The Packaging Industry and Sustainability

Hillier, David, Comfort, Daphne and Jones, Peter ORCID: 0000-0002-9566-9393 (2017) The Packaging Industry and Sustainability. Athens Journal of Business and Economics, 3 (4). pp. 405-426. doi:10.30958/ajbe.3.4.3

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The aim of this paper is to offer an exploratory review of the sustainability agendas and achievements reported by the leading global companies within the packaging industry. The paper begins with brief outlines of corporate sustainability and the growing interest in sustainability reporting and of the packaging industry and the empirical material for the paper is drawn from the most recent sustainability reports posted on the packaging companies’ corporate websites. The findings reveal that while the leading packaging companies recognised the impacts their businesses have on the environment, on society and to a lesser extent on the economy, there are variations in the character, extent and detail of the sustainability reporting process. That said, the sustainability reports included details of a wide range of environmental, social and economic issues but more generally the reports had a number of weaknesses that, at least partly, undermine their transparency and credibility. The authors also argue that the leading packaging companies’ definitions of, and commitments to, sustainability are principally driven by business imperatives rather than any fundamental concern to maintain the viability and integrity of natural and social capital. More critically, the authors argue that this approach is couched within existing business models centred on continuing growth and consumption. The paper provides an accessible review of current approaches to sustainability in the global packaging industry and as such it will interest professionals working in the industry and its supply chain as well as academics and students interested in business strategy and sustainability

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Global packaging industry: Corporate sustainability; Sustainability reporting; Environment; Society; Assurance; Materiality
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD2321 Industry
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5387 Business Ethics
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2017 15:23
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2023 20:34

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