Make sustainable packaging a reality with the help of your suppliers

Engage and collaborate with your suppliers to measure and reduce plastic, increase recyclability and compostability, and explore innovative ways to make your packaging more sustainable. 

Drive sustainable packaging in six easy steps

A sustainable packaging initiative can be a long and hard journey to get right. What about increased costs, the risk of introducing new materials, not to mention a lack of alignment around sustainable packaging goals within the value chain?

Overcoming these hurdles requires the help of your suppliers. Whether your focus is on a specific product pack, secondary or tertiary packaging, or even the marketing materials used at point of sale, suppliers need to understand your project and become aligned to its objective. This level of commitment from suppliers will inspire solutions around things such as resource efficiency and cost reduction. 

Our Six-Step Process provides a brilliant framework to make this a reality and help you (and your suppliers) to reach your sustainable packaging goals much faster.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Materially Important Issue
Focus on what’s important

Your journey begins as soon as you have identified more sustainable packaging to be a brand priority. There might be a few different reasons for launching a sustainable packaging initiative. These include:

  • Reduced cost (and/or waste)
  • Reduced Scope 3 supply chain emissions
  • Increased transparency for packaging
  • Competitive advantage

Think about the reasons behind launching a sustainable packaging project. This will help you to better communicate a clear message to your suppliers about why this is of material importance to your business (and therefore to them too). 

Step 2: SMART Goal
Set realistic and achievable goals

With increasing pressure from leaders, competitors, or customers, it is tempting to set targets which may be unrealistic or unachievable. But first, you have to understand how ready your suppliers are to help you reach the goal you might set. 

Conducting a supplier readiness survey will enable you to set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timebound (SMART) goals. Understanding the topic maturity and capacity of your suppliers will  also give you an idea of how you will tailor the support you give throughout the initiative.  

We always accompany our supplier readiness surveys with a robust supplier contact accuracy campaign to make sure that your system is populated with the right contact information.

Step 3: Benchmark
Understand your benchmark

When it comes to product composition, knowing your starting point makes it easier to see where improvements need to be made - whether that is around the plastic weight or recyclability. This requires data accuracy from active supplier participation. 

Our reporting can provide greater visibility to your leadership team about packaging material, recyclability, certifications, and recycled content percentage. This means that you can focus the limited time and energy your team has in the right place. 

Step 4: Activation
Close the performance gap

Your suppliers need to be engaged and committed to your initiative for it to be a success. The best (and most scalable) way to align your suppliers is with engagement campaigns.

These campaigns should clearly communicate your policy, equip suppliers with educational content around sustainable packaging principles, and hold them accountable to their commitments through detailed action plans. 

Remember to target suppliers based on:

  • their level of knowledge around sustainable packaging principles 
  • their current ability to provide the packaging data you need 
Step 5: Data-driven KPI
Grow accountability and transparency

To make tangible progress towards any specific packaging goal, you must set clear expectations with suppliers.
You are then able to monitor supplier performance against your benchmark and track:

  • the number of suppliers providing accurate packaging data
  • reduction in plastic use  
  • increased recyclability
  • increased percentage of post-consumer recycled content within packaging

These metrics can then be shared within the context of each supplier's wider KPIs within their individual scorecard.

Step 6: Commercialise
Transform suppliers into your greatest brand asset

Build a name for your brand with increased logistical efficiencies and by promoting your more sustainable packaging achievements directly to customers to give your brand a competitive edge.

There is an increasing demand for direct communication about the environmental impact of a product's packaging, with the vast majority of consumers also being willing to pay more for products with sustainable packaging. 

Supply Pilot Brandmark

Introduce sustainable packaging solutions at pace and scale

The Supply Pilot Platform has been built for fast moving businesses who need to engage and collaborate with hundreds of suppliers to achieve their compliance, sustainability and brand goals.

By nature, packaging initiatives involve suppliers, and therefore require comprehensive supplier engagement strategies which foster the ability to share data and collaborate on solutions. This relies upon accurate supplier contacts who understand the specific project, why it is important to your brand, what the desired outcome is, and what they need to do to help you achieve that goal. 

Target & deploy brand-critical comms

Supplier engagement

Automate supplier contact accuracy management and proactively review email bounces, opens and acknowledgements. 

Align and activate suppliers by creating targeted, engaging communications based on suppliers' knowledge of sustainable packaging principles.

  • Run webinars about sustainable packaging principles and how to provide accurate composition data 
  • Create knowledge-based content and host online training about recyclability or compostability of different materials
  • Centralise supplier queries to identify trends and drive improvement in your supplier knowledgebase
Turn dozens of data silos into a single view

Product and component data collection

Collect data from suppliers in a way that prioritises supplier experience. Quick and simple forms for suppliers will maximise response rates and reduce the need for chasing.

  • Collect all your packaging material data in one place
  • Bespoke forms which make it quick and simple for suppliers to provide the exact data you require 
  • Enable suppliers to easily copy data from other products with pre-populated forms
Share & succeed at scale

Supplier collaboration

Maintain accountability and transparency by creating supplier action plans based on their knowledge of sustainable packaging principles.

  • Manage sustainable packaging accountability at scale and set clear deadlines
  • Create supplier development plans to build capabilities
  • Deliver tailored support around capturing composition data for the supplier cohorts who need it
  • Set ambitious plastic reduction and/or compostability targets for those who go above and beyond
Identify champions & build success

Supplier scorecards

Securely share up-to-date performance data and insights with suppliers 24/7 to inspire suppliers to be proactive about finding sustainable packaging solutions. 

Automatically calculated scorecards enable you to: 

  • Accurately monitor supplier progress against goals
  • Visualise key metrics such as recyclability or percentage of recycled materials used
  • Quickly determine how a supplier's performance around sustainable packaging relates to other metrics or initiatives (such as Scope 3). 
So much more than a platform

Expert hands-on demand

Supply Pilot's Campaign Team can create tailored supplier engagement campaigns to complete this project on your behalf and get all your suppliers to begin (and continue) to provide accurate packaging composition data. 

  • Overcome resource constraints to meet deadlines: supplier engagement experts take full ownership of delivering on time and above expectation
  • Maximise response rates 
  • Create engaging and accessible training content
  • Maintain an active supply base who are equally invested in your goals

Get results in weeks, not years.

Here’s how we get your sustainable packaging project up and running.

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Discovery Call

In your 30-minute discovery call, one of our team will help you unpick which issue would make a compelling pilot project. We’re happy to share pricing and timelines at this stage to help you decide whether we’re a good fit for your business.

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Supply Pilot Demo

We’ll take you through a full demo of the Supply Pilot Platform for your specific need. We’ll show you how we use the Platform for each part of the project, and how we’ll help make sure it’s a success. Invite your internal stakeholders to the demo to help bring your pilot project to life. The demo takes 1-2 hours, depending on how many people attend.

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Business Case

We’re by your side when it’s time to put your business case forward. If your boss is the visual type, we’ll put together a video. Is your board more interested in the numbers? We’ll arm you with the ROI.

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Now you’re on board, there’s plenty to do. So why waste time? Expect your kick-off meeting within days of sign-off and your branded platform will be live within a couple of weeks.

Does your sustainable packaging initiative need a boost?

The Six-Step Process was created because we believe in the power of great supplier relationships. Book your discovery call today and start your Supply Pilot journey.

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