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FLEXO Magazine : Sustainable Fall 2010
The question can be simple or complex and could focus on an internal question or it can focus on external factors. An example of a business question is included in the Hen- kel example pilot illustrated below. CASE STUDY: HENKEL AND SHELF-READY PACKAGING Henkel undertook a pre-pilot to check the validity of the pro- posed pilot process. The result of this pre-pilot also serves as an example of a good pilot program. All pilots start, of course, with a business question. Henkel focused on Shelf-ready pack- aging (SRP) and formulated the business question as: “Do SRP solutions result in higher or lower levels of sustainability across the value chain (within a selected product category)?” Once the business question was formulated a sub-set of the indicators in the measurement system were identified that were relevant to the question. For the Henkel study this included indicators from all three pillars—environmental, eco - nomic and social. The Henkel team then set about populating the metrics which came from several different departments across the organization. In some cases this was available from existing Henkel LCA work, but it was recognized that for some companies this data may not be readily available and may be sourced as industry averages from external data- bases. In analyzing the results the weight given to different impacts is of course subjective and becomes the basis for the discussion with trading partners. All pilots were due to be completed in September, with a summary of the results to be published in November. At this time, the framework and measurement system will be reviewed to incorporate any substantial findings, and an implementation program will be launched throughout the industry to support companies in embedding the principles of this common language in their daily business activity. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS More than 70 people from a wide variety of companies have actively contributed to this project. The industry is in- debted to them for their efforts. Retailers. Asda, Carrefour, Giant Eagle, Hannaford, Harris Teeter, Kroger, Loblaw, Marks & Spencer, Metro Group, Mi- gros, Pick’n Pay, Royal Ahold, Sam’s Club, Safeway, Superva- lu, Target, Tesco Stores, Wakefern Food Corporation, WalMart Shelf-ready packaging (SRP) like the kind used in the Henkel case study. 12 Sustainable FLEXO FALL 2010 www.flexomag.com EXAMPLES OF INDICATORS For each indicator, the project team laid out supporting information that clearly defines the indicator, gives the met- ric and guidance on what and where to measure. These will, of course, be refined during the pilot phase. Below are three examples of the detailed indicator information. ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATOR: RECYCLED CONTENT. Definition. The ratio of recycled material to total material used in packaging constituents, packaging components, or packaging systems. For certain materials such as glass, steel and aluminum, all incoming material destined for re- cycling is introduced in the material manufacturing process as recycled content does not sensibly change the proper- ties of the material itself. The recycled content will therefore vary over time as a function of supply of recycled material and demand for the material in question. Therefore, these industries argue that it makes more sense to refer to recy- cling rates than recycled content. Metric. Percent recycled material of total quantity of material used per packaging constituent, packaging component or packaging system. Pre-consumer and post- consumer recycled content shall be specified separately. Examples. Percent of recycled content to packaging constituent, ratio of recycled content to packaging com- ponent, or portion of recycled content versus packaging system What to Measure. Post-consumer recycled material and pre-consumer (recycled material that cannot be used in the process generating the material) as per ISO 14021. For additional guidance, refer to standard ISO 14021. ENVIRONMENTAL LIFECYCLE INDICATOR: WATER CONSUMPTION Definition. The water consumption indicator reflects the aggregated net volume of fresh water withdrawn, used and degraded by the product system under inves- tigation, causing this water volume to become unavail- able for direct or immediate use. All possible fresh water sources should be considered (e.g. groundwater, public network, river stream), except for rain water. The fresh water consumption indicator should be measured at a data inventory level. Despite considerable work on methodological development in recent years (e.g. the water footprint), no broad consensus yet exists on how to weight different water qualities (e.g. river vs. fossil groundwater) and on how to model the impact on the environment and human health related to the water use. Metric. m3 fresh water/functional unit Whom/What at the end am I damaging? Water is es- sential to sustain life. Although renewable, water is local- ly and temporally a finite resource. As such, fresh water needs for industrial, agricultural and domestic purposes may raise situations of competition and overutilization, with detrimental impacts on the environment and the lo- cal communities. Examples can be found in many areas of the world (e.g. Lake Aral). Fossil groundwater extrac- tion can even be considered as a resource depleting activity, where the recharge rate is not as great as, or greater than, the rate of depletion. This indicator deals with water quantity rather than issues of water quality which are considered under other impact categories.