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Sustainable Practices Implemented by CPG Brands


ustainability has become a paramount concern across industries, including the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector. As environmental consciousness grows, CPG companies are increasingly implementing new policies and digital solutions to reduce waste, lower emissions, and enhance sustainability throughout their businesses.

As we move forward, the continued commitment of CPG brands to sustainable practices will play a crucial role in shaping a more sustainable future. Here’s a closer look at some sustainable business practices CPG brands are incorporating into their daily operations.

Sustainable Packaging Solutions

CPG brands are increasingly reducing or eliminating plastic in packaging. Companies are innovating with biodegradable materials, plant-based plastics, and reusable packaging formats to minimize their environmental footprint. Simplifying packaging to reduce waste has become a popular trend. Brands are stripping back to basics, using fewer materials, and ensuring that those used are recyclable or compostable.

Kellanova recently launched innovative packaging solutions for its popular snack brands. The company’s new packaging slashes weight, cutting down on the amount of plastic that it said is equivalent to the weight of 140,000 NFL footballs. The efforts align with Kellanova Better Days Promise, which looks to create 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2030. To do so, the company will reduce packaging and increase recycling across its portfolio, remove certain plastic items and package materials, and redesign packaging to be recyclable or compostable.

Companies are innovating with biodegradable materials, plant-based plastics, and reusable packaging formats to minimize their environmental footprint.

Technology Integration

CPG businesses are investing in innovative technologies and digital solutions to further their sustainability initiatives. According to a global study by IBM and The Consumer Goods Forum, 61% of consumer goods leaders are purposefully aligning their sustainability and operational goals, with 77% of leaders agreeing sustainability investments will accelerate business growth.

Technologies companies are implementing to effectively deliver on sustainability promises include automation (71%), analytics (69%), IoT (62%), AI (55%), and intelligent workflows (44%). Nearly 75% of leaders agree they need to recalibrate how they measure and report on sustainability targets, but they don’t have the capabilities to monitor and measure progress in real time. They are turning to technology to establish a solid data foundation, improve data collection capabilities, and expand sustainable operations.

Greener Distribution

Distribution is another critical area where CPG brands are making strides in sustainability. Companies are significantly reducing their carbon footprints by optimizing delivery routes, utilizing eco-friendly transportation methods, and implementing energy-efficient supply chain and logistics practices. 

Distribution management systems can provide CPG companies with vital capabilities including dynamic route optimization, real-time tracking, and data analysis that enable them to plan more efficient distribution routes. This reduces fuel consumption and emissions, while increasing operational efficiency. Businesses can easily adapt to delivery disruptions, optimize resource allocation, and enhance driver productivity.

With increasing consumer awareness and global emphasis on environmental responsibility, CPG brands are increasingly adopting sustainable practices and setting new industry standards as they continue to integrate sustainability into every aspect of their operations.

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