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Brands and environmental protection are closely entwined.  Brands enjoy the consumer’s confidence that the earth’s natural resources are being used responsibly.  Brand-oriented businesses know that they are a focus of public perception and seize this challenge as an opportunity for direct communication with their consumers.  For many years, Markenverband’s members have published sustainability reports and have implemented environmental management systems.  Markenverband supports its members’ sustainability management through development of guidelines and as an information platform.

A central concern for Markenverband in the environmental arena is the issue of packaging, since packaging is the face of a brand to the consumer.  The brand personality projected via packaging, but also the information it contains for dialogue with the consumer, constitute an effective communication platform.  In this area, it is extraordinarily important for producers of branded products and services that packaging can be designed and executed without discriminatory outside interference.   The German packaging decree adopted in 1991 was intended to help prevent packaging and to give preference to environment-friendly reusable packaging in the drinks sector.  Markenverband has always rejected a strict reuse quota and criticised the preference given to a packaging solution backed by questionable ecological arguments.  It has campaigned for liberal implementation of the return and recovery obligations, and was a co-founder of Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD), jointly with service providers to distribution and production businesses covered by the decree.  Markenverband welcomes the competition that exists today, provided that there is a level playing field.  The federation has tried to rein in the growing problem of free riders through a range of activities and  called strongly for a revision of the packaging decree.  The rules in place since 2009 now need to prove their worth in practice.

It currently looks as if the future of waste management will be marked by increasing returns on the materials recovered.  Collection activities are increasingly lucrative for waste management firms and government rules (quotas, etc.) will become less important.  Markenverband is actively involved in the discussion on developing and analysing alternative models.  Waste and valuable materials should ultimately be processed where they occur – the basis for an allocation of costs determined by the “polluter pays” principle.

National and international CO2 reduction programmes are also a concern for brand producers.  In the framework of their environmental reporting, they already demonstrate climate-relevant behaviour.  This relates not only to transport, but in particular also production and procurement.  But a product-related CO2 label fails to do justice to the complexity of the issue.  Markenverband has published a position paper entitled “Brands: a label for sustainability” which sets out its sustainability vision for brands.


Ansprechpartner: Carola Wandrey, Referentin Umwelt/Nachhaltigkeit

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