler, cleaner and
of retailers are stocking sustainable goods because shoppers are calling         therefore, fresher designs. The theory: the more streamlined the packag-
the shots, and more of them than ever want sustainable products that are         ing, the purer, more straightforward and economical the product. Purity
both healthy and most importantly, inexpensive.                                  and simplicity equate to high quality, and more than ever, high quality is
    This trend represents a broader emphasis on simplicity. Shoppers             synonymous with all-natural, or sustainable.
want clean, simple products that cost less than their synthetic counter-             While you are redesigning your outer packs, review your inner packs.
parts, and the concept is not limited solely to ingredients. Your shipping       Remember that transportation costs are rising, contributing more and
process must run lean as well, and that means ensuring your transpor-            more to the shelf price of your product with some estimates as high as 20
tation practices are sound and your packaging is sustainable. Your goal          percent. It might be time to consider alternative packaging that is light-
is to reduce waste and decrease price. Packaging has a direct effect on          weight and reusable.
logistics costs, so emphasize aesthetics over functionality. Reduce your             Review your product. Does it take on the scents of products nearby?
packaging, use environmentally-friendly materials and focus on practical-        Is it delicate, requiring several layers of packaging? What is your claims
ity. You’ll cut costs, and in the process, be more than a sustainability sup-    rate? The naturally sustainable product costs less to produce and ship,
porter. You become a sustainability practitioner.                                so enlist key people from each point in your product lifecycle to brain-

                                                                                               www.foodlogistics.com •      F                JUNE 2010   31
                      storm new ways of reducing waste. Consult indus-        ordering system whose technology connects you both to the warehouse
                      try associations with experience. The Sustainable       floor and to the shipper.
                      Packaging Coalition endorses several packaging             Such is the case with International Coffee Trading, a Miami-based cof-
                      methods and recently defined its sustainable pack-       fee distributor. Company president Lisa Bagley found a partner in Case-
aging criteria. Review the latest moves by fellow suppliers. 
Description: Companies Hke CaseStack, Hanson Logistics and Millard collaborate with supply chain partners to boost efficiency. Their technology-driven programs allow retailers to speak directly with the logistics provider. Dan Sanker, CEO of CaseStack explains, 'Lowering logistics costs doesn't require lowering service levels.
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