In addition to its commitment to the research and development of new and innovative all-natural, low calorie sweeteners, Imperial Sugar Company (ISC) is also consistently searching for new ways to reduce its environmental impact. As part of these efforts, ISC recently partnered with Accredo Packaging, Inc, a company that produces conventional and compostable flexible packaging solutions, primarily targeting the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) segment.
Like ISC, Accredo is based in Sugar Land, Texas and is believed to be the first flexible packaging manufacturing facility in the U.S. granted LEED® Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
LEED® promotes a whole building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health:
- Sustainable site development
- Water savings
- Energy efficiency
- Material selection
- Indoor environmental quality
According to Rex Varn, executive vice president of Accredo Packaging, its state-of-the-art flexible packaging converting plant uses 100 percent wind-generated electrical power as well as processes designed to eliminate waste and minimize carbon emissions during the production process. Building materials were sourced locally, and recycled materials were used whenever possible. As a result, everything produced at the facility has a greatly reduced carbon footprint, even when manufactured to the same specifications as at conventional plants.
Furthermore, Varn points out that Accredo Packaging runs exclusively expanded color gamut process printing. The proprietary ink delivery system supplies ink directly to the ten-color, 2,000 feet-per-minute printing presses, which reduces ink consumption by up to 35 percent and ink waste by up to 95 percent. Similarly, solvent usage is also significantly reduced.
“We are excited that Imperial Sugar Company has partnered with us to further its goal of lowering the environmental impact of its packaging while producing competitively priced offerings,” said Varn. He added, “Our sustainability efforts feed directly into our customer’s Corporate Social Responsibility objectives.”
Accredo will produce packaging for any ISC product that requires a pouch or poly bag. This will include the new 2-pound pouch for Steviacane® that is set to launch later this year, which will provide consumers with more ease of use.