Arguments are useful, but only when resolved. Nothing is achieved in the middle, where bad feelings fester and compromise remains a distant island, invisible over the horizon. Only once agreement is reached, hands shaken and documents signed can the parties relax and begin to plan for their future.
This is as true in life as it is in business but it is in business that we often find the biggest arguments: those which impact on the wider community. Competition in business does not necessarily make for happy bedfellows and agreement can be extremely hard to reach as self-interest overrides the common good.
Happily we have evidence of a fine example of sharing: the Global Packaging Project (as reported in Packaging News). The project not only involves some of the biggest businesses on our planet but it is also for the purposes of protecting our planet, which is extremely positive. The businesses have got together in Toronto to thrash out the preliminary details of an agreement which will see them use shared language to describe how their packaging affects the environmental sustainability of their business. This is good news, not just for the companies, but also for the rest of us who will no doubt come to understand some of this language and therefore be able to compare the companies’ performance and make informed purchasing decisions. It really is remarkable to think that businesses throughout the world are recognising that the future of their business requires them to share knowledge, reach agreement and utilise new ways of thinking to survive and thrive in the 21st Century. How refreshing.
Let’s hope the agreement can be reached swiftly and the business’s energies can be directed towards making sure they not only use the language, but embody it in the way they operate.
What will change?
Big brands, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and other organisations are discussing how to describe and define their packaging throughout the supply chain. This will change the terms they use and the way businesses up and down the supply chain have to think about the packaging they use. It will allow companies to measure their suppliers in a consistent, objective way. It will therefore also allow us to measure the businesses and make decisions about where we spend our hard-earned money.
You can find out more about current packaging initiatives on our Positive Package website.
Asda, Carrefour, Giant Eagle, Hannaford, Harris Teeter, Kroger, Marks & Spencer, Loblaw, Metro, Migros, Pick’n Pay, Royal Ahold, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Sobeys Inc, Supervalu, Target, Tesco Stores, Wal-Mart Canada, Wal-Mart, Wegmans
Beiersdorf, Campbell, Coca – Cola, Colgate – Palmolive, Conagra Foods, Danone, Fritolay, Freudenberg, General Mills, Inc, Glaxosmithkline, Heineken, Henkel, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Kraft Foods, L’oreal, Mars, Mccormick & Company, Inc, Nestle Group, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt-Benckiser, Sara Lee, Sc Johnson, The Jm Smucker Company, Unilever
Packaging Converters & Material, Suppliers
Arcelormittal Packaging, Alcan Packaging, Ball Packaging Europe Holding, Crown Europe, Dow Chemical, Dupont, Exxonmobil Chemical Films, Mwv, Novelis, O-I, Owens Illinois Inc., Sca Packaging, Sealed Air Corporation, Tetra Pak
Aim, Canadian Council Of Grocery, Distributors, Europen, Fcpc – Pacc, Flexible Packaging Europe, Fmi, Gma, Gs1 Canada, Gs1 Global Office, Gs1 Us, Igd, Pac, The Consumer Goods Forum, The Sustainability Consortium, The Sustainable Packaging, Coalition, Wrap
Center For Sustainable Entreprise, Development, Environmental Clarity, Green Blue, Mckinsey, Quantis, Rochester Institute Of Technology, University Of Manchester.