In our recent interview with Vandana Tandan, who serves as the head of markets for India and Bangladesh at SIG, we had the opportunity to explore SIG’s sustainable packaging strategy, the extensive array of packaging solutions it offers, its innovative initiatives, and its remarkable ability to continuously adjust to evolving consumer preferences and market dynamics – all while steadfastly upholding the quality and dependability of its packaging offerings. Here’s an excerpt from the interview.
Manash Das: Please tell us about SIG’s approach to sustainable packaging and how it aligns with the company’s overall business strategy.
Vandana Tandan: SIG is committed to providing packaging solutions in a safe, sustainable, and affordable manner. Currently, most beverage bottles are made from polyethylene (PET). For each ounce of PET produced, approximately one ounce of carbon dioxide is emitted. When it comes to aseptic packaging, an aluminum lining helps preserve the beverage for a longer duration. However, this also contributes to certain environmental implications.
Acknowledging the challenges, we pioneered an aluminum-free aseptic carton that helped reduce carbon emissions by 27% compared to our standard packaging. In 2017, we introduced a carton pack with a 58% lower carbon footprint, which is the world’s first fully forest-based renewable aseptic pack. Our objective is to replace the aluminum-free aseptic carton with fully recyclable cartons that are sourced responsibly. We are moving forward in this direction and expect to reach our goals soon. Our dedication to sustainable packaging aligns well with our business strategy, delivering eco-conscious solutions that meet customer needs and contribute to a sustainable future.
Manash Das: SIG is known for offering versatile packaging solutions, including cartons, pouches, and bag-in-box. How does this range of options benefit your customers, and what sets SIG apart from other packaging suppliers?
Vandana Tandan: We are committed to providing consumers with exceptional packaging solutions that are both sustainable and versatile. We offer packaging solutions in flexible sizes made from different materials, giving clients ample options to choose from, including cartons, pouches, and bag-in-box. In addition to standard sizes, we are also providing aseptic packages in portion packs starting 80 ml to 200 ml, for the convenience of our consumers. Moreover, we also make 500 ml to 2-liter sizes intended for family use. What sets us apart from others is that these packages can be streamlined in a single production line, enabling clients to switch sizes efficiently. This results in cost savings and improved waste management.
Manash Das: Can you share some recent examples of product innovations that have had a significant impact on the market or helped address specific consumer needs?
Vandana Tandan: In this ever-evolving landscape, innovation is the key to growth and success. From manufacturing packages in flexible sizes to using renewable resources, we adapt to the shifting needs of our clients with time. To promote transparency, and traceability, and increase consumer engagement, we have also introduced connected packs. These new digital technologies and intelligent marketing tools provide clients with an opportunity to understand their consumers and help build loyalty.
Manash Das: What steps has SIG taken to reduce its environmental footprint, and how do you ensure that your packaging solutions are sustainable throughout their lifecycle?
Vandana Tandan: Sustainability is the core of our business practices and we are going “Way Beyond Good” in our strategies to contribute to a greener future. At SIG, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint by implementing eco-friendly initiatives throughout our operations. From utilizing renewable materials to disposing of the end products in a responsible way, we are actively working towards sustainable solutions.
We were the first company to introduce paper straws for aseptic carton packs. Our Terra Packs is the world’s first aseptic carton pack made with up to 100% plant-based renewable materials. Additionally, we are prioritizing transparency and traceability by leveraging advanced technologies like blockchain and IoT. The company’s goal is to reduce its carbon emissions to achieve net zero by 2050. We plan to meet the target by protecting 100% of the current forest area we source from and creating or restoring over 650,000 hectares by 2030.
Manash Das: How does SIG adapt to changing consumer demands and market trends while maintaining the quality and reliability of its packaging solutions?
Vandana Tandan: By leveraging our cutting-edge technologies, we can produce packages of different sizes on a single production line, enabling clients to switch sizes efficiently. This saves a significant amount of time and money while increasing our production capacity. When it comes to distribution, we have strategically positioned local warehouses throughout India, allowing for swift fulfillment of customer requirements. Furthermore, we are in the process of establishing a manufacturing facility in Ahmedabad to meet the growing market demands.