Innovation meets Sustainability - Disrupting packaging for good

Innovation and sustainability are core growth drivers that shape the manufacturing industry. Each being a crucial key element on its own, they are often erroneously perceived as isolated factors. Putting both elements into perspective helps us to understand the essence of their codependency and how this crossover is shaping the status quo of our packaging.

As we are continuously evolving in the field of sustainability as an industry, there is a need for a new approach to packaging. The exposure of exciting and urgent requests from customers presents huge opportunities which challenge us to level up our innovative way of thinking while considering their economic, social, and environmental needs. Radical change happens when we work closely with our customers to connect the various dots of innovation. 

Since brands are innovating, they are also asking us as their supplier to innovate alongside them. This way, instead of a supplier, we become their innovation partner. Fundamentally, if you want to be a leading company, you must be innovative.

Magnus Renman
Group R&D Director at DS Smith

Customer interaction is the most significant intersection between innovation and sustainability. However, not all innovation can or should be about radical change. Some innovations are simply about building on existing capabilities to develop incremental innovation for today and tomorrow, to reach and serve the needs of our customers.  

I cannot overstate the importance of innovation. If Covid-19 taught us one thing in the business world, it was that innovative companies are more resilient. It should not come as a surprise that those companies are now industry frontrunners.

Marjolein Lem
Group Innovation Program Director at DS Smith

To build on our position as an industry frontrunner, we have recognised consumer packaging and e-commerce as two of the biggest growth areas to provide the best platform for sustainability and innovation.  

Just as our circular ready packaging solutions are causing a disruptive change in sustainability, sustainability cannot thrive unless it is disrupted by new, innovative packaging designs. Innovation continues to play a fundamental role in enabling new ways for us to decarbonise, keep materials in use for longer, and minimise our water and energy usage – all key areas of focus that are high on our, and our customers’ agendas.