Sustainable Packaging

Why are labels so important for sustainability? Tyler Chaffo / Avery Dennison

May 11, 2022 Cory Connors Season 2 Episode 82
Sustainable Packaging
Why are labels so important for sustainability? Tyler Chaffo / Avery Dennison
Show Notes Transcript

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tyler-chaffo-6645389/

https://www.averydennison.com/en/home.html

Are you labels helping you be more sustainable? 
Do RFID trackers offer a new way towards sustainability? 
Can smart labels help your reuse system? 






https://ororapackagingsolutions.com/
Looking to improve the sustainability of your packaging today? Check out:
https://www.landsberg.com/
The views and opinions expressed on the "Sustainable Packaging with Cory Connors" podcast are solely those of the author and guests and should not be attributed to any other individual or entity. 

https://specright.com/ This podcast is an independent production and the podcast production is an original work of the author. All rights of ownership and reproduction are retained—copyright 2022.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1329820053/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=corygat

Cory Connors:

Welcome to sustainable packaging with Cory Connors . Today's guest is Mr. Tyler Chaffo , and I'm going to let him introduce himself because his title is really, really long. Hey Tyler, how are you? Hey good.

Tyler Chaffo:

Thank you. Yeah. So this is Tyler Shafir. So manager of global sustainability at Avery Dennison, Smartsheet.

Cory Connors:

You know, labels is something we haven't talked about on my show yet done 80 episodes. And I'm excited to talk about it because think about how many, I don't know, , billions of labels are, are produced every day and used every day and put on boxes and bags and everything. So this is a really important topic and I'm excited to discuss it with you. So, thanks. Thanks for taking. Absolutely. Thanks for having me. So how did you get into packaging? First of all, . Yeah,

Tyler Chaffo:

no, that's a really good question. I, you know, it's been a, it's certainly been a journey I've been with every dentist and now this is my second go round with Avery Dennison after having left and even to go back to grad school and focused on sustainability packaging, I've been in part of, in my first iteration with Avery and now even more so with the, my second iteration. No packaging is one of those things. And Avery Dennison and kind of represents, this is not something that the everyday consumer thinks about, but obviously there's a lot of benefit when we think about packaging and kind of what patching has done historically, you know, you can, you can talk all you want about packaging within food, but you know, really the introduction of packaging within fresh produce really reduce food waste by a material amount of packaging really has a big benefit that way. And when I think about intelligent packaging or connected packaging, which is really what we focus on your inheritance and SmartTrack, you know, that's really, I think you go from being, you know, depending on how you look at it, something that can be a negative to really something that's a positive and, you know, even more of a positive than just, you know, I'll say non-intelligent packaging, you know, overwhelmingly, you know, companies are looking for technology to be an enabler for sustainability or. Yeah, it was a great survey done by the UN global compact and junction with Accenture last fall around the power that digital twin technology has. You know, and the majority of CEOs saying that, the ability that real-time track and trace materials are good. So have a significant impact on sustainability in our industry over the next five years. And that really digital twin, almost half of those CEOs think digital twin technology. will be the main driver there. And that's really what we do with Avery Dennison . Smart SmartTrack is we give everyday items, a unique digital identity, and that digital identity sits on packaging. So packaging can be this connection from the consumer of the product and then back to the business. And so all the insights and intelligence that you can create. It's really powerful.

Cory Connors:

That's excellent. I know Landsberg, Orora , who I work for has been a partner with you guys for many years. Can you tell us a little bit more about what Avery Dennison is known for? Tell us about this smart track technology or whatever you want to focus on for.

Tyler Chaffo:

Yeah, no. Sure. I'll give a 30,000 foot view around every dentist and as a broader corporation. Right? So we're inherently a large company that not everyone has heard of. Although I think in the past few years, we've really changed that image of ourselves and our position much more now as a solution provider, as opposed to historically being more positioned as a label and packaging company, but inherently at our foundation, we're a global company that specialize in that design and manufacturer for wide variety of labeling and functional material. And we kind of sit across three main business units, one being our label and graphic materials, which focuses on these pressure sensitive. , really one of our largest business units, my business unit every day, since SmartTrack sits within another business unit, not as retail branding and information solution. , that's where we get connected to really then users. And so you know, we have a big focus on the apparel space or identification solutions division. That's really focused on the food and logistics section segments. 80 SmartTrack is been seen it that I'm in and in conjunction with our connected product cloud ama.io. So a little bit deeper dive in 80 SmartTrack is we were really focused on providing everyday items are unique. July digital identity. And we've done that through a variety of means. If you think about a progression, , from a standard barcode, the ultra high frequency rain, RFID to NFC. So things like apple pay to do QR codes and really low energy Bluetooth. So all kinds of these different common trigger technologies. That then connects back to a cloud and really connect and really provide a connected product. And they're really our last business unit is our industrial and healthcare materials, which is really focused on the medical markets and really bring products to the market there. So pretty broad unit, you know, for, for us giving them some smart track, we get to touch pretty much all the industries that exist out there at a variety of different companies. But really it's about being that provider, that solution provider around visibility and transparency, and ultimately how that can be used from a B2B as well as a PDP, a B to C perspective.

Cory Connors:

Right? Well, that's, that's a lot. Wow. You guys do a lot of things in regards to labels and tracking. Can you give us a real world example of, of a way that tracking packaging would make it more sustainable?

Tyler Chaffo:

Sure. Absolutely. So, you know, one of the things that, you know, we, we just launched this actually this earlier this month with our ama.io product our, our connected product cloud is different modules that, you know, we have several modules really about five or so that we've, we've launched as primary spring update. But two of those ones I think are really impactful or on our carbon impact analytics, as well as our waste elimination. And so really those, those two work by the ability to provide visibility, transparency within a items journey and as items lifecycle, if you've heard of things like the digital product passport that's being discussed right now, as part of the European commission the ability to provide a unique digital identity, to be able to track that, you know, now provides just this mountain of data, you know, and, and it's true in terms of what, you know, Peter Drucker has famously said that you can't manage what you don't measure, the ability to now measure. It's all of these greater insights that brands and retailers can now use for approved position. Okay. So, if you can track a product from beginning to end and source, and you know, how it's, you know, what it's composed of, you know, the type of packaging it's in, you know, ultimately how that product can be reused or recycled or in a resale market in terms of when it's reached its useful life. And then all that all comes from having information into its provenance and really it's lifecycle up to date. And so if we want to track as carbon footprint has a new sort of. And ultimately bundle that up into scope three emissions. We can do that if we want to in the food segment, you know, track a package you know, as part of a recall, which, you know, in this country, I think we have product know food, recall seemingly every five minutes, then we can do that. , the benefit for that from a sustainability perspective is using that packaging to only remove the products that are affected. Right. So rather than removing all my Romaine lettuce . Which obviously has a massive impact from a cost of goods sold perspective, but also from a sustainability perspective, you can help, you can now identify to remove only the affected product. And so that's been a key thing as part of the U S food safety modernization act probably about that is removing waste. You know, waste across a number of verticals. You know, food waste is a big one that, you know, something that is very top of mind. And also plastic waste. And, you know, how can the package reduce that an ultimate and ultimately reduce waste within the value chain? And you can do that by, you know, tracking packages and you can do essentially a heat map to say, okay, I can identify here's where I've, you know, large contributors to waste or a carbon because I have that visibility. Now I can do some corrective action to say, okay, I'm not going to do that in the future, which I think is really powerful.

Cory Connors:

That's really amazing. I've heard that 40% of fresh produce in the USA gets wasted just by you know, You know, not being consumed it's does not survive long enough to, to get eaten. And it just spoils, and to me, that's tragic. But this kind of technology sounds like it could really make an impact on those numbers, which would be amazing. But you mentioned scope three, and I just learned about this yesterday and I'm excited to, to expand on it. Can you give us a kind of. You know just like a general idea of what that means, what is three?

Tyler Chaffo:

Absolutely. And I think, , scope three is something that you're going to hear a lot more and I think. Everyday individuals, regardless of their role, , scope three from an organization perspective is something that you're going to get engaged on, which I can certainly speak to. But I think from an overview perspective, you have three different types of greenhouse gas emissions that can, that are considered from an organization. Within every dentist and we have three different types of greenhouse gas emissions, you have scope one and scope two, which generally refer to your direct emissions. So the emissions from your own logistics. Or the emissions from your facilities. And then you have scope three, which is also known as value chain or supply chain emissions, which is really , your, your supply chain, your suppliers, the manufacturer of your products and materials use source. And then ultimately how those products get used and how those products Having an end of life scenario. So what happens to them when you're done with them? So as you can imagine, that's a pretty big number. And if you look at it from kind of a, an infographic perspective, you have , a Aero from an upstream perspective and that's your purchase goods and services. What are the raw materials that I'm getting from my suppliers. And then you have, from a downstream perspective, you have, , what are all the outcomes of the use of my products would have been useful life. And so when you consider that number, it can be quite big. And in fact, for most organizations in most manufactured, Scope three emissions represent anywhere from, let's say 60 to upwards of, you know, 90 plus percent of a company's global greenhouse gas emissions. So in terms of looking at a reduction, that's where you want to reduce it. You know, you've obviously heard recently and you'll hear it more and more, all the talk about net zero and companies going to net zero, you really can't get to net zero unless you prioritize. The catch 22 of that is it's a really hard number to really quantify. And because it's so broad, it's intangible. You know, how do you measure the emissions of your own materials, your sourcing, how do you then engage your suppliers to reduce that? And how does that impact you? So all the companies globally and every dentist and has a. We have a scope, three targets to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 with an aspiration of net zero by 2050. But, but, you know, very, you know, very much there's a lot of other companies globally that are focusing on that, but it is a challenge in terms of how, you know, one, how do you measure where you're at in order? And then how do you say you know, what's the roadmap for, for your end goal, right? And so that's really the challenge for a lot of organizations. And, you know, you mentioned the food industry. The food industry. There are supply chain accounts for 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions. So you mentioned also food waste waste is around 10% of global greenhouse gas. That's not food. That's eaten that that's food, that's grown and then sent to a landfill. And so really when you think about impact and how can we overall reduce the greenhouse gas emissions? We absolutely need to focus on scope three across all industries, but there's certainly some industries like food and driven by food waste that really are, you know, top of mind areas that we need to really drastically focus on and quickly.

Cory Connors:

Absolutely and packaging can, can add such a huge amount of value in those situations where it can extend the life of the products, the food that we worked so hard to produce, our farmers are so incredible and our producers are so incredible. And if we can package it correctly for them, it can last longer, which is wonderful. But I'm excited to talk about this next topic. The wash off, labeling that you guys are a part of. You guys have a label that will just wash off with I don't know if it's a certain temperature, water or, or certain you know, product that needs to be used, but has that helped those the reuse programs like we haven't here.

Tyler Chaffo:

Yeah, no. I would say absolutely to wash office, you know, I would say almost always synonymous to reuse systems and a single use ball. We'll send to you more permanent labels. There's certainly exceptions that exist, but I think high-level wash off is generally used for return and permanent for more single use market. And, and indeed wash off has been used insignificant, insignificant volume volumes for a considerable amount of time, for sure in terms of the Oregon market. But I could say, you know, in other markets and can we have a big presence in the Netherlands, which is where our European headquarters are for some of our divisions there. You know, you can go to a store, buy a plastic case with 24 glass beer bottles. You paid pause it at the supermarket checkout. Yep. Take them home, concern them. You put the empty bottles back in the case. We're turning up to the supermarket and then get your deposit of, let's say almost four years back, which is very identical to glass and 80 bottles. So the wash off labeling is really critical there. And certainly as we've seen, you know, the reuse scheme start to pick up you know, you'll see, I think wash off labels use more and more, you know, there's, there's a big advantage obviously. You know, from an aesthetic standpoint where you have certain permanent labeling and reuse schemes. And, and I, you know, I certainly could talk to about that from an intelligent label standpoint, then also some of the more, you know, marketing focused labeling, you want to wash off so that, you know, because generally those labels get damaged, they get scuffed and, you know, brands that are very, you know aesthetically focused, you know, like to have, you know, a pristine label. And so there's an advantage with it having a, a wash off scenario there just certainly what we've seen and, you know, to your earlier question, you know, how has that activated. And it really depends on the market. You know, you have different, you know, washing processes globally and recycling is true like that as well. Right. You know, it's very much regionally focused. And so in some markets it could be activated by the temperature. It could be activated by the caustic within the wash. And so I think the ability for abs and as material science companies to be you know, it's great products that really fit, you know, certain specific and really bring those products to market. That'll do it. Make for a more sustainable.

Cory Connors:

That's amazing. So let's talk about some other sustainability things that, that Avery Dennison is focusing on. Do you have any other initiatives or projects that you're working on right now that you felt like made a real big impact on sustainability of.

Tyler Chaffo:

Yeah, I think certainly, you know, some of the things I mentioned earlier with our spring release for our connected product, clung around waste and carbon, I think that that will have a big impact, but I think there's other ones as well. And, you know, from a material science perspective, you know, we're very much focused on reducing our own impact in our operations, but ultimately, how does that reduce the impact? Before the use of our products as well. And so you you've mentioned scope three emissions, you know, the use of the use of products can have a big impact there. And so if you familiar with a tide commercial right now where it's wash for cold and it's all about washing your clothes, that kind of lower energies. That's because then that's a big impact for scope three. And so the brands where their products are used frequently as part of your consumption. So laundry detergent, shampoos, the ability to wash it, lower temperatures ultimately has a big impact on scope three, which is why you're seeing, you know, campaigns like that. Then obviously there's a big monetary side of it. There were certainly it's a similar approach for us is can we create. That enable reuse. Can we create products that enable circularity to better recycling? Can we create products that are biodegradable? It's an adhesive, you know, face materials that allow for a biodegradable label. Cause obviously in certain markets like food, that's a really big potential on lock there. And there's also some other areas where, you know, my business unit gets to be more involved with an end, typically myself, where we look at. How can we take packaging and really a products we provide and use them as an enabler of sustainability. So there's certain projects we're doing around, you know, actually increasing the collection and, and sortation of packaging. Obviously there's landmark legislation happening right now around our out waste and really plastic pollution. And I think it's really exciting time. 'cause, you know, I think, right, right now what's happening with, you know, the, the global Alliance around you know, plastic pollution and things like that. It's very similar to, I think what we saw with Paris Accords in climate. And so that's going to drive a lot further solutions around packaging, and I think we're well positioned to really be in a good spot there. And certainly some of the things we're doing we're a member of Proctor and gamble, Proctor, and Gamble's holy grail price. Which is really a partnership to drive the next stage or development of intelligent waste sorting. So how can you use, you know, how can you make the package, the packaging more intelligent? And so rather than it gets sorted via conventional means, which, you know, let's face it here in the U S we've only, you've only recovered and recycled about 9% plastics. It's like 50. So how can we improve that? You can prove it by one, identifying what the product is. Increasing your ability to be collected and collected. How does it get sort better? And how does it get sent back as a feedstock for more recycled plastics, VCRs, things like that. So we're doing that in a variety of other ways. One of our partners is also using RFID technology, specifically NFC in Europe to do that. And so the ability to connect a product. Got it to its origin is really key. And so, you know, I think, you know, for us, it's about looking at, you know, w what are kind of the next stages around packaging and sustainability that, that, that we can lock into the it's about creating more and intelligent packaging. And so those are, I think, two top of mine, examples that I'm certainly really excited about. I think it's going to help close the loop. When you look at, you know, there was a great study done by Penn state around, you know, consumer preferences around packaging, and really how to recycle. And, you know, I, I can share with you the numbers, but effectively the answer is if the consumer knows how to recycle the product, they're that much more likely to recycle a product and in the last week at work cycle. So how can we use packaging as an enabler of that? So they could have the package talk about recovering corporate of is, but at the same time through a digital solution, also say, this is what I am. This is how you can recycle me, you know, really digitizing that deposit and return scheme, you know, really. The, the main thing I think about with circular economy, as it relates to packaging is, you know, you can create a product that is circular in nature. You can create the ecosystem that supports that take back and you can educate the consumers to do all that. But if you don't do all three of those things and only do two to three or one of those three, then effectively, you've made a great product. You've educated your consumer and you haven't yet. But you're missing on one of those things. And so cohesively, you're going to have a, still a negative outcome where this item is not going to be circular. And so I think for us, it's about really closing the loop there and making things come together.

Cory Connors:

That's very exciting. And I totally agreed. We, if the consumer doesn't know what to do with it, it's going in the landfill or worse, it's going into the environment, which is what we're all trying to avoid here. I did have a question I've I've thought about this for a long time. Has RFID technology caused any privacy issues? Like could accompany say track a package? All the way to somebody's house. Is that feasible? And is that a concern or is there a, is it kind of turned off at a certain point? Yeah.

Tyler Chaffo:

Yeah, no, it's, it's a really good question. And I'll say it's a historical question that we've gotten a lot in. Primarily when you look at RFID, specifically in UHF, RFID at that and where it was first adopted within the apparel industry. I think early on when we saw this adoption take place, there was concern on that exact scenario you just mentioned know, can a company, or can a let's say a bad actor trace my package or my, my item I purchased from the beginning to end. And the answer is effectively really? No. And really the reason for that is that. The information is transmitted is you need to have in specifically, you know, it can update it now, but effectively you have to know what the unique data means in order to be able to translate it. So if I were, let's say I had an RFA leader and I was going through everyone's trash cans. It's get a bunch of items, but it wouldn't mean anything in terms of what this was, where I came from. Now that being said, I can still physically go through and let's say, look at your items. You've purchased it and are throwing out. And they do the same thing so that, you know, I would say it was early on a concern, but really, as it went through and was adopted, realize it was not a concern because at the end of the day, the technology is still very. And so it's not constant monitoring. You know, it's when we consider there's a few forms of RFID and generally we'll call it passive versus active, active has a battery. And so it's constantly gathering data, reporting out things like that. Passive is not, it basically gets activated with RF energies put into it and then deactivates after a short period. Now, you know, flash forward, you know, things like consumer engagement and, you know, our connected product cloud and, you know, the ability to engage and have more consumer engagement post-purchase with packaging and products, you will run into that more and more, but all of our solutions are let's say GPDR compliant. So , it really still anonymized the data. So let's say you scan a package. And you want to, and we'll take the example of a reusable package. Yeah. I have a reusable coffee cup as a consumer. I scan this and I want to know what's the closest drop-off location. That, that process would still be GP VR compliant, because it's not going to identify exactly where I am. It's going to say you're around this area. So, you know, It was something that has come up and I think you'll continue to have it come up. And specifically as you go with more consumer engagement, but it's not really a problem.

Cory Connors:

That's a good news and a kind of a relief, to be honest with you. So how do people get ahold of you? Tyler is is LinkedIn the best way? Should we go to the website?

, Tyler Chaffo:

I think LinkedIn , is a really good way to get ahold of me. I'd say also go to the Johnson website, go to our LinkedIn page, you know, stay connected. We're working on a lot of exciting things. And you know, you also have my email, Tyler dot chapo@averydennison.com. Feel free to drop me a line, you know, happy to talk about the things we're doing and really how we can help support you there.

Cory Connors:

Well, and we appreciate your partnership at Landsberg Orora . I'd like to thank Landsberg Orora for your sponsorship, and I'd like to thank the listeners. If you are listening, please take a minute to subscribe and rate the show. We truly appreciate that. It means a lot. Thank you so much, Tyler.

Tyler Chaffo:

Thank you, Cory