Sustainability alert: HP study finds sustainability is new workplace standard
Clarins Group becomes official partner of the expedition fighting against ocean plastic pollution.
Plastic Odyssey.

Sustainability alert: HP study finds sustainability is new workplace standard

Plus Henkel tours Sims recycling facility and more sustainability-related news.

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HP study finds sustainability is new workplace standard

Palo Alto, California-based HP unveiled a new study underscoring the importance of sustainable business practices in recruiting, hiring and retaining top talent. It also finds that employees are more productive, motivated and engaged when working for an employer who is leading the charge in social responsibility.

The global, 20,000 participant survey found that 61 percent believe sustainability is mandatory for businesses. Of those interviewed, 56 percent believe that ignoring environmental impact in the workplace is as bad as ignoring diversity and inclusion.

For many businesses, the first wave of sustainable changes was addressed through big ticket items, including LEED building certification and energy efficient lighting. Now, they are focusing on the next layer of sustainable improvements, such as composting and the direct purchase of renewable energy.

“The study released today proves what HP has suspected for many years. Businesses, and their workforce, are demanding higher levels of sustainability and quality from their suppliers,” remarks Dave McQuarrie, global head of print business management, HP. “HP has been committed to sustainable impact for decades. By reducing reliance on single-use plastics and delivering more sustainable supplies we are fulfilling a critical part of our reinvention journey and commitment to the environment.”

Henkel tours Sims Municipal Recycling facility

Beauty care employees with Germany-based chemical and consumer goods company Henkel observed recycling processes firsthand while touring Brooklyn, New York-based Sims Municipal Recycling facility. The 11-acre sorting center processes and markets more than 200,000 tons of plastic, glass and metal that New Yorkers put into recycling bins each year.

Dedicated to the circular economy through sustainable packaging efforts, the team took an in-depth look at material recovery, the first stage of sorting waste.

“Henkel is working together with partners along the entire value chain to drive progress toward a circular economy,” states Martina Spinatsch, vice president, R&D Beauty Care North America. “We are focused on reducing packaging material, increasing the use of recycled materials and improving the recyclability of our packages.”

Representatives from New Jersesy-based TerraCycle, a partner Henkel is working with to improve the recyclability of its products’ packaging, joined Henkel employees at SMR.

"The average consumer doesn’t get to experience the realities of recycling in their local communities,” says Alicia Forero, TerraCycle business development, brand partnerships. “Visiting Sims with Henkel was a fantastic opportunity to witness how a state-of-the-art facility navigates the challenges associated with offering traditional municipal recycling in an ever-changing downstream marketplace, coupled with the complexities of servicing a mega city like New York City. “

In line with Henkel’s long-term sustainability goal of making Henkel products three times as efficient by 2030, Henkel employees learned about recycling technologies and future trends.

“By understanding constraints at the material recovery facility, we are inspired to continue developing more recyclable packages for the complex waste stream in North America,“ says Kurt Nelson, principal packaging engineer.

Albertsons Companies completes PP recycling pilot, makes plastic pledge

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. Is completing a pilot on a closed-loop recycling program to repurpose suppliers’ plastic corrugate boxes into new ones.

The company’s Southern California Division is working with a vendor to recycle No. 5 polypropylene (PP) crates that suppliers use to ship products, such as fruits and vegetables. After the crates are emptied at store level, the stores return bales of collapsed crates, which are then processed into plastic pellets by approved recyclers. The pellets are then used to manufacture new crates.

The crate recycling pilot is one project that fulfills the company's pledge to the New Plastics Economy Global commitment, the company says. Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the commitment calls on its participants to take key steps, including “significantly increasing amounts of plastics reused or recycled and made into new packaging or products.”

April 22, Albertsons Cos. unveiled a plastic reduction pledge to advance sustainability throughout the company, starting with its extensive Own Brands portfolio. The company committed to 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025 and a decrease in plastic usage, with an emphasis on single-use plastics.

The company is also working with How2Recycle to standardize its labeling system and improve the reliability, completeness and transparency of recyclability claims.

“As we innovate and expand our Own Brand lines, we always keep the overall impact of packaging in mind and seek out ways to improve sustainability for each and every product,” Own Brands President Geoff White says. “Our suppliers are strong partners in this effort and, in many cases, are leading the charge on reducing, reusing and decreasing plastic content.”

Clarins becomes Plastic Odyssey's first partner 

Since it launched, Christian Courtin-Clarins of France-based cosmetics company Clarins was enticed by Plastic Odyssey’s vision. The project aims to help reduce plastic pollution in the oceans and alleviate poverty at the same time.

In 2020, Plastic Odyssey will start circumnavigating the globe for three years to promote plastic recycling and reduction on a boat powered by plastic scrap. Clarins recently came on board as an official partner of the expedition, by signing a five-year partnership.

Clarins Group says it has pioneered significant environmental changes within the group. Shocked by marine pollution while sailing in Asia, Clarins made a decision in 1999 to ban plastic bags from all of his stores. Since then, the plant-based products are designed to have the lowest possible impact on the environment.

Plastic Odyssey’s first working prototype reinforced that "it’s possible to build a ship that turns plastic into fuel."

Relying on plastic-to-fuel technology or pyrolysis, Plastic Odyssey will sail along the world’s most polluted coasts--Africa, South America and Southeast Asia-- to build at each stop “small modular recycling plants” that will meet different needs. In the meantime, Plastic Odyssey will investigate alternatives to plastic and zero waste solutions aboard the vessel in order to build a greener society.