Sourceful Blog

Sustainable packaging: the benefits

May 24, 2021

Sustainability is a global concern. 67% of consumers now identify as environmentally aware, and 81% feel strongly that companies should play their part in improving the environment.

For businesses, this means being sustainable is no longer about addressing a minority. It's about responding to the majority.

What’s more, consumers are changing their buying behaviours based on the environmental impact of products. Today, 53% of consumers look for sustainability information on packaging, and 47% won’t buy products in packaging that’s harmful to the environment.

Here are three more reasons why sustainable packaging matters for your business.

1. Reduce your footprint, reduce your costs

Simply put, your business’s carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions from your operations, measured in carbon dioxide. It accounts for both emissions emitted directly from your operations and what’s emitted indirectly when your product is consumed and disposed of.

And since a company’s supply chain contributes more than 80% of its emissions, sustainable packaging is a crucial opportunity.

In reducing emissions, you do two things.

First, you align your business with the times: consumers are more likely to choose brands that are proactively reducing their carbon footprint.

Second, your bottom line starts to improve. Inefficient, unrevised operations are often a source of high carbon emissions, and packaging is a part of that. But by switching to sustainable packaging, you have a chance to review, upgrade and streamline.

That opportunity can translate into packaging that uses fewer materials and weighs less. And that means lower shipping costs, lower material costs and a smaller carbon footprint.

2. Sales from sustainability

If you want to convey quality, plastic packaging may be holding you back. Only 5% of consumers associate plastic with “premium”. One in four even associate the material with “low quality”.

This is because plastic is the poster child of pollution, and companies that continue to use plastic packaging risk being associated with that image.

Admittedly, not all businesses can abandon plastic packaging completely. But initiatives such as The UK Plastics Pact have outlined some useful targets to help businesses move in the right direction.  

Choosing more sustainable options, however, such as 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging, demonstrates that your business is willing to change for the better. And consumers are willing to spend on brands that prove it. In one study, 41% of consumers said environmentally friendly packaging was a key purchasing driver.

In another, 74% of consumers said they would pay more for sustainable packaging.

So, sustainable packaging makes a difference to sales. It also strengthens your brand image and creates value that consumers are happy to pay extra for. Three birds with one stone.

3. Build customer loyalty

First impressions matter: your packaging is just that.

And impressions matter now more than ever because consumers are swimming in choices. When there’s so little effort in ditching and switching, loyalty is fragile.

Fortunately, sustainable packaging can help. By addressing the issues consumers care about you create trust, and trust leads to loyalty.

It also delivers on that trust. Sustainable packaging shows that you’re taking action and empowers customers to do the same. And according to studies, consumers value their role in creating a sustainable future.

In being sustainable and helping customers be too, you can build loyalty that lasts.

Sustainable solutions from Sourceful

Sourceful is here to help you source and create packaging that functionally protects your product, delivers a great customer experience and is as environmentally friendly as possible. See how we helped Foundation Coffee House achieve their goal of 100% compostable take-out consumables.

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