With Earth Day just around the corner, Pet Sustainability Coalition members are advancing their businesses through a variety of projects that move us toward a better future for pets, people and the planet. PSC Members at all levels are engaged in meaningful sustainability projects this month, in fact, we have more members engaging in projects right now than ever in the history of PSC! We want to share some of these current projects with you as an Earth Day celebration and to inspire your business to kickoff a project and join the movement.
Bernie’s Boosts Packaging Analysis
We recently posted about pet food startup Bernie’s path to sustainability and accreditation. While the company has focused on renewable energy sourcing and supply chain stewardship, Bernie’s is not slowing down in advancing their sustainability in their product packaging either.
Bernie’s initially identified aluminum cans with an aluminum membrane opening, due largely in part to the relative ease of recycling aluminum in most markets. Much of this decision was based on assumptions about recycling and material sourcing, however, so Bernie’s is engaging with the Pet Sustainability Coalition team to evaluate three (3) different packaging options across eight (8) life cycle analysis indicators.
Tyler Packaging Expands Life Cycle Analysis
With a life cycle analysis already underway, Tyler Packaging is expanding its look at packaging alternatives by including life cycle analysis of packaging composed of polyethylene with either a mix of (1) 30% post-consumer recycled resin, (2) 30% post-industrial recycled resin, or (3) 30% Brasken sugarcane bio-based content.
“We started this project with the intent of educating our customers about sustainable packaging alternatives, as there are misconceptions in the market. We want to provide our customers with independent data, not just our internal data,” says Adam Kay, Sales and Technical Director at Tyler.
“Our next steps are to continue in innovation, and build upon our market position,” comments Adam Kay.
Interested in doing a life cycle analysis of any of your products or packaging? Life cycle analysis projects typically involve a two week process of data collection, followed by 3-4 weeks of calculations and report development. The Pet Sustainability Coalition can help simplify the process by bringing project support, tools, and expertise to the table.
Ab7 Member Project Focuses on Sustainable Films Packaging and Labels
Advocate-level member Ab7 produces packaging films for the pet industry. The company is working with PSC’s project team to research sustainable options for a variety of clear and printed films and labels. The project is investigating products based on the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s definition of sustainable packaging.
This is not the first sustainability-related achievement for the French company. Ab7 recently established manufacturing operations in the United States in order to reduce the environmental impact of continuous shipping of products from France for its U.S. sales. No small task, the company acquired new equipment, engaged in local sourcing and operational training and adjusted formulations to accommodate the new local ingredients.
What is Sustainable Packaging?
- Is beneficial, safe & healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle?
- Meets market criteria for performance and cost.
- Is sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using renewable energy.
- Optimizes the use of renewable or recycled source materials.
- Is manufactured using clean production technologies and best practices.
- Is made from materials healthy throughout the life cycle.
- Is physically designed to optimize materials and energy.
- Is effectively recovered and utilized in biological and/or industrial processes.
Madeleen Olivares, Sustainability Specialist at Ab7, notes the company’s goal of the project is to offer 100% recyclable products to its customers.
“We want to be able to suggest to our customers a change in their packaging components to new local sources that are recyclable. – Madelen Olivares.
Guardian Level Instinct Launches Employee Survey
One of the top projects member companies engage are employee surveys, and this Earth Day month is no exception.
Instinct is a raw pet-food brand. The Instinct leadership team wants to fully integrate sustainability into the company’s work culture, operations, impact reporting and brand story as a leader in the pet industry.
“We believe in a culture of continuous improvement and with that, we have added sustainability at a top priority for 2021,” noted Debra McCracken, Human Resources Director at Instinct.
The company decided to do an employee survey to assess employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as employee attitudes and perceptions about sustainability.
McCracken adds, “our goal is to continue to build a company culture that promotes an inclusive and positive work environment. We want our team members to know their voices are heard and valued.”
The PSC team is helping Instinct develop and administer the survey in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. The team expects to complete survey analysis and a presentation of the results will be shared at an all-company meeting this summer.
Learn more about employee surveys HERE.
Primal Pet Foods Roadmapping to Sustainability
It is Primal Pet Foods 20th anniversary, and it is no better time to evaluate and integrate sustainability throughout the business. Primal Pet Foods, a Guardian PSC Member is pursuing an ambitious, multiphase project that integrates sustainability into the company’s planning process, employee culture, and corporate goals.
Company leadership at Primal Pet Foods seeks first to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability across the new corporate structure, while enhancing the buy-in and support for sustainability across the company. The goal is to embed sustainability into existing internal structures, processes and tools to ensure sustainability is effectively managed year after year.
The project first involves an employee survey, similar to the Instinct employee survey project we discussed above.
Landscape Review of Competitors’ Sustainability Performance
What makes this project unique is the ‘landscape review’, in which the PSC team is developing a review of the sustainability performance of relevant peets/competitors to Primal Pet Foods. Based on publicly available information, the team is analyzing the environmental and social sustainability projects and programs of competitors and comparing these initiatives against those of Primal Pet Foods.
Based on the results of the employee survey, the competitive landscape review, and a review of the current and historical state of sustainability initiatives across the company’s operations and facilities, the project will conclude with a set of sustainability recommendations developed by the PSC team, including a Sustainability Action Plan, complete with timeline, ownership roles and resources needed.
West Paw Performs Protein and Packaging Project
Pet Sustainability Coalition founding member West Paw is working with the PSC sustainability team on researching the impacts of its protein sources for a new line of pet treats. The project involves evaluating the supply chain for a potential new line of pet treats, from sourcing through manufacturing. The goals of the project are to identify the best sources of ingredients, particularly proteins, while improving the environmental performance of their packaging.
“PSC has experience with both the protein impacts and packaging impacts. The insights and guidance from PSC is helping simplify decision making with better environmental outcomes.” – Spencer Williams. CEO, West Paw.
West Paw is expecting to use the results of this project to develop a product line that better aligns with their social and environmental objectives, along with evidence that supports their marketing.
“We plan to update our supplier code of conduct, along with updating marketing, and gain more insights toward new product development,” notes CEO Spencer Williams.
And that’s not all! Here’s a quick look at at few additional member projects currently underway:
Earth Animal is engaging in a second Diversity, Equity and Inclusion workshop while simultaneously reviewing the comparative environmental impact of several products in its portfolio.
Wellpet is doing a research project about the sustainability of their protein ingredients.
Ready to make it “Earth Day Every Day” and jumpstart your member project? Contact our Member Experience team today.