Unpacking Resilience: The Mend Packaging webinar

On 19 August 2023, The Mend Packaging successfully hosted its second annual sustainability summit. The online conference organised breakout sessions on traceability, transparency, and sustainable practices in supply chains. Also, it forged valuable partnerships within the green community paving the way ahead.

29 Aug 2023 | By Aditya Ghosalkar

Over 100 participants engulfed in promoting green ways to aid circularity

The sustainable packaging webinar raised awareness about the significance of transparency and traceability in supply chains, highlighted best practices, innovative approaches, and addressed the challenges and opportunities that exist in this space.

The first panel addressed how to unveil the impact of implementing a sustainable regulatory landscape through consumer engagement. The speakers were - Manu Bharadwaj, vice president - growth and strategy, TraceXTechnologies; Chetan Baregar, founding member and associate director, marketing, Recykal; Sushil Kumar Sharma, founder and CEO, Sustaineco; and Rashi Agrawal, director, business development, sales and compliance, Banyan Nation.

The discussion prompted several conclusions. One was that consumers are increasingly seeking transparency from brands, in terms of journey wanting to know the journey of products from raw material sourcing to the end product. And, sharing the right stories and individual/collaborative efforts among NGOs, governments, and brands can accelerate sustainability goals.

Implementation of sustainable practices requires a top-down approach. Also, policy regulations can ensure compliance, particularly among SMEs facing financial constraints. Regulatory bodies should authenticate traceability and establish norms, incentives, and penalties for wider adherence.

Small companies often face the challenge of holding strong command over upstream and downstream supply chains. They need to adhere to green principles, followed by larger companies, to withstand the market sustainability claims which otherwise are not entirely accurate. This will enable them to achieve a circular economy, and combat greenwashing.

Another highlight of the discussion was that the cost of sustainability should be integrated into product prices rather than an additional expense for consumers.

The second panel discussion further aggrandised the agenda on catalysing sustainable supply chains. The speakers reviewed statistics, reports in the closed-loop approach. The panel comprised of - Shobha Raghavan, COO, Saahas ZeroWaste; Vidhi Vora, founder, Green Phoenix Circular Solutions; Akshay Kanoria, executive director, TCPL Packaging; and Ishaan Alla, business development and strategy manager-South East Asia, ReSustainability.

The panel agreed that recognising diverse needs among sustainable suppliers across industries is paramount considering the limited resources. Communication of sustainability goals to suppliers from the outset, alongside long-term leadership commitment, is also crucial.

Companies should adhere to an efficient data management system. Maintaining consistency in accounting frameworks is crucial, particularly when evaluating companies' alignment with their self-defined sustainability objectives. Sustainability has to be driven by productivity.

Besides the need for the companies to collaborate across upstream and downstream supply chains, product design thinking should be incorporated at the R&D stage itself. In order to minimise waste and improve recovery, measures should be taken while designing the products and services. Recycling should be positioned as the last resort.

Government policies should consider MSME challenges ensuring cost-effectiveness. As the EPR mandate encourages companies to show their plastic waste, regulations promoting material reintegration into supply chains should be catalysed too.

With over 100 participants lending their voice to the discussion, the yield helped navigate the complex challenges of today's interconnected world, traceability and transparency stand as guiding principles that drive positive change.

Latest Poll

Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?

Results

Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?

Bagasse and biodegradable boxes

 

23.08%

Corrugated boxes

 

46.15%

Paper bags

 

30.77%

Recyclable plastic (bubble wraps, bio-plastic)

 

0%

Total Votes : 13

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