Similarly, 63 per cent of South Africans believe that people pay attention to environmental logos, placing South Africans ahead of consumers in India, China, the UK, and Turkey.
It is also notable that there was a significant increase between 2009 and 2011 in the percentage of consumers who both look for environmental information and labelling and avoid a particular product or brand for environmental reasons. While 2009 to 2011 saw significant growth, there has been continuing growth, albeit at a lower rate, since 2005. In 2013, a new trend emerged of a growing number (from 75 per cent to 78 per cent in 2015) of consumers who specifically buy environmental products even if they cost more.
Tetra Pak and its customers have embraced recycling and reduced environmental impact through, among other activities, FSC certification. FSC certification is a key strategy since producers, retailers, and consumers are all pushing for FSC-certified packs. Tetra Pak customers such as Woodlands Dairy are indicative of the trend: “Sustainability is at the core of everything that we do, and with Tetra Pak having access to FSC-certified paper board, we’ve set a goal to have 100 per cent of our packs FSC labelled by 2016,” said Lex Gutsche, CEO of Woodlands Dairy.
Tetra Pak’s experience is that all major retailers want their house brands of carton-packaged liquids to be FSC branded. Tetra Pak customers – including Woodlands Dairy, Pioneer Foods, and Rhodes Foods that packs milk and juice for retailers – are certifying and branding their packs with the FSC logo. Consumers can trust brands that have the FSC logo, and research shows that they’re actively looking out for such brands – a development that has a growing impact beyond the packaging industry.
South African Airways (SAA) has recently signed an agreement with FSC that will change the way it procure products that originate from forests. In 2013, SAA committed to becoming the world’s most sustainable airline group within 10 years. The strategy was published in the SAA annual report and outlines a number of initiatives that the airline is undertaking to reach that goal.
One such initiative relates to how SAA procures the multitude of products that go into running an airline. SAA has embedded sustainability criteria into the procurement process, measures the CO₂ life cycle of the specific commodity, and looks at the overall corporate commitment to sustainability through the company’s policies and actions.
All commodities will be subject to this system and the impact will be felt through all of SAA’s suppliers because part of the sustainability evaluation pertains to how suppliers have integrated the same criteria into their own supply chains.
The FSC preference was an obvious one as FSC is seen as the leading sustainability brand when it comes to responsible sourcing of forest-derived products. As part of the agreement, SAA will be receiving extensive training on sustainable matters related to forest products, which will allow every level within SAA to make the right choices and lead by example to achieve the goal of becoming the most environmentally sustainable airline group in the world.
The testimony of these two corporate giants is proof that our society’s growing sense of responsibility for the environment opens up doors to consumer-focused companies across all industries to incorporate sustainability within their products and policies. This is an opportunity that will not only help to drive consumer demand and sales, but also contribute towards ensuring we have Forests For All Forever.
In cooperation with:
Agripa Munyai, Environmental Manager, Tetra Pak South Africa
Ian Cruickshank, Group Environmental Affairs, South African Airways