To be sustainable, a natural resource’s yield must be capable of being produced continually from generation to generation, without depleting the resource. A definition with broad-based insight applicable to any circumstance was crafted by the United Nations back in 1987:
To be sustainable means to "meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs."
Only paper and paperboard made from trees harvested from certified sustainable forests meet the above standard.
To reduce the confusion that often surrounds the meaning of this term, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) has expanded the definition of sustainable as it applies specifically to our industry to:
- Is beneficial, safe, and healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle
- Meets market criteria for both performance and costIs 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 in all probable end of life scenarios
- Is physically designed to optimize materials and energy
- Is effectively recovered and utilized in biological and/or industrial closed loop cycle
Strategies for Sustainable Growth