Future Talk is an English language podcast series of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.* The podcast series brings curious minds from diverse fields together to discuss their personal visions for the future of science and technology.
In episode eighteen of Future Talk, Fabien Thibault, global manager of product and packaging sustainability at MilliporeSigma, and Alan Phipps, vice president of sustainability consulting at Pure Strategies, discuss the environmental benefits of MilliporeSigma's SMASH Packaging program.
Packaging is critical to multiple aspects of our business. It must be durable enough so that we can deliver on our high product safety and quality standards while withstanding exposure to a wide range of indoor and outdoor environments. Packaging is also critical to the consumer’s product experience. We work hard to ensure every product is clearly labeled, easy to use and designed to prevent misapplication or off-target contact. That’s why our team of specialized packaging engineers apply rigorous standardized methods to design, test and qualify our packaging and application devices.
Fabien Thibault, global manager, product and packaging sustainability at MilliporeSigma
Across industries, sustainability is becoming an increasing expectation. From reducing emissions to increasing recycling, both businesses and consumers are looking for ways in which they can reduce their environmental impact. But when it comes to products and packaging in the life science industry, developing sustainable solutions while meeting transit and safety regulation requirements is an ongoing challenge.
Now, imagine the complexity of executing this process for more than 300,000 products and 2.5 million SKUs along with associated packaging.
In April 2019, the Life Science business of Merck* launched a four-year initiative that was aimed at improving its sustainability efforts when it came to packaging. For a global business shipping around 30,000 packages every day, the task was enormous. From reducing the overall amount of packaging it was using, maximising recycling, improving plastics sustainability and even targeting zero deforestation, the initiative was a statement of intent by the business to begin to understand its environmental impact – and do something about it.
Jeffrey Whitford, head of sustainability & social business innovation and branding at MilliporeSigma
Being “green” has become the new expectation across many industries, with environmental and sustainability programs now an integral—and necessary—part of an organization’s overall business strategy. While a sustainability mindset is now expected, it’s not something that can be pulled out of a hat overnight. These programs require a comprehensive strategy, proof points to back up value, many iterations, and collaboration with suppliers, customers, partners and other stakeholders.
Sappi North America received a $100,000 training grant in September from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and Department of Labor and Industry. The grant allows Sappi to strengthen the local workforce by providing advanced technical training to employees, while improving functions and safety at its Cloquet Mill. SNA has participated in the grant program six times and continues to offer the opportunity for up to 25 employees each year to join a training cohort. Through the years, this grant has provided on-site training to more than 100 employees.
Nutella joins forces with Loop and Carrefour for new reuse pilot scheme.
Following Ferrero’s signing of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s and UNEP ‘s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment last year, it has now become a member of the Foundation, taking part in the New Plastics Economy (NPEC) Initiative.
Ferrero Packaging R&D department creates a new recyclable packaging for Kinder Happy Hippo.
“We are all in it together,” says Jay Arnston, fiberline control room operator and president of the USW Local Chapter 11-63 at the Cloquet Mill. “It wasn’t always that way,” he says, describing his many years of union involvement with Sappi and previous owners of the mill. “But we’ve come a long way. There is a lot more transparency, and we are informed about a lot of the decision making.”