The Balancing Act of Sustainable Packaging

In a perfect world, using sustainable packaging would reach a break-even point financially. Unfortunately, with the current market options, at least from what Sonder Brewing COO Chase Legler is aware of, being more sustainable in packaging takes more capital, space, and labor to implement a more sustainable process.

“The ROI for me is the fact that we would be contributing to less waste and overall consumption,” he said. “There is also the intangible benefit of showing our customers that we do care about our environmental impact.”

Starting in March 2023, Sonder will be purchasing all of its electrical needs from 100% wind power.

“This was nothing more than signing a contract and paying a premium per KWH,” Legler said. “This is the type of ‘low hanging fruit’ that I feel more companies can and should be doing.”

Legler said he personally welcome a carbon tax on companies to help drive the market to put more focus on this subject.

Balancing the idea of needing to do it versus the cost difference can be a balancing act.

READ MORE: The Future of Sustainable Label​s Could be Now

“Our packaging is an output to the world and only part of our overall environmental impact,” Legler said. “We rely on agricultural products that take a lot of energy to produce so putting time and capital towards efficiencies in raw material is just as important if not more so.

“Squeezing as much out of your ‘input,’ or raw materials maybe doesn’t have the customer reach like packaging does but actually has a larger environmental impact. I would consider it ‘greenwashing’ if companies only focus on packaging material for the sheer optics to customers with no effort on the input or consumption side of the business.”

For a smaller brewery, such as Sonder, which produces around 6,000 bbls annually it becomes cost prohibitive to implement certain processes.

“In the end, it all works out,” added Shorts’ CEO Scott Newman-Bale. “And if we can leave the planet better than we found it, that’s all the ROI we need.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.