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packaging in 2015 brands to consolidate on sustainability


tracy sutton, brand sustainability strategist, root innovation, contemplates the year aheadwhat will 2015 bring to me, the focus is clear the year will see more sustainabilitydriven pack and material innovations from both local and global brands. brands will continue to adopt a more holistic approach to product and packaging design fuelled by the integration of sustainability into core business strategy. futurefocused brand owners &ndashboth large and small &ndash are taking a step back from simple lightweighting exercises and thinking strategically about the entire product and packaging lifecycle. this approach delivers material and financial savings throughout the supply chain and gives brands a unique value proposition towards a brand with purpose.unilever, to take one example, has been implementing environmentally focused packaging strategies since the launch of its sustainable living plan in 2010. by optimising product and packaging together, it saved 77 tonnes of aluminium with its compressed deodorants and optimised the manufacture of dove bottles to save an estimated 27 tonnes of plastic per year. such strategicallyled, costsaving innovations reduce material use and increase environmental savings.unilever&rsquos rival p&ampg, meanwhile, has unveiled a new process to mould plastic that created up to 75 thinner packaging. this is projected to save p&ampg 1bn a year along with significant environmental savings. elsewhere, as part of its 2020 vision to become the industry leader in packaging, energy and climate protection, cocacola has launched a number of packaging initiatives driven by environmental considerations. these include the renewablesbased plastic used for the plantbottle, a collaboration with to form ekocycle and the opening of a &pound15m plastic recycling facility in lincolnshire, a joint venture with the recycler eco plastics.we will begin to see growth in the number of concentrated products on the shelves as resource efficiency and the inefficiencies and costs of transporting water throughout the supply chain continue to be a focus for brands. new brands such as splosh champion mail order refills and robinsons&rsquo squash&rsquod tablets revolutionise consumption behaviour while challenging typical packaging players will continue to look for smaller, more entrepreneurial brands to include in their portfolio. these more nimble, challenger brands are often strong leaders within the sustainability agenda and sometimes free from complex supply chains and intense public scrutiny. this makes them an ideal testing platform for a global brand to trial new packaging developments and enables both brands to grow together.shortly after its buyout by ecover in 2012, method pioneered the use of plastic material recovered from the ocean for its handwash bottle. method and ecover share the vision that cleaning products should be nontoxic, good for consumers and the environment and are continuously working together to ensure that all aspects of their products correspond to this shared ethos through research and collaboration. we will also see growth of new brands with ethics at the core of their business. water brand one, for instance, directs all of its profits towards improving access to clean water in africa and the organic protein company plants a tree for every product sold.contrary to popular belief, integrating sustainability into products, processes and packaging design can and is saving brands significant amounts of money. whether it&rsquos a startup looking to be a good brand from the start or a global player looking to improve the way it undertakes its business practices, brands can implement purpose on their journey to be a better brand.throughout 2015 there will be an increase in acquisitions of entrepreneurial brands that empower the global leaders to pack a more purposeful punch. local and global brands alike are reaping the rewards of strategic sustainability by integrating sustainability concepts into the dna of their brands.&nbsp