Whether you’ve been a green business for some time or are now making a more concerted effort to be environmentally responsible, determining how to communicate that to consumers can be challenging. You don’t want to toot your own horn, but you also don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to encourage others to become more eco-conscious.
How you do it will depend on your context or particular organization. Regardless, sharing your sustainable packaging story has big benefits worth considering.
Let’s look at a few of them.
What Qualifies as Sustainable Packaging?
When packaging materials—and the processes used to produce them—leave behind a minimal environmental impact, you get sustainable packaging. This involves everything from material sourcing and manufacturing to what happens after use. Yes, even the energy utilized and carbon emitted every step of the way must be factored.
Sustainable packaging is also about making it easier for consumers to do the right thing—nudging them to reduce, reuse, and recycle packaging materials as well as products rather than just sending them to landfills. Brands can do this by integrating biodegradable materials into their products and packaging, employing responsibly sourced timber, reducing the use of plastics, and relying more on eco-friendly energy sources.
Sharing your sustainable packaging story is not merely a powerful way to encourage greener lifestyles among your consumers, but doing so brings a variety of other benefits to your brand.
Benefits to Sharing Your Sustainable Packaging Story
When it comes to branding, you’re better off telling others who you are and what you value rather than leaving them to guess or letting less knowledgeable voices chime in. This includes your commitment to sustainability. Now, let’s examine a few reasons why sharing your sustainable packaging story is so important.
Creates Brand Affinity With Eco-Conscious Customers
Consumers are becoming increasingly focused on the environmental impact of their purchasing choices, even if it means bypassing cheaper and less responsibly made products and packaging. In fact, 75% of consumers are willing to pay premium prices for sustainable packaging, according to a 2020 article from Environment+Energy Leader.
In addition to reducing their carbon footprint and climate impact, consumers want to be connected with brands that share their values. They see brands and purchases as an extension of their personal identity and beliefs. Much like one’s friends reflect back on a person, so do the brands they associate with. They want the companies they buy from to echo the same green values and eco-conscious practices they embody in their personal lives.
If your brand leads with a waving green banner, you’re likely to attract more environmentally aware consumers trying to make a more positive impact within their ecosystems and communities.
Vendors Like to Work With Like-Minded Clients
It’s not just about communicating your values to consumers, but to potential manufacturing and printing partners, as well as other third-party vendors you may collaborate with. Believe it or not, some companies have explicit strategies to work with vendors or find clients who are committed to sustainability, and will either turn down non-green or only seek out eco-friendly partners.
By sharing your sustainable packaging story on your website or through other marketing avenues, you’re likely to bring in more business—and bolster the broader movement toward more Earth-conscious commerce.
It’s Part of Telling Your Whole Story
Consider something like the “Clean Beauty Movement” for a moment. A trend in beauty products encouraging consumers and brands to avoid harmful ingredients deemed unsafe for humans and the environment, the Clean Beauty Movement has gone mainstream, in part, because people are sharing their stories about shifting toward clean beauty, such as this one, for example. In response, brands are assisting the movement by drawing attention on their packaging to the clean ingredients used in their products.
Consumers want to know your whole story so they can determine how much they want it to play a part in theirs. By sharing your sustainable packaging story, you’re adding momentum to the sustainability movement, but also acquainting consumers more thoroughly with who you are as an organization.
Sustainability Isn’t Going Away, So Make It Part of Your Brand
Honestly, it’s becoming increasingly unusual for a brand not to be concerned with climate change or other related environmental issues. Brands going green has been an important packaging trend in 2021, and will be for the foreseeable future.
Whether it’s right-size packaging or using secondary packaging to communicate to consumers how eco-conscious your materials and company are, you can anticipate most industries will continue transitioning toward renewable energy sources and more sustainable business practices. In fact, according to a packaging study conducted by L.E.K. Consulting, businesses can expect to see a 40% increase in sustainable packaging during the next two years.
Sustainable Packaging Is the Right Thing to Do
It’s difficult for someone to make an ethical case against sustainable packaging. Most people realize sustainability is the right thing to do, the proper next step toward a more environmentally responsible future. So why wouldn’t you highlight the effort your company is making to do the right thing? Consumers want to support morally upstanding brands more than they have in recent memory.
The one thing that feels better than doing the right thing is helping others join you in doing the right thing, and sharing your sustainable packaging story is part of that.