CPG Industry Leads the Green Front

Last Updated Aug 20, 2007 6:59 PM EDT

Recycling FacilityCompanies in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry are ahead of most other producers in implementing sustainability programs, according to a new joint study by Deloitte Consulting and the Grocery Manufacturers Association. The research found that 85 percent of companies in the CPG industry manage active sustainability programs, and the most common initiatives target recycling and energy conservation. An article from Greenbiz.com gives some commentary on the study:
"While the issues associated with sustainability -- such as waste management, commodity shortages and energy usage -- are nothing new, the expectations of shareholders, consumers, regulators, and other constituencies have changed, pushing sustainability to the top of the agenda for many consumer products companies," said Peter Capozucca, a principal with Deloitte Consulting and co-author of the study. He added, "It is unlike any business issue consumer businesses have encountered in the past. The industry's large environmental footprint and unique dependencies on agricultural inputs, water and packaging make sustainability a critical strategic issue that consumer packaged goods companies must address proactively."
The study also revealed that internal priorities are the main driver for about 60 percent of initiatives, while regulatory compliance and pressure from high-influence supply chain partners (i.e. Wal-Mart's packaging initiative), are the second-most common motivations. The main finding, however, is that CPG companies embark on sustainability initiatives more than other industries because they must address environmental problems to stay competitive, and not for any idealistic rationale.

(Image of Recycling Facility Inspectors by Ming Campbell, CC 2.0)