Sustainability conversations often focus on the products that end up in consumers’ hands. It’s easier to talk about the tangible widget that comes off the production line than the complicated, multi-step process that goes into creating it. For example, here’s a brief description of Genera’s Earthable® line of sustainable packaging products. We take ag-based fiber pulp and turn it into compostable consumer products like tableware, to-go containers, packaging and more. Simple, right?
But the gains in sustainability and eco-friendly production that make Earthable® revolutionary are anything but simple. They are the result of our entire production process, from raw materials to finished products.
Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword. It impacts every aspect of the business. In fact, according to a 2016 McKinsey report, poor sustainability performance is one of the factors that can slow a company’s growth. When it comes to sustainability, everything matters. Materials, sourcing and manufacturing all play a role in the overall sustainability of a product. A genuinely eco-friendly product like sustainable packaging requires attention to every detail.
We view sustainability as a holistic practice. A product needs to be sustainable from an environmental, economic and social standpoint. So, at Genera, we look for opportunities to increase sustainability at every point in the supply chain system. In other words, we engineer our products—and the supply chain that fuels them—to be eco-friendly, to drive income for our growers and benefit the local communities where we live and do business.
This kind of supply-side sustainability is a primary focus for Genera. A fundamental part of our business model is developing sustainable, economical energy crop supply chain systems. Working with local farmers makes our supply chain more streamlined, less likely to be disrupted and more sustainable. Plus, we support the local economy by generating income for local agribusinesses.
We have deliberately streamlined the supply chain for our sustainable packaging products to create value for our partner farms and a steady supply of materials for our Earthable® products. Genera has innovated the entire biomass supply chain system to reduce risk and stimulate investment in biomass projects. The result is a better product for consumers who are clamoring for more environmentally friendly choices, a more robust and sustainable supply chain, and increased economic investment in rural communities.
It’s a winning combination by any measure.