Strategies for Sustainable Growth
Traditionally, the raison d’etre of the for-profit organization could be found in making money, increasing shareholder equity, and earnings growth through increased market share. But since the early 1990s, more organizations are realizing that yes, they have a responsibility to their shareholders to make money and fund growth, but not at the expense of the environment or the society they serve.
When an organization strives to earn returns not only for its shareholders, but to do it without damaging the environment and by participating in the welfare of its employees and community, it redefines itself as a sustainable organization. The paperboard packaging industry has been applying the principles of sustainability long before this catchphrase was ever coined.
The paperboard packaging industry has always understood the intimate link between corporate success and the raw materials that must be renewed to allow us to operate and grow. As our industry works to ensure a sustainable supply of paperboard, the continued growth of managed forests benefits us all.
Paper mills and carton plants leave an ever diminishing carbon footprint on the landscape, reusing papermaking byproducts for energy and recycling paper waste into reusable paperboard manufactured with maximum recycled content.
The industry is also aware that sustainability means more than providing for the continued health of the companies that make the packaging. What counts just as much as a return on investment is protecting the planet by being a responsible manufacturer and making sure that the welfare of all those affected by the organization's existence, both inside and outside the company, is held to equally high standards.
Through environmental stewardship and conservation, the paperboard packaging industry focuses on improving the ways processes and products interact with the environment, including managing forests to protect and conserve while harvesting needed fiber, designing products to reduce fiber content, operating facilities to reduce energy and water usage, and creating products that allow consumers to extend sustainability through recycling.
In addition, the paperboard packaging industry holds core environmental principals, including the:
Economic Viability and contribution means that the paperboard packing industry recognizes the breadth of its economic impact as:
- renewability of the natural resources used
- reductions in the fiber necessary to make reliable and effective packaging
- reduction and recapture of the energy and water needed during manufacturing
- reusability of products on a planned basis by businesses
- recyclability of products at the end of their useful life
- reliable suppliers of efficient and effective packaging with consistent quality that enhances the financial sustainability of customers
- managing operations with ever more efficient use of energy and natural resources that contribute to financial competitiveness
- stable and desirable employers who are stewards of their the communities
In addition, the industry focuses on paperboard packaging that creates economic value for customers while enhancing the quality and desirability of the products and results in less product loss and greater public safety and health. The industry is also focused on cost containment resulting from increased efficiency of energy and water usage.
Social Responsibility and engagement means that the paperboard packaging industry understands its obligations and role in society beyond simply making fine products by managing operations in the safest, most healthful way on behalf of employees and communities and creating packaging designs that enhance the safety and protect the efficacy of the products they carry on behalf of customers and consumers.
In addition, the industry plays an important and constructive role in society by making products that enhance efficiency, safety and efficacy while they reduce the use of renewable resources and impact on the environment; helping society through direct contributions to social and charitable organizations; and being leaders in sustainable business practices to inspire and educate others inside and outside the industry.