31/10/2013

Éco Entreprises Québec innovates with the launch of optimeco.ca,Canada's first packaging optimization portal

The eco-organization provides companies with guidance in improving the environmental performance of their packaging

Montréal, October 31, 2013 – Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) launches Canada’s first portal for the optimization of containers, packaging and printed matter (CP&PM). The portal provides guidance and tools to Quebec and Canadian companies to optimize their containers and packaging as well as to improve their environmental performance.

OptimEco.ca is intended for companies in all business sectors who manufacture, design or distribute containers and packaging or packaged products, and offers optimization strategies in a sustainable development perspective. In keeping with internationally-recognized norms and standards, the suggested process is based on a life cycle approach where every stage of the container or packaged product’s life is taken into consideration, from materials procurement to the item’s end-of-life management, including its potential for recycling. The portal also offers the interactive OptimAction tool, which enables companies to measure and promote the benefits of their initiative.

“The portal makes unique expertise available to companies who generate CP&PM on our markets and assume financial or physical responsibility for end-of-life management. In Quebec, companies compensate 100% of the net costs of municipal curbside recycling services, which comes to over $100 million every year. We firmly believe that optimization is a promising avenue, as it will result in savings, innovation and a lighter environmental footprint. That is why our team spares no effort to develop useful and effective tools in order to help companies take this road to the future,” said Maryse Vermette, President and CEO of ÉEQ.

The announcement of the new portal’s online launch was made at the Gaïa award gala, which recognizes excellence in food packaging. The portal launch was made in the company of Quantis and the Institut de développement de produits (IDP), two leading partners in ecodesign, who joined ÉEQ in sponsoring the “Towards ecodesign” award. The award recognizes the environmental excellence of an outstanding Gaïa competition finalist. Panier à fruits Norampac took home the award, which includes coaching by three experts to further improve the company’s packaging optimization initiative.
 
“We are proud of our collaboration with ÉEQ in developing the OptimAction environmental communications tool and to be associated with the launch of OptimEco.ca, as it provides companies with a whole set of innovative tools to make informed decisions and create value with regard to sustainable development practices as well as to fulfill their obligations. In addition, OptimAction’s sound, life cycle methodology gives the approach an additional seal of quality,” said Édouard Clément, General Manager of Quantis.

“There are many good reasons to optimize packaging. In addition to lightening the company’s environmental footprint, including reduced greenhouse gases and lower energy and water consumption, significant economic benefits can be reaped from the reduced need for raw materials, therefore resulting in lower procurement, transportation and end-of-life management costs. Optimization also stimulates innovation, skill sharing and the search for innovative solutions. Optimization and ecodesign improve a company’s competitive positioning in the eyes of consumers, who are more informed and aware of environmental issues. According to our studies, most companies are more profitable following the marketing of ecodesigned products. It is therefore clear that combining environmental and economic objectives is a strategic proposition for companies.

Four strategies for optimization
Many companies have already integrated optimization in their everyday business operations. Keeping focus on sustainable development, packaging optimization initiatives integrate environmental factors in business practices right from the design stage. OptimEco.ca therefore suggests the four following strategies: 1) Integrate responsible procurement criteria; 2) Develop an optimal design; 3) Improve end-of-life management; and 4) Communicate the approach.

A portal that is in line with government policies
OptimEco.ca stimulates innovation, suggests concrete courses of action for the adoption of eco-responsible business practices relating to packaging, and enables companies to share best practices. The portal helps companies reduce at the source and improve the recyclability of their packaging while contributing to the achievement of targets set by Quebec’s Residual Materials Management Policy and, more specifically, its 2011-2015 Action Plan, which includes strategies to prevent and reduce the generation of residual materials. In addition, ÉEQ’s investment in the development of Canadian packaging optimization expertise in recent years falls in line with the collaborative work with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and commitment of industry partners to reduce the environmental impact of packaging materials.

To view the video on the optimization of packaging:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZgRmpS2Dmc

About Éco Entreprises Québec
Éco Entreprises Québec is a private, non-profit organization that represents companies with regard to their responsibility to finance their share of the net costs of municipal curbside recycling. It is responsible for establishing reasonable fees to ensure program financing and, in partnership with other stakeholders, promoting efforts to increase the quantities of recovered materials through curbside recycling at the lowest possible cost.

About Quantis
Quantis is a leading consulting firm in life cycle analysis (LCA) that coaches organizations in the development and implementation of initiatives to fulfill their corporate responsibility as well as measure and manage their environmental impact by integrating ecodesign in their business practices. Quantis worked on the development of OptimAction, the communications tool for sharing packaging optimization initiatives, available via the OptimEco.ca portal. The firm also provided advice for the development of the OptimEco.ca portal.

About the Institut de développement de produits
The Institut de développement de produits is a non-profit association whose mission is to spur the adoption of best practices relating to product development and ecodesign in order to improve company competitiveness. 

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Information and registration
Virginie Bussières
Communications Director
Éco Entreprises Québec
514-987-1491, ext. 225

 

 


Valérie Marcoux
Torchia Communications
514-288-8290, ext. 214


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