Sustainability Survey Shows Progress and Challenges Among Industries

Sustainability Survey Shows Progress and Challenges Among Industries

Consumer demand is regarded as a major driver in dealing with sustainability issues in food and beverage.

April 19, 2018
Research & Trends

A survey by sustainability specialists Empauer and BtoB communications firm, Adduco Communications, reveals how global packaging industry professionals feel about sustainability and raises questions about the industry’s preparedness to implement and measure sustainability practices now and in the future. 

Conducted between November 2017 and February 2018, the confidential survey encompasses data from over a thousand global respondents engaged at different levels of business and education from C-suite executives to designers, marketers, manufacturers and academia. The respondents represent the continents of Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, South America and North America. 

Overall, the survey results show a positive business sentiment towards sustainability. However, while most respondents were enthusiastic about sustainability, many lacked the tools and resources to achieve sustainability goals or measure progress. Survey findings concluded that 55% of respondents fail to formally measure sustainability and environmental impacts. The study also found that more than one-third of respondents (35%) do not report on environmental performance, and of those not reporting, over half (53%) cite a lack of regulatory or legislative compulsion for their reluctance.

“The lack of reliable and consistent reporting makes measurement of company and industry performance challenging, especially when more than half do not have access to professional measurement tools,” said Empauer Director Victor Barichello. “Advances in software tools today provide an opportunity for industry to measure their impacts in a cost effective manner to deliver on their sustainability goals and return on investment (ROI).”

Despite the challenges, the survey reveals both an optimistic and ambitious outlook on sustainability’s role in packaging.

For the food and beverage industry, in particular, key findings were:

  • 80% of respondents rated sustainability as important to their company and 74% rated it as important to the industry as a whole.
  • Consumer demand is regarded as a major driver in dealing with sustainability issues.
  • However, even while being driven by consumers, a majority of industry respondents saw potential cost impacts of higher costs to consumers as a barrier to implementing a sustainability strategy.
  • Additionally, it was responded that the biggest environmental issues facing the industry are find and use options that are more sustainable (34%) and a need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (23%).

The Global Packaging Sustainability Survey was developed in partnership with Empauer and Adduco Communications. Download the full report (pdf) at



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