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2012 Sustainable Packaging Survey

2012 Sustainable Packaging Survey
2012 SusPack Survey cover


2012 SusPack Survey cover


For the last six years, Packaging Digest has conducted an exclusive survey on sustainable packaging. An analysis of key points of the research, which charts the trends and attitude shifts, was published in an article in our November issue (click here). But there's a lot more data that may interest you.


We've packaged the full results into a 60+-page PDF that is available for $149. Send an e-mail to [email protected] if you want to order. We will then direct you to a site where you can pay and download your copy. Thank you!


To help you determine if this research will be helpful to you, preview the survey questions here:


1. Which of the following is the primary activity (activities) of your company?


2. Which of the following best describes the type of industry your company is involved in (as it relates to packaging)?


3. In your opinion, over the next five years, which of the following business factors will have the greatest impact on the strategic direction of your company?


4. How familiar are you with the issues of sustainability?


5. At what level is participation in sustainable products being driven inside your company?


6. In which of the following areas is your company currently implementing sustainable practices?


7. To best achieve your company's sustainability goals, what developments are most needed?


8. On what basis does your company define sustainability for packaging?


9. Over the past year, do you feel the emphasis your company places on sustainable packaging has increased, decreased or stayed about the same in importance?


10. Over the past year, do you feel the emphasis that your customers place on sustainable packaging has increased, decreased or stayed about the same in importance?


11. Over the past year, do you feel the emphasis that consumers place on sustainable packaging has increased, decreased or stayed about the same in importance?


12. Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statements about sustainability:

• Being more efficient and saving costs is an important part of any sustainability effort.

• Too many companies make false or unproven 'green' claims on their packaging.

• The industry needs simpler tools to guide decisions on sustainability issues.

• Lack of recovery of materials is a barrier to improved packaging sustainability in the U.S.

• Failure to improve sustainability practices is a risk to a company's brand and reputation.

• Varying regulations at local, state and federal levels inhibit sustainability improvements.

• Sustainability efforts are difficult to advance during an economic downturn.

• Packaging sustainability is a primary business goal for my company.


13. When designing or choosing new packaging, how important is sustainability in making your decision? (check one response)


14. Should there be minimum standards of performance and sustainability required before packagers can market themselves as "green"?


15. Who should set the standards? (check one)


16. Which factors have the most influence on your company's sustainability activities in the packaging industry? (please check the TOP 3)

• Consumer/Market demands
• Pricing pressure
• Retailer/ Brand owner requirement (e.g., Walmart or P&G scorecard)
• Regulatory requirements
• Internal commitment/vision
• Competitive pressure
• Material sourcing limitations
• Globalization pressure
• New packaging equipment incorporating related technology
• Increased media attention
• Investor pressure
• Non-Government organization pressure
• Other (please specify)


17. What do you think are the biggest challenges to making your current packaging process more sustainable? (please check the TOP 3)

• Raw materials costs
• Lack of alternatives (materials)
• Compatibility with packaging process
• Producing comparable quality
• Lack of standards/reporting/metrics
• Lack of recovery infrastructure
• Corporate support/ Buy-in
• Regulatory compliance
• Creating shareholder value
• Lack of recovery funding
• Competition
• Training
• Finding qualified staff
• Other (please specify)


18. If your company has specific sustainability targets, what is their focus? (check all that apply)

• Waste reduction
• Reducing energy consumption
• Use of renewable materials
• Carbon footprints
• Reducing water consumption
• Recycled content specifications
• Life-cycle analysis
• Design for recycling or composting
• New design guidelines
• Restricted substance list
• Non-recyclable materials content
• Other (please specify):
• No specific sustainability targets


19. What criteria does your company use to evaluate sustainable packaging? (check all that apply)

• Recycled content
• Energy consumption
• Toxic or harmful chemicals
• Life-cycle analysis
• Carbon footprints
• Material resource consumption/depletion
• Probability of a material to be recycled based on current recycling rates
• Design for recycling or composting
• Water consumption
• Non-recyclable materials content
• Social implications
• Greenhouse gas emissions
• Other (please specify):


20. Please indicate your company's priority level for each of the following sustainable practices.

• Reducing the amount of packaging or the materials required
• Using recycled material in packaging
• Sourcing of renewable materials in your packaging
• Social accountability
• Working to develop collection and recovery infrastructure
• Using renewable energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels


21. Does your company use life-cycle analysis to influence package design and engineering?


22. What is your level of confidence in the accuracy of data sources used for life cycle analysis?


23. How would you rate your company's success in achieving sustainable practices?


24. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) uses financial incentives to encourage manufacturers to design environmentally friendly products by holding producers liable for the costs of managing their products at end of life. How significant an issue do you think extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging is going to be in the next five (5)years?


25. At what level should Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) be regulated?


26. How important do you feel it is to significantly improve recycling and recovery of packaging in the next five (5) years?


27. Does a corporation's sustainability or environmental position make a difference in your personal purchasing decisions?


28. Is sustainability still relevant as a differentiator in packaging?


29. Why do you think sustainability is still relevant as a differentiator in packaging?


30. Why do you think sustainability is not relevant as a differentiator in packaging?


31. When you think of environmental leadership, which retail companies come to mind?


32. When you think of environmental leadership, which consumer product companies come to mind?


33. When you think of environmental leadership, which packaging materials suppliers come to mind?


34. When you think of environmental leadership, which packaging machinery companies come to mind?


35. Are you or your company a member of any organization dedicated to improving practices in sustainable packaging? (check all that apply)

• Sustainable Packaging Coalition
• Sustainability Consortium
• Member of another organization (specify):
• None of the above


36. Some countries outside of the U.S. have established tighter regulations and more specific definitions for sustainability. How are these factors affecting your company's competitive position in global markets?


37. Is the company you work for privately owned or a corporation?


38. Where is your company headquarters?


39. Worldwide, how many people are employed by your firm?



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