Things I learned at SPC Advance

GreenBlue staff record their takeaways from the recent SPC Advance.


  • Sustainable packaging enhances the connection between brands and consumers: this isn’t news to us at the SPC, but it was encouraging to hear so many success stories and lessons. We heard how General Mills uses our How2Recycle label to link their consumers to industry recycling efforts, how McDonald’s leverages certified fiber to build measurable brand trust, and we heard Sealed Air’s thoughts on consumer perceptions of food waste and the opportunity it creates for packaging.
  • Using sustainability as a differentiator could soon be a thing of the past: John Linc Stine, commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, shared a fascinating collection of perspectives from modern consumers that would be considered part of the LOHAS market. The takeaway: they don’t want to buy the “sustainable option”. Instead, they want the best option, and they want it to be responsibly designed. It suggests that qualities of sustainability are transitioning from a market differentiator to a requirement of doing business.
  • Minneapolis should be proud of its businesses and efforts: I knew that Minneapolis was a hotspot for business, but I didn’t know that it was a cradle for such impressive sustainability initiatives. We heard the city’s director of solid waste speak about their outlook on recycling, toured the MRF that handles the recyclables, heard from local companies like Target, 3M, and General Mills, toured the nearby Aveda headquarters. Throw in the impressive local beers that were sampled on the pub crawl, and it’s clear that Minneapolis has a lot going on.
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