The new CNE internet website shows how much the association wants to reinforce communication with packaging chain professionals and to support their sustainable development approach. On this point, the chairman, Michel Fontaine, told us about the progress made in the last three years.
Why did you put a new website online?
After three years, we thought it was necessary to rethink our website to make it more modern, dynamic and ergonomic. Of course, we decided to keep two versions, one in French and one in English, in order to show we are open to people and contributions from other countries and that we want to share our analysis and best practices with professionals outside France. Thanks to that, we could connect with external organizations such as Europen or Incpen in Europe, Ameripen in the US and others in Canada, Brazil and Japan.
Beyond the presentation, the contents of the website evolved too and have been fuelled with some works realized by the CNE and its partners in the last three years. What do you take away from this period?
In the last three years, we have been giving particular attention to issues concerning sustainable development. We are proud to say that the work of the teams enabled us to write several documents that are essential to measure and understand the impact of the packaging on the environment and to make it more objective. The fundamental building block that helped us was probably the survey that aimed to compare the environmental impact of packages made of diverse materials. We finally lifted the veil from this issue! Then, we updated the eco-conception manual that was considered as “clever” for some people, which was a major step to go further in our works giving our members keys and principles concerning design and responsible management of the steps in the packaging’s life cycle. Finally, we were pretty successful with our publication dedicated to environmental claims listing the good ways of communicating with the consumers on the environmental impact of a product.
What else do you keep in mind?
I am also very happy to see how popular our challenge Emballé 3.0 has become to the universities and design and engineering high schools in the last four years. During the last challenge, we had to select among 116 applications from 18 schools while they were only 30 in 2010. But beyond the numbers of these applications, I would like to highlight their level of quality and the creativity and innovation from these upcoming designers dedicated to eco-design.
What are your prospects in the next few years?
Now we are at a turning point. Our first challenge will be to convince new members in order to fuel our works with new expertise and experiences. Four years ago, we could barely gather four people to take part in some reflection concerning our issues. Today, they are up to 40 according to the particular issues. We can still make a lot of progresses since they are tens of thousands companies dealing with packaging in France. The second challenge is to become more visible thanks to tools such as our website, our newsletters and the quality of our publications. This visibility and legitimacy shall make every packaging professional want to contribute to the improvement of the packaging. There is still a long way to go!
A lot of participants say you play a key role dealing with new issues related to packaging (such as environmental claims, eco-design, new materials etc.). What are the next issues for the CNE?
We do try to follow the news in order to comply with the issues our members have to face. As an instance, we are currently thinking about the new packaging presentations that were designed in the last few years with the emergence of the e-commerce and for traceability needs by the consumers. At last, the role of the packaging in the circular economy needs to be highlighted as well. As you can see, there are a lot of issues that we have to deal with in order to support our members and to help them identify the good practices.