The Future of Sustainable Packaging
My Journey to visit YASH-Papers in Lucknow, India
5 years ago, I was filming for the TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition to collect positive solutions for the future. As part of this project, we were trekking through Nepal to climb the worlds highest mountain; Mt Everest. Part of our journey was spent cleaning the plastic litter which accumulated along the paths from the travellers passing through.
On the way to the peak, I met Ved Kirshna, who shared his story of Yash Papers, a company which shared my vision for a sustainable future. I promised myself one day I would come to see his work in India.
5 years later, here I am writing this.
Yash Papers has a legacy of building a strong business in the paper industry, establishing themselves around the world as a manufacturer of competitively affordable paper products from renewable sources.
Moving into the future, they hope to expand into:
- Flexible Packaging: Providing solutions with natural barriers and shift products from metallised polyethylene (which is used on large scale in the food, pharma and FMCG industries).
- Pulp Moulds: Provide alternatives to styrofoam based products by developing fibre based moulded products.
- Biomimicry: Continue to learn packaging from the wealth of ideas provided by 3.6 billion years of evolution of nature. Create grown products for expanded polystyrene replacement.
Philanthropy & doing good was always something that was an intrinstic part of the organsition, however this was never something the comapny thought would bring them higher market value. They simply “did good”, for the sake of bringing a positive impact to society. The founder, KK Jhunjhunwala, was known to “use amnesia when giving”.
In the beginning while the paper business grew, the world around was changing. Plastic began to take over our natural environment, and our global biodiversity struggled to keep up with the overpowering human population.
Big brands like Interface Carpets recognised the urgency and began to take steps to revolutionize business into a more sustainable alternative. Unilever launched the USLP plan, to double it’s profits by halving it’s impact. Agencies also started to shift, and mico-agencies like “Goodvertising” emerged.
Meanwhile, recognizing the shift in the role of big business, our own journey at GoneAdventurin began to bridge the links between companies, communities and consumers, through adventure, storytelling & empowering social impact
By 2015, we see an opportunity for companies like YASH to not only change the world through tangible impact & powerful social impact, but to also create robust market value from being one of the first few to offer a service urgently needed in the packaging industry: sustainable solutions.
The issues that Yash-Papers face to achieve this are;
- Finding a cohesive branding of the products at Yash Papers and Pack to display the sustainability idea.
- Online presence & social media strategy to create awareness about the products to get preference.
- Innovating and generating more ideas around packaging alternatives.
“… one should always do something more than what one was asked for”
— KK Jhunjhunwala, Founder YASH.
Cohesive & Inspiring Branding
The journey to #discoverpurpose is not always a difficult one.
I feel that YASH has had a deep sense of purpose embedded in the organization since it’s foundation, with the social legacy that KK has left behind. However, looking into the future and the problems that the world is facing there is an opportunity (not just a responsibility) for taking that next level of leadership towards a green & healthy planet. To do this however, we need to establish partnerships & affirm the brand story that will be the driving force for good.
Initially, I thought this story was purely about the answer to our plasticpandemic. However, after this study trip I feel the story is more about thepeople on this journey to find the solutions. Their voice.
There are a lot of organizations that are working on reducing plastic wastebut I feel YASH could become a movement by focusing on the local stories within YASH as an organization, within the community & country, and perhaps the world as a whole. Packaging is a statement and I want to explore movements like THANKYOU moving forward for inspiration.
COLLABORATION: CONNECTING COMPANY, COMMUNITY & CONSUMERS
To innovate new ideas about packaging alternatives and to position YASH in a new world-stage of sustainability thought leaders, we’re going to need a lot of help.
Myself & GoneAdventurin’ will continue to bridge the gaps that are missing and build relationships which will support this journey.
New and innovative solutions for sustinable packagaing alternatives can be developed through partnerships with Design Thinking Labs, Science Research Centres, Universities and Hackerthons. Perhaps you have an idea? This is why we need to esablish a platform to start the conversation.This is why we need Forum for the Future:
An adventure, a journey, a project — what’s relevant is that we move forward to create something that the people of YASH are proud of. My dream is that one-day the staff, customers, clients & distributers all becomeambassadors of sustainable solutions.
One of the big things that Ved mentioned during my time here was his dream to shift the focus of “what” YASH creates — to “WHY” :
“To ensure that we leave people and the planet better than we found them.”
— Ved Krishna
Aside from the environmental mission of creating solutions, for me, People & Culture is a key element to any successful venture. Promoting a culture of diversity, empowerment and fun is integral, and YASH has already defined this through employing female engineers & promoting equality in the workplace.
Having a beautiful culture answers that key question we ask ourselves:
Why should I bother to come to work today?
During a talk with the younger generations working at YASH, I was overwhelmed to see how passionate and motivated they were. A good sign of a positive & inspiring culture. Some of their dreams I took note of were:
- To Travel the whole world.
- Become a good person.
- To start a Charity Business (like a school) in my village.
- To have a bright future, “I am quite adventurous and want to have more adventures…!!!”
- To work here with my passion which I have learnt though my education… my passion is to help people by my work here.
With people like this inside the organisation, there is so much potential.
Moving forward, we must continue to as questions to find the best processes and collaborations to make the “WHAT & HOW” possible…
“Most of the damage we cause to the environment is a result of our own ignorance. We go about blindly doing unnecessary damage because we are uncurious. Uncovering problems and ultimately finding solutions require asking lot of questions.”
– Yvon Chouinard
I hope you will join us on this journey, and I look forward to seeing what we can create…
Article & iPhotos by Jacqui Hocking, Creative Director.