How did you get involved in sustainability?
While I certainly grew up understanding the importance of environmental protection, my first real taste of sustainability came through a summer internship in university that was centered on water pollution and what could be done in the industry to prevent chemicals from getting into the Great Lakes. Through that work, I saw the direct implications - positive and negative - that industry can have on the environment and communities in which they operate. That experience left me with a deep personal obligation to make a positive, lasting impact.
While I have held many different roles in multiple organizations over the years, I have always managed to keep sustainability as a part of each role. Today, I am in a product leadership role where I am responsible for driving our 2025 sustainability goals, integrating sustainability into our product line strategies, and spearheading our sustainability agenda across the rapidly growing apparel and footwear industry.
Can you share Avery Dennison RBIS’ vision for sustainability?
It’s actually very simple: We are a force for good.
Whether that means leaving a smaller footprint or working within local communities to improve health and welfare, or our internal diversity to ensure everyone--regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, gender--has a voice. At RBIS, we believe that we have a broader obligation to our employees, our customers, our society, and the environment.
What are RBIS’ successes when it comes to sustainability?
We’ve made tremendous progress in our energy reduction efforts and sustainable sourcing - approximately two-thirds of the paper we buy comes from renewable materials. Equally as important is our commitment to launching new products that are innovative on two levels: in their use and performance, and in their sustainability. We are actively working on bio-based and recycled plastics, automation to reduce energy use in applying our solutions, taking waste from our weaving operations and converting them back into yarn, and others.