Economic growth and the bottom line have been the foundation of American culture from the start. Now, companies are starting to shift their priorities to a triple bottom line accountable to people, planet and profit.
"I think everybody in business today understands or has heard about that concept or sees it as a 'sure, that sounds good,'" said KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, founder and CEO of Sustainable Brands. "But one of the things that we're seeing is companies starting to recognize that by collaborating even with competitors, they can raise the tide for all boats. And when you marry that with the design constraint around the desire to be more environmentally friendly, you come out with solutions like Loop."
Jack Mcaneny, director of sustainability at Procter & Gamble Co., explained that Loop is an e-commerce platform.
"The way Loop works is ... consumers can go on, they can order what they want, it gets delivered right to their house in a specially designed container, and when they've used the product, they can then return it to Loop, and then it gets refurbished and reused," Mcaneny said.
Lead by TerraCycle, a global leader in recycling, Loop brings together some of the world's largest consumer brands including Danone, Nestle and PepsiCo. This coalition is working to change the relationship we have with the products we use everyday. Their goal is ambitious: introduce a reusable, zero-waste package that people will love.
"The initial pilots will be launching in New York and Paris, but it's going to be a learning as well," Mcaneny said. "We're going to learn an awful lot about consumer willingness to utilize a very different model versus what's traditionally available. I think part of it, people in general have lost a little bit of faith in the institutions that they were looking for to help address some of these big issues. And so they're looking for entities and organizations that have the ability to influence. And I think they're looking for those brands, those companies, to step up and help lead the way."
Marc S. Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, made clear how the company looks at it.
"We think about it as brands for good," he said. "And that's one of the areas that we're working with the Sustainable Brands organization is to create #BrandsForGood. Use our brands as a force for good and a force for growth to help people live a sustainable lifestyle just by using them."
The shopping cart of tomorrow will be unrecognizable by today's standards. Packaging will undergo an evolution of form and function, striking a balance between consumer needs and our relationship with the world we live in.