You are not alone if you are having trouble coming up with a clear idea of what sustainability is when it comes to manufactured or produced goods. At the Pack Expo show yesterday, keynote speaker John Luke, CEO of packaging materials supplier Meadwestvaco, cited a study by the Hartman Group that found most consumers couldn't come up with a clear definition of what sustainability was. This despite the fact that the same study found 93% of consumers made some sort of purchasing decision based on what are considered to be sustainability issues.
After Luke's talk, I happened to bump into a veteran of the packaging industry who had this to say about sustainability:
"It could end up going the way of "low fat." For two years all you heard about in the food and packaging industries was the low-fat movement. Now, you don't hear a thing about low fat. Sustainability could easily meet the same fate."