One of the best indirect results of the headlong rush companies are making into sustainability initiatives is the rise of green competition. We see it across sectors, as companies work to out-do each other on green efforts and green messaging
That last example is especially relevant. For example, The Coca-Cola Company has recently taken its years of environmental initiatives -- from energy-efficient lighting to hybrid vehicle fleets -- to a new level, with the introduction in 2009 of the PlantBottle, a PET beverage bottle made of 30 percent plant-based plastics.
The PlantBottle was a game-changer for green packaging on its own, giving a highly innovative product about the highest-profile platform it could have.
But then its chief competitor raised the bar.
Earlier this year, Pepsi announced an aggressive objective to introduce a 100 percent plant-based PET bottle to the market in 2012.
These competing initiatives will have a big impact on consumer awareness as well as the landscape for green packaging. And they will no doubt lead to a shake-up of how packaging companies do their daily business.
Pushing the envelope on what constitutes green means frequent new product designs and new technologies if you want to compete in the packaged drinks markets. As a manufacturer, this means you must work with new, untested materials ... and expect there will be many adjustments necessary to stay relevant.
What are the operational and manufacturing concerns that power this movement?
Behind-the-Scenes Challenges to Manufacturing Green
If you're in the industry, you know all too well that product packaging requires a high degree of proficiency, flexibility and responsiveness to a wide range of market factors and consumer whims. All consumer products manufacturers face these issues. The challenge is how to simultaneously deal with the pressures of reducing cost and improving efficiency while following good manufacturing practices and green initiatives.
Next page: Four key challenges, and how to overcome them