Carlsberg Interview

Ahead of keynote presentation at Sustainability in Packaging Europe 2018, we spoke to Simon Boas Hoffmeyer, Director, Group Sustainability at the Carlsberg Group on innovative consumer-oriented sustainable packaging, what collaborations are needed to drive the industry forward and the future changes and challenges in packaging sustainability.

You are going to be delivering a keynote around creating innovative consumer-oriented sustainable packaging, why do you think this is an important topic now?

At Carlsberg we are driven by a passion for beer, and for pursuing constant improvements through science. For any company that uses packaging to maintain the quality of their products and serve the consumers, the environmental impact of their packaging should be at the top of their priority list. I believe that if producers and brand owners work together, it is possible to create innovative and sustainable packaging that benefits both consumers and the businesses bottom line. However, if the consumers don’t want it, or see the benefit - it will never become truly sustainable.

What sort of partnerships and collaborations do you think will be necessary to drive the industry forward?

We will see more cross-industry collaboration - with new partnerships between companies that would have not previously been seen as complementary partners. We are already seeing this development, however, it will accelerate with the negative impacts of climate change becoming more and more visible across the world. Businesses and civil society alike will see the need for partnerships in order to create the scale and scope of impact required to hand over a planet in balance to future generations.

What do you see as the most significant changes coming up in packaging sustainability in the next 12-24 months?

I think there will be a lot of change within materials and how they are used. As technology evolves and new materials become available, new opportunities for producers and brand owners become available that were otherwise impossible. As part of my presentation, I will reveal some examples of beer packaging innovation that we believe are better for both our business and the planet.  

What are you seeing as the biggest stumbling blocks in industry?

I think that path dependency is the biggest stumbling block. Any brand that is not constantly reviewing the way they market and sell their products will lose-out going forward. Business as usual is dead – it is truly time for business as unusual.

Why do you feel it’s important for people to attend Sustainability in Packaging Europe 2018?

In order to avoid becoming complacent and path dependant, it’s important to get inspiration and see what others are doing.