Sustainability is a trendy buzzword that has made its way from every day business verbiage to something which all companies, in any business, must focus on to survive in business today. Sustainability has evolved from LED light bulbs in the office and recycling bins under every desk to its incorporation company policy and values. The effects of a company on the environment are wide reaching; finding their way from the boardroom downwards and are strictly enforced in environmental policies. Balancing the demands of the consumer and the limited resources of the Earth is the key challenge companies are facing today. We live in a world of fast pace and convenience are both expected and the throw away nature of our products creates a problem, but a balance that must be struck and many companies are focusing their efforts on doing just that.
One of the biggest brands, Apple, is focusing on the sustainability of their product. They started with the weight of their package, between two iPhone generations they have decreased the weight of their carton by 34% less volume and the iPhone itself being 20% lighter than the first generation. Along with designing a lighter product and package, the company’s electricity is 93% sourced from renewable energy, with 23 countries boasting 100% renewable energy. Apple has also teamed up with WWF and The Conservation Fund to ensure sustainable forests in the United States are protected, and the forests in China that had previously been plundered are sustained and managed.
Despite these efforts, the United States is still behind when it comes to recycling. The US ranks far behind other developed countries with an average packaging recycling rate of about 51% (Natural Defense Council, 2015). However, many US companies are joining sustainable initiatives to ensure their product is a recyclable and/or sustainable product.
Source: Packaging News