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Forests For All Forever – driving consumer demand for sustainability through meaningful Marketing

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

South African Airways (© Felix Lipov / Shutterstock.com)© Felix Lipov / Shutterstock.com
South African Airways

At this year’s Sustainable Brands in Cape Town, Tetra Pak, South African Airways, and FSC have come together to share some views on the importance of building the necessary market demand from environmentally conscious consumers to move commodities further into the mainstream.

According to FSC global consumer research, encompassing over 9,000 respondents in 11 markets, consumers show a growing concern for environmental issues – such as climate change – and are looking for more information on sustainable living and ‘eco’ alternatives. The most effective brands support this movement by making their sustainable products and services available, visible, affordable, and of high quality, and by providing very clear communication about them for consumers.

According to Tetra Pak, the awareness of environmental packaging is increasingly becoming a driving factor within the sustainability industry.

Being the world’s leading food processing and packaging solutions company, Tetra Pak works closely with its customers and suppliers to provide safe, innovative, and environmentally sound products that meet the needs of their target audiences.

A recent study conducted by Tetra Pak shows that the awareness of environmental packaging is becoming a driving factor in the packaging industry that producers and other custodians in the supply chain ignore at their cost. The research was based on more than 6,000 consumers and 240 influencers in 12 countries. The results showed that, since 2005, the number of consumers who regularly recycle waste has increased steadily from below 70 per cent to nearly 90 per cent. Furthermore, the study reveals that, overall, 67 per cent of consumers believe that people pay attention to environmental logos on packs.

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 anticipates for 100% of Woodlands Dairy packs to be FSC labelled by December 2016

Tetra Pak (© Tetra Pak)© Tetra Pak
Tetra Pak

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.

SAA committed to becoming the world’s most sustainable airline group

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