Is Sustainable Packaging Right for My Distillery?

Is Sustainable Packaging Right for My Distillery?

Sustainability as a concept is something that is being embraced by companies around the world. It makes sense since a clean environment is good for us all. No one wants to see a repeat of the Cuyahoga River Fire. The only way to ensure that never happens again is for companies to act in environmentally conscious ways. 

Some of these sustainability measures include electric cars, facilities that run on solar or wind, and efforts to recycle old products. Maybe the most visible stab at sustainability is product packaging. 

What is Sustainable Packaging 

Sustainable packaging is when a product’s packaging is made from environmentally friendly materials, which create a smaller carbon footprint. This is accomplished in many ways, such as using lighter materials, recycled and recyclable materials, or ethically harvested materials. 

Some companies have been less than ethical when they tout their environmental record. They use a practice known as greenwashing.  Greenwashing is when a product or company does something to make themselves or their product seem more environmentally friendly than it is. 

One good example is a box that says, made from recyclable material. Since most materials can be recycled in some way, this is technically true. That doesn't mean it is good for the planet. 

Is Sustainable Packaging Right for My Distillery? 

The short answer is yes. In general, the people who don't care if a package is made from sustainable materials also won't care if it is. Conversely, the people who do care about the sustainability of a product's packaging may pass on a product without it. 

Sustainable materials can sometimes be the cheaper alternative, or at least competitive. However, the subject of sustainability goes deeper than that. 

In 2018, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink spoke on corporate environmental responsibility and sustainability, saying, “society is increasingly turning to the private sector.”  His reasoning for this is the growing number of people who don't believe that the world governments are doing enough to confront what they see as the climate crisis. 

A growing number of people, especially millennials, want and seek out environmentally-friendly businesses. An easy way to appeal to this desire is through sustainable packaging. It's something that the customer immediately sees. 

Using solar and recycling at your distillery is something environmentally conscious customers would appreciate but getting them informed on those initiatives isn't easy. Seeing sustainable packaging on the shelf makes an immediate impact on the consumer’s mind. The more environmentally conscious they are, the bigger factor sustainable packaging will play in their purchase decision. 

The Emotional Component of Sustainable Packaging 

A growing number of individuals are becoming more and more worried about the environment. Fear is a strong emotion rooted in a feeling of not being in control. This is one reason people gravitate toward sustainable packaging. It gives them back a small sense of power and a sensibility that they are doing something to make the world better. This can be a great selling point.

That emotional component of sustainable packaging is what consumers want. They need to feel better about their purchase. They also need to have a positive opinion about your distillery’s impact on the environment. If they don’t have that, they could feel that they and you will make the environmental crisis worse if they buy for you. 

Sustainability has created one inescapable fact. Packaging has become a statement. What will you have it say about your distillery? The answer needs to be a good one, that will not only reflect on the quality of your spirits but also the soul of your company.