An audience of leading marketing and packaging professionals from major brand owners around the world gathered in Paris recently for Ardagh Group’s latest and sixth 'Fresh Thinking Day' to hear a group of eminent speakers consider how innovative design can deliver more sustainable packaging.
Julian Carroll, managing director of the European Organisation for Packaging and the Environment (EUROPEN) expressed an optimism that ‘greenwash’ would become a thing of the past as brands and companies start to take a more structured approach towards sustainability measurement and communications. Professor Michael Braungart, co-author of the “Cradle to Cradle” model of resource management, shared some very thought provoking scenarios on true Sustainability. He also expressed his opinion that unless packaging materials possess an inherent and effective quality – namely as “positive nutrients” to further supply chains, they should not be considered sustainable.
Jeremy Myerson, director of the Hamlyn Centre for Design at the renowned Royal College of Design in London, explained the importance of the “designing with people” approach when considering new products or turning concepts into reality. Henry Mason, head of research and analysis at Trendwatching .com showed emerging trends for 2012 that could unlock new consumer needs and Ebbe Nieuweboer from The Innovation Factory suggested a structured process for capturing and developing the thousands of ideas that float around any organisation.
From Ardagh, Group Head of Sustainability, Steffen Seehausen explained that life cycle calculations were very complex and to be meaningful must be measured holistically over a very long period. R&D Director Philippe Gimenez described recent developments at Ardagh’s Research Centre at Crosmières. Commercial Director, Woep Möller, ended the conference by emphasising how innovative packaging would become even more essential to ensure that food, drinks and other essential consumer goods were delivered safely to the world’s growing population which exceeded 7 billion in October 2011.