As part of its stated commitments to support the move to a circular and net zero economy, a group of senior leaders from Berry Global’s worldwide operations took part in a five-day course, organised by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

The Berry Global Plastics Ambassador Program and Network was created to enable employees, customers, suppliers and communities to better understand the positive value of plastics and its potential in a circular economy. As well as its focus on plastics, a critical element of the program is also to recognise the role of sustainability in the wider business environment and to help senior personnel within the company develop and lead effective sustainable business models.

The latest course combined practical sessions and discussions with keynote addresses from a number of experts in the fields of sustainability and regenerative societies. The comprehensive event covered a wide range of topics, including the latest facts around climate change, the value of business to society, the economics of a low carbon economy and the impacts of evolving regulation and stakeholder expectations.

There were presentations on the evolution and future of manufacturing in a circular economy and the different approaches that can be taken to identify and deliver new opportunities. Practical examples and case studies of recent sustainable business achievements and product innovations were also shared.

“This was an intensive event with an inspiring series of presentations and activities that threw new light on how we can effectively manage sustainable development and the transition to a circular economy in order to create genuine sustainable prosperity,” commented Berry Global CEO Tom Salmon.

“When it comes to climate change, it is very clear that society as a whole needs to take urgent action now. For Berry, the many learnings from this course will inform and expediate our actions as part of our Impact 2025 sustainability strategy. Equally important, the course also helped to further enhance and develop personal leadership and action among the delegates, who importantly came from all parts of our business, as we continue to deliver on our sustainability commitments and targets.”

The CISL is a globally influential institute developing leadership and solutions for a sustainable economy. Its Rewiring the Economy framework shows how the economy can be ‘rewired’, through focused collaboration between business, government and finance institutions, to deliver positive outcomes for people and environment in pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Previous CISL courses for Berry have resulted in a number of significant company developments. At site level these have included the 100 million kWh energy reduction challenge, the first solar Virtual Power Purchase Agreement, a water saving project and the Waste is Gold waste reduction program.

There have also been several product-focused projects, such as the B Circular Range initiative to develop a standard range of 40 products that are refillable, recyclable and include a minimum of 30 percent PCR/bio resin and the closed loop program for the recycling of tree shelters.