World Wildlife Fund launches Cascading Materials Vision

World Wildlife Fund launches Cascading Materials Vision

Platform, which convenes several different organizations and businesses, seeks to enable a global system of efficient materials management.

June 14, 2017
Recycling Today Staff
Municipal / IC&I

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has announced the launch of Cascading Materials Vision, a platform that seeks to enable a global system of efficient materials management, creating markets that better the reuse of materials to reduce waste. 

Grounded in a framework of guiding principles, the Cascading Materials Vision convenes industry and other stakeholders to help every business and industry source secondary materials, those that have already been used at least once in some form, to protect their profits, the environment and the future wealth of our natural resources, WWF says.

As global population rises, WWF says humans face resource scarcity, which affects their ability to produce goods, as well as increased waste disposal, which negatively impacts ecosystems and communities. Both challenges could be eased by the increased use of secondary materials, WWF says. Businesses want to be part of the solution and use more secondary materials, but systematic barriers make acquisition and sourcing difficult at the quantity and quality needed. 
Through alignment and collaboration, WWF says the Cascading Materials Vision strives to engage stakeholders across private and public sectors to minimize such barriers. Businesses and organizations that have already signed on include American Chemistry Council, AMERIPEN (American Institute for Packaging and the Environment), Ball Corp., The Coca-Cola Co., DuPont Co., European Bioplastics Association, Keurig Green Mountain Inc., The Materials Leadership Council (MLC), McCormick & Co. Inc., McDonald’s Corp., Nestlé, Ocean Conservancy, Pathway21, The Recycling Partnership, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Target Corp.
The companies and organizations that sign onto the Cascading Materials Vision agree to abide by a set of guiding principles for decision-making that align materials management practices, allow for greater collaboration across industry and create easier sourcing of secondary materials. These principles range from systems thinking to evaluating environmental impact to implementing solutions that work for today but can adapt to the future. By aligning with stakeholders and collaborators around a common vision of a responsible future, WWF says it aims to use this framework to influence relevant sectors toward achievable, sustainable and inclusive solutions that address the systemic issues that prevent creation, trade and use of secondary materials. 
“We can quite literally do more with less simply by using materials more than once. With clear interest and willingness from industry to embrace this concept, WWF saw an incredible and imperative need to act,” says Erin Simon, deputy director, packaging and material science, at WWF. “By bringing stakeholders together onto one cohesive platform, the Cascading Materials Vision will help reduce the burden on our natural systems and enable creation of the global markets needed to make quality secondary materials accessible and reliable.”
Simon continues, “We are inspired by the number of companies who have already spoken up about the need for a global market of secondary materials. With some of the world’s largest and leading companies already committed to the Cascading Materials Vision, we’re confident that this platform will create the catalyst needed to jumpstart the secondary materials market, protect our natural resources and meet the production demands of our growing population.”

The following are statements from some of WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision supporters: 

American Chemistry Council, Cal Dooley, president and CEO:
“We commend World Wildlife Fund for its vision and engagement with industry and policy leaders to promote and expand materials reuse and the availability of high-quality secondary materials. Through this collaborative framework, ACC and its member companies look forward to working with stakeholders along the value chain to more efficiently use resources to reduce the environmental impacts of our operations and products, and to pursue initiatives that conserve materials and resources, and reduce waste through reuse and recycling.”
AMERIPEN, Lee Anderson, president:
“AMERIPEN is excited to be part of WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision, which aims to extend the life of our natural resources. The Vision includes many of the philosophies upon which our organization is based, including science-based decision making, a systems approach, effective policies, and adaptability. We’re looking forward to helping deliver the progress needed to achieve it.”
Ball Corp., John A. Hayes, chairman, president and CEO:
“Ball manufactures billions of 100 percent and infinitely recyclable metal packages each year and we are working to maximize the recovery of these packages around the world. We’re proud to be a part of the World Wildlife Fund’s Cascading Materials Vision, as it will allow us to work with other stakeholders to ensure that metal packaging, which is the most economically and environmentally sustainable of all packaging substrates, is collected and available to be reused for future generations to come.”
MLC, John Linc Stine, member; Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), president; and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, commissioner:
“The Materials Leadership Council, a public-private partnership among state environmental commissioners and senior business representatives, praises the release of WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision. States have a longstanding commitment to advancing SMM [sustainable materials management] principals and their collaboration with businesses enables greater leverage to achieve resource efficiency while creating economic, environmental, and societal benefits. The MLC is excited about its partnership with WWF and looks forward to using the Vision’s framework in its everyday decision-making.”
McCormick & Co. Inc., Michael Okoroafor, vice president - global sustainability and packaging innovation:
“McCormick is proud to partner with WWF on its Cascading Materials Vision, and contribute to a meaningful decrease in global waste. WWF’s principles align closely with our 4R Framework (reuse, reduce, recycle, renew) and is reflective of our shared leadership role in creating a more sustainable world for future generations.”
Nestlé, Marco Bernasconi, global head of packaging:

“Continually improving the environmental performance of our packaging following a life cycle approach is a key driver in our product and packaging development process. The guiding principles described in the WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision are therefore fully aligned with Nestlé’s ambition to prevent littering and packaging going to landfill.”

Ocean Conservancy, Nicholas Mallos, director, Trash Free Seas Program:
“Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest challenges, including the threats posed by marine debris. Scientists estimate that 80 percent of plastic waste entering the ocean starts on land, so we need to think about locally appropriate and resilient land-based solutions to address this issue. The Cascading Materials Vision outlines critical principles to help drive better waste management, which will not only keep trash out of the marine environment but [also] would help extend the use-life and inherent value of materials.”
The Recycling Partnership, Keefe Harrison, CEO:
“While recycling feels universal, the truth is only half of Americans can recycle at home as easily as they can throw something away. That inequality means that valuable materials are disposed, resulting in significant losses in potential GHG and water savings, at the same time depriving manufacturers across the globe of clean feedstock. The Recycling Partnership is pleased to collaborate with WWF in this far-reaching initiative to build a better system.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Adam Goldstein, president and chief operating officer:

“Royal Caribbean is proud to support WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision to address the availability of high-quality secondary materials. As an intermediary between suppliers and consumers we have a responsibility to ensure our supply chain and waste management approaches help us achieve a more sustainable future.”

WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for more than half a century.