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Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1923; doi:10.3390/su9101923

Desired, Perceived, and Achieved Sustainability: Trade-Offs in Strategic and Operational Packaging Development

1
Top Institute Food and Nutrition, P.O. Box 557, 6700 AN Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Department of Design, Production and Management, Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands
3
Division of Machine Design, Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 August 2017 / Revised: 5 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

The alignment of the strategic and the operational level of packaging development in relation to the integration of sustainability is not addressed extensively in current research. This paper aims to address this, by focusing on the decision-making interrelations of key actors (marketing and packaging development) within multidisciplinary product-packaging development teams. The research is conducted by means of a qualitative approach, consisting of semi-structured interviews with individual packaging development team members, complemented with a newly developed visualization tool. The research builds upon eight cases within brand owners, packaging material suppliers and packaging development consultants. The main findings of the study include the decision-making trade-offs between sustainability considerations and other project indicators, such as costs, time-to-market and technical challenges. These trade-offs are linked to the strategic and operational roles of key actors, and to internal and external factors influencing sustainable development processes. This research’s contribution is to address the alignment of the strategic and the operational levels of sustainable packaging development, in relation to (1) decision making and interrelations within multidisciplinary development teams; and (2) the relevance of development-influencing factors. This provides opportunities for further development of sustainable packaging models and tools, in order to align the strategic and operational level of development. View Full-Text
Keywords: operational development; strategic development; sustainable development; marketing; packaging development; development team operational development; strategic development; sustainable development; marketing; packaging development; development team
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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de Koeijer, B.; de Lange, J.; Wever, R. Desired, Perceived, and Achieved Sustainability: Trade-Offs in Strategic and Operational Packaging Development. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1923.

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