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Sustainable Shopper

6 Tips for being a more Sustainable Consumer

Be a shopper who supports sustainable, ethical manufacturing practices

Consumers make an impact through their shopping habits by being a shopper who supports sustainable, ethical manufacturing practices.

There are several ways to be more eco-friendly in your everyday life by supporting companies that are ethical and sustainable. The move to sustainability in industry is driven by consumer demand, and that’s where you can make a greater impact.

Research

You can add sustainability to your list of ‘must-have’ features for your everyday purchases. There are several consumer websites which rate companies and products according to their ethical and environmental records. This can help you decide which companies to support.

Focus on Quality

Think about foregoing the two-for-one special or prices that seem too good to be true. Poor quality items can be landfill fodder that cost you more in the long run as they need to be constantly replaced. Instead, consider buying quality products that last so you save money and help the environment too.

Keep it Local

Consider shopping from local producers as this gives you the opportunity to ask questions and do research into how items are produced. Local items likely have a smaller carbon footprint because they haven’t traveled long distances to get to you. And, supporting local farmers, producers and manufacturers means you bolster the economy in your community.

Consider Value

We shouldn’t have to pay more just because a product is made more sustainably. Sustainability generally leads organizations to innovation and improvement that can drive costs down, so even if they pay more for sustainable raw materials, they can make up for that added cost by reducing costs in operations and disposal. All things being “relatively equal”, buy Green!

Check Certifications

There are a number of certifications which provide indications that the products you are buying are eco-friendly.

When buying wood or paper products, you can look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo which tells you the product was sustainably sourced. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification mark on your seafood means you are buying responsibly caught fish and you can also shop ‘organic’ for your fresh food and meat.

EnergyStar indicates appliances that are energy efficient and items that carry the Fair Trade seal meet the internationally agreed social, environmental and economic Fairtrade Standards.

Engage

Many consumers are now engaging with their favorite brands to see what steps they are taking to be more environmentally friendly. Get more involved with the products you purchase to learn about the company’s commitment to people and planet. It’s always good to buy from companies that do good.

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327, info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com  

 

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There is significant efforts across plastics industry segments to connect their “eco supply chains” to enhance CSR “Corporate Social Responsibility” initiatives which include green initiatives, sustainability, and efforts to eliminate unethical practices in extended Supply Chains. An emphasis on connecting social responsibility is one of the biggest Supply Chain trends this year, not only in the plastics space, but across many industries, with businesses more than ever focused on reducing their environmental impact. The trend has proven to have positive net impacts in return on assets. So why all these efforts? Who’s really driving CSR? 

Here’s why … Collective behavior has tipped towards sustainability and we’re starting to see, in the performance of leading companies, much closer relationships between the companies and their suppliers and customers up and down the value chain. Business leaders today have more of an outside-in focus based on what their end customers require. We talk to many companies and executives and the wide majority confirm, the collective consumer community is pushing companies in the direction of social and environmental responsibility. In terms of recycling and sustainability, plastics industry leaders are listening and connecting their supply chains and choosing supply chain partners that meet their customer’s needs.

With this new trend in the fore front, theirs an aggressive pursuit to connect internal sustainability with external sustainability. Many businesses now focus on end-to-end connected Supply Chains, with better process and coordination between raw material selection, packaging optimization, operational efficiency, all connected to corporate communications and brand strategy that reach and communicate with the consumer.

To maximize sustainable efforts, developing and connecting an Eco Supply Chain becomes critical, and when it functions circularly with stakeholders rowing in the same direction together towards the consumer, efforts not only impact bottom line cost and efficiency, they impact Top Line and brand value. To achieve more impactful economic results, supply chain decisions that in the past were made internally-operationally are now made with the customer in mind as well. Successful companies pursuing CSR including sustainability, focus on collaboration and orchestration, with closer end-to-end integration of the Supply Chain.

Case in point, plastics manufactures interested in recycling their plastic waste historically focused on price per pound to achieve the most value, whereas today many plastics manufacturers think more strategically, connecting the recycling of their plastic scrap into partnerships with humanitarian related products and products that connect their brands to purposeful meaningful causes. Instead of just selling plastic scrap at a price, plastics companies are thinking in terms of “social partnerships” with other manufacturers using their recycled plastics more resourcefully to make new meaningful purposeful products. As result these manufacturers are seeing multiple levels of value creation over and above price per pound selling their scrap, including brand recognition which impacts Top Line and brand value.

That same trend and strategy is impacting the purchasing side of our plastic industry as well, with manufactures looking to purchase recycled plastic resins that are made from strategically sourced materials that add value above price per pound. Adidas and Dell are two great examples, sourcing recycle grade plastic resins made from plastic scrap collected from our oceans. That strategic approach enabled Adidas and Dell to leverage their raw material sourcing efforts in the market to connect strongly with the consumer, thus achieving bottom line, Top Line and brand growth.

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327, info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com  

 

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I’ve mentioned many times to clients why businesses need to leverage their recycling & sustainability initiatives in the market, as part of their CSR “corporate social responsibility” platform. “Doing good without communicating good may not be good enough”.

There’s mountains of evidence today that “doing good” isn’t just good for our planet & for mankind … it’s also good for business and fast becoming the expected norm by consumers.  

When it comes to sustainability and recycling, businesses are increasingly coming to understand the power of communicating their purposeful activities. Unilever and Proctor & Gamble, two of the world’s biggest brand marketers, both recognize that doing good (corporate social responsibility) has a hugely positive impact on brand value & Top Line growth.

The 2013 Cone Communications/Echo global corporate social responsibility (CSR) report showed that:

  • 91% of global consumers are likely to switch brands to one that supports a good cause, given similar price and quality.
  • 92% of consumers would buy a product with a social and/or environmental benefit if given the opportunity, and more than two-thirds (67%) have done so in the past 12 months.

Global consumers have definitive expectations for the role companies should play in addressing social and environmental issues, and are avidly considering CSR in a variety of decisions:

  • Just 6% of consumers believe the singular purpose of business is to make money for shareholders.
  • 91% of consumers believe companies must go beyond the minimum standards required by law to operate responsibly.
  • More than 8 in 10 consider CSR when deciding where to work (81%), what to buy or where to shop (87%), and which products & services to recommend to others (85%).

Don’t get lulled by just stats! In today’s uber Social Media environment, many companies look to utilize connected supply chains that link their recycling and sustainability practices to their corporate communications strategies, to both maximize their sustainability efforts internally and to leverage and showcase their sustainability in the market with employees, customer, and consumers.

We work with many companies helping them to recycle their plastic waste, or make their products using a % of recycled plastic resins, or optimize and reuse their packaging, and in every case we tell our clients how important it is to connect and promote their sustainability and recycling practices to their customers, employees, and consumers. Doing good is not merely a “nice to do”… it’s an essential component for businesses impacting your bottom line, top line, and brand value.

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327, info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com  

 

 

shedding our sustainable skins

Shedding our sustainable skins isn’t simply “helpful” to creating sustainability and economic growth for our businesses … it’s imperative!

Whether we are in the plastics manufacturing industry, distribution, or retail side, in business if we don’t force ourselves to shed our skins, to try something new and explore alternative methods, if we don’t innovate different approaches and set new goals for our business development, if we don’t shed our skins and get out of our comfort zones, we actually start to deteriorate and our results go backwards.

I’ve heard it said … “a bend in the road isn’t the end of the road, unless we miss the turn”. In today’s millennial marketplace, sustainability and CSR “corporate social responsibility” is that turn. We cannot expect to remain comfortable and remain competitive. We cannot expect to operate without continual innovation, improvement, and change yet sustain a growing improving organization.

When it comes to sustainability and the team we surround our businesses with, whether that’s our raw material supplier, our recycling vendor, our packaging provider, even our sales marketing communications firm, if our team isn’t continually evolving and continually helping our business evolve greener, then we shouldn’t expect that keeping “status quo” will realize us improved results, better performance, or bigger margins.

If we expect to lead, it’s incumbent upon us to “shed our sustainable skins” and innovate.

 

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327, info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com  

 

 

 

 

colorful-plastic-resins

Traditionally plastics manufacturers purchase Recycle Grade and other Plastic Resins with a primary focus on material quality, consistency and reliability, and of course match service with bottom line costs per pound to keep economic and environmental sustainability in alignment. Manufacturers consider using recycled plastic resins as a “value add” component to make their product more sustainable and save money in certain market conditions.

But manufacturers interested in sustainability, yet aren’t operating in a connected eco-supply chain, often miss out on achieving their greatest growth value opportunities.

Remember, manufacturers aren’t in business just to be sustainable. Sustainability is how we make our products, but it surely isn’t why we make our products. We make our products to sell them to consumers and our goal is to grow sales, grow market share, and grow revenue every year. We make products more sustainably because we and our customers care about our environment and because data shows, all things relatively equal, consumers seek to buy and retailers seek to sell more sustainably made products from companies with purpose. We also make our products more sustainably because we know sustainability generally leads to efficiency and innovation which leads to improved performance on a manufacturing perspective. We use less, yet we generate more.

For manufacturers that buy recycled plastic resins, expanding and connecting your supply chain more strategically from stand-alone raw material suppliers to raw material suppliers that are strategically connected in an eco-supply chain™ can add tremendous top line value.

As examples, using a no-name brand of recycled plastic resin from a supplier that isn’t connected in an eco-supply chain provides a defined level of bottom line value, (whereas) using an eco-branded grade of recycled resins, a brand that “shouts sustainability” on your products & packaging, adds a completely enhanced level of top line value, (and) using recycled resins that connect and align your brand with a purposeful mission adds another level of enhanced top line value, (and) leveraging your use of sustainable plastic resins in the market by effectively communicating your sustainability to consumers adds another level of enhanced brand value, (and) by differentiating your sustainability over your competitors as a result of your use of an eco-branded recycled plastic resin can expand your shelf space with socially minded retailers, (and) by working with raw material suppliers that are themselves connected in an eco-supply chain™ can add valuable resources to your team like eco-brand communications expertise, packaging optimization expertise, recycling and zero waste management expertise, etc., adding more value your company can leverage to reduce cost and grow revenue.

Point is … businesses must always look to add value, and in addition to bottom line price per pound value that you may be achieving today, by working with raw material suppliers in a connected eco-supply chain™, you may be able to leverage your raw material sourcing to gain top line value that grows revenue and builds a stronger more valuable purposeful brand.

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327, info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com   

colorful-plastic-resins

Traditionally plastics manufacturers purchase Recycle Grade and other Plastic Resins with a primary focus on material quality, consistency and reliability, and of course match service and support with bottom line costs per pound to keep economic and environmental sustainability in alignment. Manufacturers consider using recycled plastic resins as a “value add” component to make their product more sustainable and save money in certain market conditions.

But manufacturers interested in sustainability yet aren’t operating in a connected eco-supply chain often miss out on achieving their greatest growth value opportunities.

Remember, manufacturers aren’t in business just to be sustainable. Sustainability is how we make our products, but it surely isn’t why we make our products. We make our products to sell them to consumers and our goal is to grow sales, grow market share, and grow revenue every year. We make products more sustainably because we and our customers care about our environment and because data shows, all things relatively equal, consumers seek to buy and retailers seek to sell more sustainably made products from companies with purpose. We also make our products more sustainably because we know sustainability generally leads to efficiency and innovation which leads to improved performance on a manufacturing perspective. We use less, yet we generate more.

For manufacturers that buy recycled plastic resins, expanding and connecting your supply chain more strategically from stand-alone raw material suppliers to raw material suppliers that are strategically connected in an eco-supply chain™ can add tremendous top line value.

As examples, using a no-name brand of recycled plastic resin from a supplier that isn’t connected in an eco-supply chain provides a defined level of bottom line value, (whereas) using an eco-branded grade of recycled resins, a brand that “shouts sustainability” on your products & packaging, adds a completely enhanced level of top line value, (and) using recycled resins that connect and align your brand with a purposeful mission adds another level of enhanced top line value, (and) leveraging your use of sustainable plastic resins in the market by effectively communicating your sustainability to consumers adds another level of enhanced brand value, (and) by differentiating your sustainability over your competitors as a result of your use of an eco-branded recycled plastic resins can expand your shelf space with socially minded retailers, (and) by working with raw material suppliers that are themselves connected in an eco-supply chain™ can add valuable resources to your team like eco-brand communications expertise, packaging optimization expertise, recycling and zero waste management expertise, etc., adding more valuable resources your company can leverage to reduce cost and grow revenue.

Point is … businesses must always look to add value, and in addition to bottom line price per pound value you may be achieving today, by working with raw material suppliers that are connected in an eco-supply chain™, you may be able to leverage your raw material stream to gain top line value to grow revenue and build a stronger more valuable purposeful brand.

By Daniel Schrager, President at GearedforGreen 888-398 (GEAR) 4327, info@gearedforgreen.com, www.gearedforgreen.com   

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Shedding our sustainable skins isn’t simply “helpful” to creating sustainability and economic growth for our businesses … it’s absolutely imperative! In business if we don’t force ourselves to shed our skins, to try something new and explore alternative methods, if we don’t innovate different approaches and set new goals for our business development, if we don’t shed our skins and get out of our comfort zones, we actually start to deteriorate and go backwards. I’ve heard it said … “a bend in the road isn’t the end of the road, unless we miss the turn”. In today’s millennial marketplace, sustainability and social purpose is that turn. We cannot expect to remain comfortable and remain competitive. We cannot expect to operate without continual innovation and improvement and sustain a growing improving organization. When it comes to sustainability and the team we surround our businesses with, whether that’s our resin suppliers, our recycling vendors, or our sales marketing team, if our team isn’t continually evolving and continually helping our business evolve greener, then we shouldn’t expect that keeping “status quo” will realize us improved results, better performance, or bigger margins. If we expect to lead, it’s incumbent upon us to “shed our sustainable skins” and innovate. gearedforGREEN™ is committed to constant & continual innovation and improvement to find the best ways to help customers succeed greener. Through gearedforGREEN eco-supply chains™ we focus on 360 degrees of sustainability for our clients, helping make, market and sell products more sustainably. We surround our clients and eco-supply chain™ partners with ideas and strategies to help us all add innovation and new dimensions to our sustainability and recycling initiatives. www.gearedforgreen.com info@gearedforgreen.com 888-398-(GEAR) 4327

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Sustainability. For organizations making, using, or selling plastic products, you hear about it often. We know it’s beneficial for our environment and leads to greater innovation. We hear the stigma plastic has with environmental folks, and we know how important it is to consumers, our retail relationships, and to creating a long lasting brand.  All things equal, sustainability is the way to go. Although businesses recognize matching economic sustainability to environmental sustainability is essential, it is often easier said than done. Consumers don’t want to, nor should they have to, pay more for sustainable products, and manufacturers shouldn’t either. The good news is that sustainability often leads to innovation, efficiency, cost reduction and increased brand value.

For plastic product manufacturers, making products eco-friendly can be achieved in part by using recycled and / or wide spec plastic resins as raw materials, which is substantially better for the environment. As part of our Gearedforgreen 360 degrees of sustainability program, we supply many plastic product manufacturers with alternative  – recycle grade and Widespec grade plastic resins, matched with on-site technical support and other Eco-supply chain resources, such as Eco-packaging, Consumer Brand Marketing, etc.  

The upsides to using sustainable raw materials and making more sustainable products are endless. Manufacturers can capitalize on their sustainability to leverage top line sales by attracting millennials and other Eco- friendly consumers, create stronger relationships with retailers and distributors, strengthen brand value, and differentiate from competition. According to virtually all industries leading business advisory firms, including KPMG, Accenture, PWC, and others, “manufacturers need to connect sustainability & socially purposed initiatives to remain relevant.”

Leading retailers, including Walmart, Target, Kroger, The Home Depot, and many others are incredibly supportive of circular connected supply chains and selling sustainable brands with social purpose.  As an example from Walmart, “We’re making sustainability part of how we buy and sell merchandise around the world. In doing so, we’re taking a leading role in addressing the most important issues facing the consumer goods industry, helping our suppliers become more competitive businesses, creating a more resilient supply chain and increasing our customers trust in us and the brands we carry.”

Whether you make products sold B2B or B2C, with the growing demand for sustainable products, there is no going wrong with going green. A manufacturer that uses recycled and Widespec plastic resin as a component of their overall sustainability initiative has the ability to attract a whole new set of consumers, whose priorities align with sustainability and social purpose. Manufacturers gain the ability to turn a higher profit by attracting a significantly higher percentage of potential sales. And in today’s digital social media age, consumers have the ability to build or break brands in a nano second. Fostering positive consumer relations and growing a reputation as a social value brand is very important for a business. That is our gearedforGREEN mission for manufacturers, to help them team up in a connected Eco-supply chain to make, market and sell products that are more sustainable.

Beating the competition is key! Retail is shaped by its consumer, and today’s consumer cares more than ever about “purpose.” In recent years, there has been a high demand for products that are environmentally friendly, made by companies that also have social purpose. With every new generation that comes into the workforce, there is increased passion around sustainability and sustainable goods. In conjunction with that, current generations are being presented with more and more options to choose from, more than ever before, and they need to be incentivized to choose one product over another. All things equal, green is a tie breaker!  As sustainability is climbing the list of necessary consumer criteria, it becomes increasingly important for manufacturers to offer sustainability and social purpose as a component of their products to the consumer. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers who can capitalize on sustainability will be the big winners!

www.gearedforgreen.com

info@gearedforgreen.com

888-398-GEAR (4327)

 

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Our corporate branded eco apparel and uniforms are proudly made from recycled soda and water bottles and manufactured with great PRIDE in every stitch. We know just how valuable your brand is..This year show it off in sustainable gearedforgreen™ eco apparel and uniforms.