As global population rises, we face both resource scarcity, which affects our ability to produce goods, and increased waste disposal, which negatively impacts ecosystems and communities. Both challenges could be eased by the increased use of secondary materials. Businesses want to be part of the solution and use more secondary materials, but systematic barriers make acquisition and sourcing difficult at the quantity and quality needed.
Through alignment and collaboration, the Cascading Materials Vision strives to engage stakeholders across both private and public sectors to minimize such barriers. Businesses and organizations that have already signed on include: American Chemistry Council, AMERIPEN, Ball Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company, DuPont, European Bioplastic Association, Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., The Materials Leadership Council (MLC), McCormick, McDonald’s, Nestlé, Ocean Conservancy, Pathway21, The Recycling Partnership, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Target.
The companies and organizations that sign onto the Cascading Materials Vision agree to abide by a set of guiding principles for decision making that align materials management practices, allow for greater collaboration across industry and create easier sourcing of secondary materials. These principles range from systems thinking to evaluating environmental impact to implementing solutions that work for today but can adapt to the future. By aligning with stakeholders and collaborators around a common vision of a responsible future, WWF hopes to use this framework to influence relevant sectors toward achievable, sustainable and inclusive solutions that address the systemic issues that prevent creation, trade and use of secondary materials.
“We can quite literally do more with less simply by using materials more than once. With clear interest and willingness from industry to embrace this concept, WWF saw an incredible and imperative need to act,” said Erin Simon, deputy director, packaging and material science at WWF. “By bringing stakeholders together onto one cohesive platform, the Cascading Materials Vision will help reduce the burden on our natural systems and enable creation of the global markets needed to make quality secondary materials accessible and reliable.”
Today’s announcement marks just the beginning of the Cascading Materials Vision. WWF and the flagship companies and nonprofit organizations that have signed onto the Cascading Materials Vision are eager to grow this platform and work to create a reliable and innovative network grounded in maximizing environmental and social benefit and measuring impact.
“We are inspired by the number of companies who have already spoken up about the need for a global market of secondary materials,” said Simon “With some of the world’s largest and leading companies already committed to the Cascading Materials Vision, we’re confident that this platform will create the catalyst needed to jumpstart the secondary materials market, protect our natural resources and meet the production demands of our growing population.”
About World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for over half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more and follow our news conversations on Twitter @WWFNews.
Cascading Materials Vision Signatory Statements
American Chemistry Council, Cal Dooley, President and CEO:
“We commend World Wildlife Fund for its vision and engagement with industry and policy leaders to promote and expand materials reuse and the availability of high-quality secondary materials. Through this collaborative framework, ACC and its member companies look forward to working with stakeholders along the value chain to more efficiently use resources to reduce the environmental impacts of our operations and products, and to pursue initiatives that conserve materials and resources, and reduce waste through reuse and recycling.”
AMERIPEN, Lee Anderson, President:
“AMERIPEN is excited to be part of WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision, which aims to extend the life of our natural resources. The Vision includes many of the philosophies upon which our organization is based, including science-based decision making, a systems approach, effective policies, and adaptability. We’re looking forward to helping deliver the progress needed to achieve it.”
Ball Corporation, John A. Hayes, Chairman, President and CEO:
“Ball manufactures billions of 100-percent and infinitely recyclable metal packages each year and we are working to maximize the recovery of these packages around the world. We’re proud to be a part of the World Wildlife Fund’s Cascading Materials Vision, as it will allow us to work with other stakeholders to ensure that metal packaging, which is the most economically and environmentally sustainable of all packaging substrates, is collected and available to be reused for future generations to come.”
The Materials Leadership Council (MLC), John Linc Stine, Member; Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), President; and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Commissioner:
“The Materials Leadership Council (MLC), a public-private partnership among state environmental commissioners and senior business representatives, praises the release of WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision. States have a longstanding commitment to advancing SMM principals and their collaboration with businesses enables greater leverage to achieve resource efficiency while creating economic, environmental, and societal benefits. The MLC is excited about its partnership with WWF and looks forward to using the Vision’s framework in its everyday decision-making.”
McCormick and Company, Inc., Michael Okoroafor, Vice President – Global Sustainability and Packaging Innovation:
“McCormick is proud to partner with WWF on its Cascading Materials Vision (CMV), and contribute to a meaningful decrease in global waste. WWF’s principles align closely with our 4R Framework (Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, Renew), and is reflective of our shared leadership role in creating a more sustainable world for future generations.”
Nestlé, Marco Bernasconi, Global Head of Packaging:
“Continually improving the environmental performance of our packaging following a life cycle approach is a key driver in our product and packaging development process. The guiding principles described in the WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision are therefore fully aligned with Nestlé’s ambition to prevent littering and packaging going to landfill.”
Ocean Conservancy, Nicholas Mallos, Director, Trash Free Seas Program:
“Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest challenges, including the threats posed by marine debris. Scientists estimate that 80% of plastic waste entering the ocean starts on land, so we need to think about locally appropriate and resilient land-based solutions to address this issue. The Cascading Materials Vision outlines critical principles to help drive better waste management, which will not only keep trash out of the marine environment, but would help extend the use-life and inherent value of materials.”
The Recycling Partnership, Keefe Harrison, CEO:
“While recycling feels universal, the truth is only half of Americans can recycle at home as easily as they can throw something away. That inequality means that valuable materials are disposed, resulting in significant losses in potential GHG and water savings, at the same time depriving manufacturers across the globe of clean feedstock. The Recycling Partnership is pleased to collaborate with WWF in this far-reaching initiative to build a better system.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Adam Goldstein, President and Chief Operating Officer:
“Royal Caribbean is proud to support WWF’s Cascading Materials Vision to address the availability of high quality secondary materials. As an intermediary between suppliers and consumers we have a responsibility to ensure our supply chain and waste management approaches help us achieve a more sustainable future.”