The themes were identified based on discussions with stakeholders and prioritized by members of the IK Sustainability Working Group and the IK management.
The process was described in detail in the first IK Sustainability Report 2012. This follow-up report shows developments over the past two years and gives an overview of the IK’s activities and positions on the defined sustainability challenges.
1. Resource protection and recycling-based economy
Conserving our natural resources, by achieving greater packaging performance with less packaging material, by re-integrating more packaging waste into the material cycle through high-quality recycling and by using more alternative raw materials for packaging, such as recycled plastic material and bio-based plastics.
2. Climate protection and energy efficiency
By increasing energy efficiency in packaging production the branch can make an important contribution to climate protection which, due to the high and still rising electricity prices in Germany, is also an economic necessity.
3. Protection of the oceans from plastic litter
Marine ecosystems must be effectively protected from plastic waste which also includes packaging waste. This is a complex, global challenge which can only be overcome with the close cooperation all societal parties.
4. Product life-cycle assessments and Eco Design
Environmental performance is gaining in importance in packaging development, whereby the whole life cycle of the packaging, from extraction of the raw materials to product protection and waste recovery must all be taken into consideration (Eco Design). As product LCAs are the most objective method of evaluating the environmental performance, their methodical development and application is being promoted in the IK.
5. Protection of goods
The environmental impact of discarded foodstuffs and other products is momentous. Plastics packaging helps prevent waste of resources avoidable product waste. Consequently, effective protection of goods is an important factor in environmental protection.
6. Occupational safety and dangerous goods packaging
The challenge of ensuring occupational safety for the employees in the plastics processing industry while guaranteeing the safe transport, storage and use of dangerous goods through plastics packaging, so people and environment do not come to harm.
7. Consumer protection
The demands made on consumer protection, particularly with regard to conformity with foodstuff regulations, continue to develop in line with currently available scientific knowledge. The Association is actively involved in this development and assists in the implementation of new regulations in the member companies.
8. Innovation and competitiveness
In the highly competitive, international packaging market the manufacturers of plastics packaging can only continue to exist through innovation and competitive prices. The IK is calling for an innovation-friendly market environment. Long-term securing of qualified employees.
9. Long-term securing of qualified employees
The competition for qualified employees is still intensive, not least because of demographic changes. More than ever companies must offer vocational and further training as well as an attractive working environment to find employees. Compliance and corporate ethics.
10. Compliance and corporate ethics
Ethical business practices, such as compliance with the principles of free competition and worker’s rights, have gained in importance in the international business environment. The Association has the task of actively accompanying this development and offering its members practical implementation assistance.