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Pushing The Envelope On Sustainability

Rob Hutchins, editor of Products Of Change spoke at London Stationery Show on circularity and how businesses can make changes.

Doing business in a more sustainable way is top of the agenda for many people these days. But how exactly can a business do this? Sustainability is such a huge topic, where do can you start?

Rob Hutchins is the editor of Products Of Change, a purpose-driven, global organisation helping brand owners, manufacturers and retailers make a positive impact on climate change across the brand and licensing industry.

Above: Rob Hutchins spoke about doing business in a more sustainable way.
Above: Rob Hutchins spoke about doing business in a more sustainable way.

Here are his thoughts on how businesses can embed sustainability into products:

Design for circularity

Think about what happens to products at the end of life and design for this at the start. Can a product be broken down into components to be recycled, or better still reused? There are many examples of companies offering ‘bring it back’ schemes, such as Lush, who offers customers money off when they bring back containers to be recycled.

Be conscientious of what you can do with waste

Think outside the box when it comes to using waste products to make new products. There are plenty of examples at the show, including Caran d’Ache’s Nespresso 849 ballpoint made from recycled Nespresso pods, Coffeenotes’ range of notebooks made from coffee cups and Britton Scotland’s Reuse collection made from commercial materials destined for landfill.

Above: Britton Scotland’s Reuse range is made from a range of materials that would otherwise have ended up in landfill.
Above: Britton Scotland’s Reuse range is made from a range of materials that would otherwise have ended up in landfill.

Think about packaging

Packaging is tricky as it needed to protect the product, but what happens to it once the consumer has the product? Moving away from plastic to options that are more sustainable, like paper and card is one way of tackling this issue.

But it’s not just packaging of actual products, but also how it is shipped. DS Smith reports that 85 million cubic metres of air is shipped in the UK each year due to oversized packaging. This has an impact in so many areas: wasted materials in the packaging, packages taking up more space in lorries and so on.

For more information about Products of Change and to out about membership options, visit www.productsofchange.com.

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