PEFC to illustrate sustainable sourcing benefits at Packaging Innovations

1The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) will be exhibiting at this year’s Packaging Innovations show to promote the benefits of responsibly-sourced packaging materials. The show will be held at London’s Olympia on September 16 & 17th.

PEFC Chain of Custody certification helps packaging companies demonstrate that they are sourcing raw materials from well- managed forests. This enables them to differentiate their products in the market place and gain recognition for their commitment to sustainable sourcing. One such company is Delta Packaging, the Belfast-based independent printed folding carton packaging manufacturer. Earlier this year, Delta won a Global Connectivity award at a KFC Supplier event, for successfully switching KFC restaurant packaging to PEFC certified board.

Delta Packaging won the award in recognition of the company’s swift and effective transfer of KFC raw material to the PEFC process, in order to provide assurances that KFC’s packaging materials originate from sustainably-managed forests. Using certified materials has enabled KFC to apply the PEFC logo onto their packaging since the turn of the year. The company was presented with the Global Connectivity awards at the KFC Annual Supplier Awards, held on 19th March 2015.

Another packaging products producer that has recognised the benefits of Chain of Custody certification is Benders Paper Cups, who are one of the UK’s manufacturers of paper hot cups.  It was recently approached by Connect Vending, an independent vending operator in England, who enlisted its help to facilitate the business’s transition to 100% paper hot cups for their range of hot drinks vending machines.

Connect Vending approached Benders looking to invest in a paper cup solution for their customers, which would offer what it called the “specialty coffee shop experience” of a paper cup, complete with bespoke branding and a quality feel, from the convenience of a vending machine.

Benders Paper Cups is committed to only using certified raw materials from responsible sources and has both PEFC and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody certification, providing full traceability for all paper cups manufactured from materials sourced from sustainably-managed forests. The company also endorses the Connect Vending strategy. Every cup can be traced back from Benders BRC, Grade-A production facility in North Wales to the raw material. Connect Vending have developed their own print with Benders to promote the ‘green story’ of their cup, right up to encouraging consumers to dispose of the cup so that it can be collected and 100% recycled.

Commenting on how sustainable sourcing can be of benefit to packaging producers, Alun Watkins, who heads up PEFC in the UK said, “We are delighted that more and more companies are investing in Chain of Custody certification which entitles them to use the PEFC ‘Two Trees’ label on their packaging. A recent PEFC global survey showed that more than 80% of consumers globally, want companies sourcing certified material from responsibly-managed forests to use certification labels. In addition the research showed that labels, such as PEFC’s are the most trusted means of providing consumers with confidence that wood-based products are sustainably-sourced.”

PEFC has certified more than 260 million hectares of forests to PEFC’s internationally recognised Sustainability Benchmarks, supplying more than 16,000 Chain of Custody certified companies with responsibly sourced timber and wood products, such as those used in producing fibre-based paper products such as packaging.

Today, more and more companies from SMEs to global brands are keen to demonstrate that the fibre they use in their packaging comes from a certified sustainable source. This is important as consumers are increasingly conscious of the impact of their purchasing decisions on the environment.

PEFC has been working closely with the packaging sector in particular over the past year, helping to explain the benefits of sourcing packaging materials from PEFC-certified sources. There is a growing demand for more environmental information to be displayed on packaging, to help consumers make informed choices, with 54% of consumers trusting environmental labels that are displayed on their packaging. Retailers, brand owners and packaging suppliers can all help meet these customer demands by utilising packaging to display environmental information, and source their materials from renewable, responsibly-managed sustainable sources.

More and more companies are now looking to demonstrate that the fibre they use in the packaging comes from a certified sustainable source, and PEFC has been working hard with stakeholders to spread the message of sustainable forest management, support and promote the expansion of forest certification and grow markets for certified forest products.

This includes organisations such as the Consumer Goods Forum, who have recognised PEFC certified products as providing companies with verification of legality and providing a low risk of controversial sources which contribute to deforestation. The CGF brings together more than 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders, with members including global players such as Coca Cola, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, L’Oréal, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble, Tesco and Asda-Walmart.