CEO of Avery Dennison talks on the challenges of adopting a sustainability agenda

Avery Dennison, a $6.1 billion California-based global corporation known best for its self-adhesive labels, has been getting good environmental profiling around a $200,000 grant made to Rainforest Alliance for promotion of sustainable forestry in Honduras. The Chairman, President and CEO of Avery Dennison was interviewed by Rainforest Alliance about the company’s efforts to protect the environment and support local communities. Among his comments about Avery Dennison’s progress towards sustainability:

  • We measure success by the social, environmental and economic value we create.
  • Sustainability is the smart thing for us to do, as well as the right thing.
  • You can’t run an enterprise for the long term if you aren’t doing it in a sustainable way.
  • And it’s consistent with a basic economic truth: businesses are created to provide solutions for unmet needs.
  • If we innovate to meet a societal need, all stakeholders will reap the benefits.
  • Our sustainability goals have evolved from a set of initiatives to a core business strategy.
  • We’re focused on using our scale and purchasing power to move the entire labeling and packaging industry to use more responsibly sourced materials.
  • We’re in a unique position to bring together a full range of stakeholders to work on solutions that benefit everyone.
  • In our manufacturing facilities, we’re driving efficiencies in energy, greenhouse gas emissions, materials and waste.
  • One of our long term goals is to achieve zero waste to landfill from our manufacturing operations and address the downstream waste impacts associated with self-adhesive labeling materials.
  • In 2013, we turned to the Rainforest Alliance to help us develop a responsible paper sourcing policy with the ultimate goal of sourcing all of our paper products sustainably without increasing our costs.
  • A major hurdle in adopting a more sustainable supply chain is the industry’s mindset. There were two big myths about sustainability we had to overcome. The first is that it costs more. It’s just not true. In fact, there are sustainable solutions that we provide today to help make supply chains run more efficiently. The second myth is that it’s too hard. Of course, it takes planning and hard work, but the real challenge is doing things differently and thinking in new ways. Once you embrace that notion, it opens up new possibilities and opportunities for innovation.
  • Manufacturing efficiently uses less material and creates less waste, reducing both costs and environmental impact. Using renewable resources, and finding lower-impact alternatives, can help ensure that we have future access to the materials from which we make our products. Employing people in fair, safe and ethical environments and offering them opportunities for training and advancement enhances their lives and communities — and helps them be more productive and creative on the job.

The complete interview is available at http://thefrogblog.org/2014/05/05/the-business-of-sustainable-forestry-a-conversation-with-avery-dennison-ceo-dean-a-scarborough/

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