As we slowly come out of our food comas over the holiday period and look to kick-start 2024, we thought it would be great to recap and highlight 5 key takeaways from 2023.
One – Sustainability is still top of mind
Whilst 2023 had a lot of headlines such as the cost of living, the build-up to the New Zealand Election and the Election itself, sustainability was still top of mind for many.
In the packaging industry we continued to have great conversations about sustainability and sustainable packaging with our customers. It felt that every meeting or interaction either started or ended with sustainability.
There also seemed to be more conferences, webinars and get-togethers around sustainability. This showed even more willingness to drive positive change in this area, which is a great thing.
Fortunately for us, we were able to attend and benefit from these get-togethers, and in 2023 we were also asked to share our thoughts with Stuff.co.nz.
Two – Communicating Sustainability matters
Speaking of sustainability, 2023 felt like the year where communicating about sustainability was critical to a businesses success.
When our team attended the informative Masterclass from Sustainable Business Network, it was clear how important communicating your sustainability goals, message and intentions were.
Equally, communicating accurately was the key as consumers and the public felt an increasing rise of greenwashing from brands.
Three – Cost continued to rise in 2023
In 2023 we saw a common theme plague our screens, social media feeds, and pockets – The cost-of-living message.
It felt like everything was on the rise (which it was), and collectively households and individuals felt the pinch.
Interest rates continued to rise throughout the year and the US Dollar was not favourable for the majority of 2023. This caused raw materials, packaging, freight, and products to rise.
The result of this meant suppliers, like ourselves, had to work really hard for our customers by help navigate costs, innovation, and efficiencies.
Four – Embrace change
There is a saying, “change is the only thing guaranteed in life”. That and taxes.
That is true (of both). Nothing stays the same forever and for Hi-Tech Packaging we saw 2023 as an opportunity to embrace change.
For example, our vision here at Hi-Tech Packaging is “To provide safe & sustainable packaging, now and for the future”. Whilst we have been actively doing that for the past 20 years, we used 2023 as an opportunity for us to communicate how we share that vision better with others.
So, we embraced what some of the cool kids were doing and created a TikTok account with no expectations outside of a bit of fun about Sustainability and Hi-Tech Packaging. We soon discovered it was a great way to engage with our communities, so much so, one of our posts about the Auckland Council Food Scrap Collection received over 46,000 views!
In addition to that, we also started writing about our sustainable packaging journey through our blogs and websites. What was an opportunity to connect with our market quickly began to be a place where brands, organisations, and people could go to learn about sustainability, waste, recycling, Government Changes, and ultimately a place to help others navigate their sustainability journey.
Five – Celebrate
New Zealand is a nation of humble and quiet achievers. So much so, that we use the phrase “Tall Poppy Syndrome”, a syndrome dedicated to not celebrating the achievements of others but cutting them down!
However, one thing we learned from 2023 is to celebrate our wins and progress despite “Tall Poppy” comments.
In particular we saw the execution of New Zealand’s largest Food Scrap Collection in Auckland. This saw over 440,000 households have access to kerbside food scrap bins that would get collected weekly and turned into Biofuel by the wonderful team at Ecogas.
We were also fortunate to be part of this and celebrate with The Auckland Council the success of this fantastic initiative.
To summarise, 2023 was a year filled with many challenges and opportunities (as it seems to be with every year that passes). However, 2023 felt like a year where we had an opportunity to think and do things differently.
As we head into 2024 we are excited about the prospect of more positive change becoming the norm and even more opportunities to share our vision, collaborate with more partners, and celebrate innovation and sustainability.
Till next time,
Hi-Tech Packaging Team