The widespread pressure for organizations to adopt new sustainable processes is growing across all industries. With the increasing demand for more sustainable options, it’s clear to see that this pressure is particularly consumer led. Up to 66% of consumers have placed environmental responsibility on businesses and have rewarded those that deliver sustainable options by buying more sustainably produced products. Large, multinational companies are now following suit by transitioning to sustainable packaging. An example of this is P&G, which has launched a line of sustainable cardboard boxes for its laundry products while phasing out plastic containers in response to the rising environmental pressures.

There are also further external pressures as the issues of supply chain deficiencies and net-zero targets raise economic challenges for businesses, the significance of sustainability is forecast to grow exponentially. And as the deadline for 2025 sustainable packaging pledges looms with just two years to go, business leaders need to act swiftly to accommodate new regulations.

High Rewards for Quick Sustainable Swaps
There is clear demand for sustainably packaged goods, with up to 70% of consumers saying they are willing to pay more for products with sustainable packaging. This market will only grow as consumers become more empowered to take climate action into their own hands. Businesses that change their packaging practices to more environmentally friendly methods have an increased chance to grab market share and reap the improvements to brand reputation—all of which translate to increased profits. The consequences of not acting on sustainability can be severe, even resulting in a decrease in share price.

Safe Sustainable Transition Means Label and Artwork Management Cannot Be Left Behind
However, the task of switching to sustainable packaging practices is far more complex than a simple change in material or reduction in packaging size. The associated changes required for label and artwork assets are often grossly overlooked in terms of scale and time frame.

For instance, one leading multinational consumer goods company currently has over 300,000 pieces of artwork, which require up to 60,000 minor changes per year. This is the scope of label and artwork management even before full-scale updates of entire product lines for sustainable packaging are required. The amount of time it takes to alter recycling symbols for each product based on the material type, regional recycling regulations and languages, as well as the storage and recycling instructions for every region and every language, could stretch into months.

Not only does the manual process of updating this many label and artwork assets take time, but the complex alterations could easily fall subject to human error and inaccuracies, resulting in lengthy delays—assuming they’re caught before shipment. Even worse, these errors could lead to costly recalls and serious damage to brand reputation if they are not discovered in time. For many businesses this means the decision to adopt more sustainable packaging practices is too big a risk to take.

Accuracy in Automation—Sustainability’s Key Ingredient
Businesses need a powerful, purpose-built label and artwork management solution to do the heavy lifting and make the change to sustainable packaging practices less of a risk and more of a guaranteed success.

An integrated label and artwork management (LAM) solution completely automates the process for updating label and artwork assets. For example, the rules engine function within the Kallik Veraciti LAM platform automatically applies predetermined rules on regulatory requirements for each geography to label and artwork assets. This ensures full regulatory compliance every time, as the system auto-corrects when design alterations change the level of compliance. Here, the removal of manual intervention reduces the risk of human error and ensures every asset is altered to the same standard. This improves the accuracy of updates and ensures they are fully compliant with the regulations of each market.

Reduced Cycle Times with Increased Accuracy
The process of manually altering just one piece of artwork could take up to one hour, but with an automated LAM solution, artwork cycle times are decreased to only five minutes per asset. Rather than editing each asset one by one, once programmed a LAM software solution can update all label and artwork assets at once with uniform precision. This significantly reduces cycle times and ensures the accuracy and compliance of every label and artwork.

Introduce Automation to Cut Costs
The cost of outsourcing this process to a label and artwork management company could reach up to $3 million per year. A LAM solution cuts the costs of label updates by automating the label and artwork management processes, reducing the number of people required to process asset updates, and allowing label and artwork management to be brought in-house. Solutions such as Veraciti have recurring returns on investment as the system stores all existing asset information in one place with advanced search features for enhanced visibility, making future updates to labels and artwork easier. This is especially useful where supply chain shortages and regulatory changes are likely to cause further label updates that require fast action.

Sustainability Isn’t a Walk in the Dark—if You’re Led by LAM

A thorough LAM solution enhances the label and artwork process by integrating asset data and introducing automated batch updates to allow any business to safely transition to sustainable packaging. With LAM solutions presenting sleek processes to adjust to new requirements, organizations can freely choose their preferred sustainable packaging process, from a new range of materials to packaging rightsizing—while significantly minimizing the risk of inaccuracies in labeling and artwork.