Certification visit well packaged for PEFC chief Ben Gunneberg

31-Jan-2017 CERTIFICATION systems used by Australia’s multi-million-dollar packaging industry will be high on the agenda for PEFC International CEO Ben Gunneberg during meetings with stakeholders in March. 
The Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification is the world’s largest forest certification scheme. 
Paper and board (folding, corrugated board or cardboard for liquids) holds leadership in global packaging consumption, valued at more than $265 billion. The market is projected to grow by 3.5% a year to 2020 with sales reaching $998 billion. 
Mr Gunneberg, who will visit packaging operations in Sydney and Melbourne, will address an industry dinner in Sydney, hosted by Australian Forestry Standard Ltd, the PEFC governing body in Australasia. 
“PEFC chain-of-custody certification helps packaging companies demonstrate that they are sourcing raw materials from well- managed forests,” said AFS Ltd CEO Simon Dorries. “An increasing number of companies are keen to demonstrate that the fibre they use in packaging comes from a certified sustainable source,” Mr Dorries said. “This is important as consumers are increasingly conscious of the impact of their purchasing decisions on the environment.” 
Ben Gunneberg said there was a growing demand for more environmental information to be displayed on packaging, to help consumers make informed choices; 54% of consumers trusted environmental labels. 
China is the biggest market for packaging, ahead of the US, and will represent nearly a quarter of global consumption in 2020. India and South Korea are also forecast to record high growth. 
The expansion of on-line commerce is beneficial to board packaging in countries where this material dominates, such as in China where the Alibaba group ships 12 million parcels a day. 
Board packaging is changing because more than 30% of on-line purchases are returned – hence the necessity for packaging that is easy to open and to reseal – and because e-commerce places emphasis on packaging to maximise the customer experience.

• Ben Gunneberg … packaging mission Down Under.