Breaking Through the Sustainable Packaging Dilemma: Carbon Footprint vs. Waste Management

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Associate Research Director

A dilemma for every sustainable solution being developed is that while it may effectively address only one problem, it will often (knowingly or not) create others. One path forward for innovation teams is to only pursue the solutions that have a net-positive impact. However, weighing different environmental consequences is easier said than done and can lead to an infinite loop of internal philosophical debate in one’s head. Ultimately, prioritizing goals is the most effective way to evaluate these solutions and avoid analysis paralysis. This lesson is one of many that Lux analyst Marcian Lee shares in his recent report “Breaking Through the Sustainable Packaging Dilemma: Carbon Footprint vs. Waste Management (Client-only).” In the report, Marcian evaluates nine different sustainable packaging solutions based on their carbon footprint and waste mitigation potential (see the figure below). Most significantly, it exemplifies a methodology for making decisions around sustainable solutions (packaging or otherwise) quickly and effectively. 

Source: Lux Research

For many of the pressing environmental and social issues faced today, time is running out and solutions were needed yesterday. Innovation leaders have the unique opportunity to rapidly address these issues and reduce the impact of the products and packaging on the market. While these problems are BIG, they can be gradually diminished. Always be mindful of the impacts sustainable solutions can have and do a fair amount of due diligence before proceeding down any path, but don’t get trapped in the analysis. 

We’d like to hear from you about what steps you are taking to be more confident in the decisions you are making around sustainability or, alternatively, if you are feeling stuck. And, for other insights on sustainability strategy, innovations for packaging, and so much more, you can find some of the latest from Lux Research’s team of experts here.

Kristin Marshall

Associate Research Director, Lux Research

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