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  • 11 Sep 2017

Young managers – Oliver Bruns, Jindal Films Europe

People who know me realize that sustainability isn’t just a word or passing trend to me. I feel so passionate about sustainability that I integrate it in both my professional and private lives.

As an advocate for sustainable living, I strive to optimize the footprint of businesses that I lead. As a key player in the flexible packaging and labeling industry, Jindal Films has the responsibility to influence the drive towards a more sustainable world.

As a starting point, it’s important to acknowledge and accept that, by nature, the packaging industry has non-negligible environmental and societal impacts. So, why work for the packaging and labeling industry? Because I want to be part of the change. And, if you want to make a difference, you choose an industry where you can transform challenges into opportunities.

However, let’s not forget the positive aspects of modern packaging and labeling. The primary functions are to preserve and protect the product, provide and extend shelf life stability, display nutritional information, and optimize product transportation. We can go as far as to say that packaging improves the daily lives of billions of people. However, whilst it brings a lot of value to the table, we have to do significantly better as an industry.

At Jindal Films, our strategy is built on a thorough understanding of our impact and a short- to long-term commitment to sustainability. We approach the reduction of our carbon footprint in various ways, as a single solution cannot solve it all and the stakes can vary according to social, cultural, geographical and economic factors. It starts with a relentless effort to reduce waste and energy consumption at all our facilities, as well as our technology team continuously developing lighter and easier to recycle materials plus products that are bio-based and/or home compostable.

It is my strong belief, however, that reducing our impact across the value chain cannot be achieved individually. It takes close cross-industry collaboration to be truly effective. It is imperative to look at every aspect of the business to ensure we move as one in the same direction. We need the support of raw material suppliers, converters and machine suppliers, and, ofcourse, brand owners need to express their interest and be aligned.

For this reason, Jindal Films recently joined the CEFLEX consortium that brings together industry players from raw materials suppliers to brand owners, and established objectives to significantly increase the collection and recycling of flexible packaging.

The freedom to innovate lies at the core of what we do. One of our key objectives is the development of lighter and easier to recycle materials. You realize that a lot of improvements can be achieved when you develop a conformable label film that is 40 percent lighter than polyethylene film.

New technologies

With growing concerns over packaging waste, we are looking for completely new, out-of-the-box technologies.

For example, Jindal Films recently entered into a partnership with Tipa Sustainable Packaging to co-develop new advancements in sustainable packaging technology starting with a bio-based, home compostable high barrier food packaging film.

Another example of a breakthrough development is our SealTough technology platform. It allows complex laminated structures to be replaced with polyolefin-only film laminates, while delivering significant downgauging opportunities of up to 40 percent of the packaging material used.

But contributing to sustainability improvements is not just about developing new products. In 2012, Jindal Films Europe moved to offices which comply with strict standards on sustainable development and eco-citizenship, making use of the main sources of renewable energy such as biomass, sun, wind, geothermal and water.

Information sharing is key in the drive towards a more sustainable world. I personally feel that an increasing number of leaders in our industry understand this very well as we are talking about achieving a common goal.

This article can be read in L&L issue 4, 2017, and here

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