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Many companies are seeking to improve product stewardship, achieve waste-reduction goals, and save money through sustainable packaging. However, simply changing the materials or design without considering the ramifications up and down the value chain can result in packaging that falls short of its primary purpose - preserving the integrity of a product as it makes its way to the customer. The next frontier in this area requires a radical re-think of the value chain, thus achieving "disruptive" improvements that not only reduce waste, energy and raw materials but also improve time-to-market, quality and margins.
Sustainable packaging requires a healthy dose of creativity, strategic flexibility, and coordination across multiple functions of the organization. This may involve designers, manufacturers, merchandisers, buyers, suppliers, logistics providers and marketers- all challenging each other to break free from traditional conceptions of what constitutes packaging and working through the interdependencies that new product delivery models require. Companies that can embed sustainable packaging considerations throughout their supply chain management processes, from demand-and-supply planning to delivery and returns, can realize substantial environmental and economic benefits.
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Keywords: supply chain management, value chain, supply chain solutions, sustainable packaging solutions, packaging in the value chain
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