Nature’s Packaging: The initiative grows and members reap the rewards

August 1, 2016

Scott Geffros

Last week we forwarded to all of our members the usage agreement for Nature’s Packaging, which will allow members of three pallet associations in North America - the Western Pallet Association, the National Wood Pallet and Container Association, and the Canadian Wood Pallet and Container Association - to download the Nature’s Packaging logo and use it in your business. 

The use of the logo, identifying you and your products as being stewards in sustainability and linking to positive information about why wood is good, is restricted to members and we encourage you to take full advantage of it!

Already our industry and our members are seeing results. Since the committees for Nature’s Packaging were formed, the teams of industry volunteers and association staff have been busy laying the foundation for the effort. Research was conducted and modules created, marketing and web design efforts resulted in the launch of our website earlier this year, a Youtube video and logo were created and incorporated into positive messaging. All this was geared to showcasing our industry in a positive, responsible, and sustainable light.

This whirlwind of activity has resulted in what we believe is a package that will help you battle misconceptions, gain new markets, and demonstrate that “Wood Is Good”.

For those not in attendance at the past AGM, committee volunteers gave a presentation on Nature’s Packaging and discussed why they are passionate about participating in this initiative. That presentation showcased the fact that information cited from Nature’s Packaging played a substantial role in preventing a private members bill in Oregon from passing, which was aimed at eliminating wood packaging from state government supply chains. This was a major win for our industry, and it is a battle that we will unfortunately have to enter into again as we compete with alternate materials and uninformed people who are interested in abolishing wood packaging. Refer to the article on page 6 for an example.

Nature’s Packaging, however, is not just aimed at high level and government lobbying. It is a tool to be used by you... our members. Recently I was pleased to be involved in such a case. After seeing the Nature’s Packaging presentation at our Toronto AGM, I was approached by CWPCA member Scott Hughes of Hupaco Wood Products in Ajax, Ontario for assistance. A long time member, and family operated business, they had been challenged by a major U.S. based client to provide details on the sustainability practices undertaken by their business and within the wood packaging industry.

After meeting with Scott and his staff to discuss the issues at stake, we decided to build a simple PowerPoint presentation that could be used to showcase Nature’s Packaging to his customer. This presentation included some brief narrative, the recently produced video, and web links. This was slated for use in a meeting with their client using our GoToWebinar membership service however in the meantime Scott had forwarded the Nature’s Packaging website to his client.  

The day of the scheduled meeting I was informed by Scott that the client had reviewed the information on Nature’s Packaging. From it they had obtained “more information than they knew what to do with” to support their corporate decision to continue to use wood packaging from Hupaco as the product of choice to ensure the safe and sustainable transport of their goods to the consumer. In light of that information, the client’s request to hold a formal meeting was negated. Says Scott: “Since the initial success with Nature’s Packaging, we have forwarded the website to other clients to support the fact that North America's forests are actually growing, not dwindling like some Third World countries. Because of solid facts outlined on the website, it's quite difficult to challenge and as such has been a useful tool against environmentalists who assume things. In other words, wood pallets are safer and cleaner than plastic or steel.”

This tale is one that we hope repeats itself over and over again as the CWPCA staff and volunteers continue to work to support our members. If you would like more information on how Nature’s Packaging can work for you, please reach out to me at 613 290 2455, or by e mail at scott.geffros@canadianpallets.com and I will be happy to discuss this great tool with you!

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