Labeling and packaging leader Avery Dennison Corporation released its latest sustainability report earlier this month, which announced several new goals. Foremost among these goals is the company’s plan to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by at least 3 percent every year between now and 2025.
“Cutting emissions while still growing as a company is the defining business challenge of the 21st century,” said Avery Dennison chairman and CEO Dean Scarborough. “Climate change threatens our business, our supply chain and the communities where we live and work. By basing our approach on The 3% Solution, developed by World Wildlife Fund and Carbon Disclosure Project, we expect to reduce emissions by a minimum of 26 percent by 2025.”
Avery Dennison’s ambitious new goals address eight areas in which the company has an opportunity to make a big impact — either through its buying power or its ability to make supply chains more sustainable. Formed around guiding principles and with input from key stakeholders in the business, the goals are science- and context-based.
“We’re excited now to raise the bar and do even more,” Helen Sahi, Avery Dennison’s director of sustainability, added. “With our wastereduction goal, for example, we’re looking beyond our own manufacturing waste. We are looking at ways to help customers keep the liners and matrixes from our labels out of landfills. We’re also looking at designing products in ways that create less waste to begin with.”
Through its 2025 goals, Avery Dennison is also committing to:
- Develop a paper supply with origins that are 100 percent certified as sustainable, with at least 70 percent bearing certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC);
- Reduce landfill waste by 95 percent and waste from the company’s label products by 70 percent; and
- Minimize environmental impacts by ensuring that 70 percent of purchased film and chemicals conform to, or enable end products to conform to, Avery Dennison’s environmental and social guiding principles.
In their letter introducing the sustainability report, Scarborough and President and COO Mitch Butier note that Avery Dennison has integrated sustainability into its underlying business strategy of providing sustainable momentum for all stakeholders.
“It’s a strategy that sets a clear course for growth while responding to the realities of a warming world, scarcer raw materials and our stakeholders’ increasing expectations of transparency,” Scarborough and Butier write. “And it’s a strategy that’s working: As we’ve made gains toward sustainability, we’ve also posted strong annual growth and shareholder returns.”
To achieve its bold targets, Avery Dennison must challenge itself and others to “reach higher and think bigger,” Sahi said. She noted that new partnerships and collaboration will be an essential part of the company’s strategy. Already, Avery Dennison is working with the Rainforest Alliance, Columbia Forest Products and Staples to help increase the supply of FSCcertified paper in the United States. In December, Scarborough will join other business leaders in Paris to discuss climate change at the United Nations’ COP21 talks.
“As a leading, global B2B company, we work inside a lot of industries and a lot of brands,” she said. “That gives us a tremendous opportunity to create change and be a force for good.”