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12/01/2012

Developing Sustainable Solutions for the Future

Every day, CPG companies are working to reduce their environmental footprint. With the global population expected to reach 9 billion by the year 2050, sustainability isn't just a fad or a talking point, it is a moral imperative. By doing the right thing today, we will preserve our planet's natural resources and ensure that our children and future generations can build an even better quality of life tomorrow.

By doing the right thing today, we will preserve our planet's natural resources and ensure that our children and future generations can build an even better quality of life tomorrow.

As the single largest source of manufacturing jobs in the United States, our industry is keenly aware of the special role we play when it comes to sustainable solutions. In fact, a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report showed that CPG companies outpace the S&P 500 on carbon emission reductions and water performance.

GMA member companies are also leaders in packaging reduction. According to a 2011 survey, we determined that CPG companies avoided 1.5 billion pounds of packaging from 2005 to 2010. In addition, the survey showed that those companies will eliminate another 2.5 billion pounds of packaging between now and 2020. Combined, that's 4 billion pounds of packaging, or 10 percent of total packaging weight, that will never be wasted or thrown away, that won't find its way to a landfill or that won't need to be recycled – because it will never exist.

GMA also has been working with members to develop a plan to reduce food waste by diverting more unused food to food banks and reducing waste in manufacturing and food service. To achieve our goals, GMA has partnered with Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association for this ground-breaking initiative.

Finally, GMA recently issued a report that showed how well our industry's initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce water and energy usage and reduce and manage solid waste are working. And the best news is that they are as effective as government mandates, like extended producer responsibility, at a fraction of the cost. You can find the report at www.GMAonline.org/resources

These are just a few examples of the great progress that is being made in the CPG industry to protect and preserve our natural resources for future generations. In the end, we all want the same things – a world that is in better shape than the one we inherited and satisfied consumers that are loyal to their favorite brands.

Pamela G. Bailey
GMA President and CEO