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Industry NewsCPG suppliers, retailers talk progress and challenges at sustainability event

CPG suppliers, retailers talk progress and challenges at sustainability event

CHEP Canada summit speakers from left: Michael Graydon, FHCP; Emma Race; Loblaw Companies; Alex Spinelli, P&G

Retailers, suppliers and other industry stakeholders need to work collaboratively on climate action to advance a circular economy and drive a positive environmental impact. That was one of the key messages at CHEP Canada sustainability event.

The “Zero Waste World Summit” was the first for the Canadian business, but it’s the fifth annual summit for CHEP North America with previous summits being held in the U.S. The event was held at CHEP Canada’s head office in Mississauga, Ont. on April 9.

Frank Bozzo, vice president and general manager of CHEP Canada, says the summit is about “sharing ideas and inspiring others and figuring out how we can work together on sustainability and advance positive change.”

Frank Bozzo, CHEP Canada

Michael Graydon, CEO of Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada (FHCP), gave a call to action to “think bigger, act faster and be bolder” when it comes to industry initiatives.

“As an association, we have an opportunity to lean into our leadership demonstrated by our members while simultaneously encouraging all of our members to keep pushing to support a vision of a world without plastic waste. Our efforts are focused on plastics and packaging because it impacts every member in any product category we represent. We see the imperative for action in front of our eyes every day…FHCP is committed to supporting all programs that enable packaging to be recyclable, reusable and compostable.”

Michael Graydon, FHCP

Graydon highlighted initiatives FHCP has supported, including being the first association in Canada to endorse the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, which in turn supports a more circular global economy focused on eliminating waste and pollution and promoting the reuse of products, materials and regeneration.

He also noted how FHCP in collaboration with industry stakeholders and members, founded the Plastics Pact to bring leaders and industry together with organizations throughout the plastic supply chain.

“As a sector, we need to be bold, ambitious and take collective action,” noting that the association expects to see the emergence of a government plastics registry. And while FHCP supports in principle government initiatives that promote a circular economy, he notes that the “data is critical to ensure informed policy actions but much of the data the government is seeking [for the plastics registry] simply does not exist or is not within the purview of producers at this time…FHCP has serious concerns with many of the policy elements in various proposals that do not reflect the realities of manufacturing, do not consider financial impacts or ultimately products costs and are simply onerous in nature.”

Alex Spinelli, vice president of product supply at P&G Canada, and Emma Race, senior director of sustainability and social impact at Loblaw Companies, both outlined the progress their respective businesses have made on reducing carbon footprints at product, store and corporate operation levels, programs to divert food from landfill and other initiatives to create a cleaner, more sustainable environment for Canadians.

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