Avery Dennison, a global leader in materials science and manufacturing, has released a trend report on “The New Transparency.” The outcomes underline the importance of transparency as a powerful tool capable of giving businesses unprecedented control over their supply chains and their environmental footprint, while offering consumers increased visibility, safety, and education.
The report, commissioned in partnership with forecasting consultancy The Future Laboratory, is the first of a content series to be released over the upcoming twelve months.
Transparency, a concept already gaining ground before the global pandemic, has been galvanized by the rapid spread of the coronavirus, showing just how quickly change can be implemented if the need arises. Consumers are also increasingly demanding transparency in recent times, with 70 percent of people feeling that trust in a brand is more important now than in the past.
“The New Transparency” outlines recommendations such as digital identities, tracing and sustainable materials within four category-specific micro-trends—blockchain and analytical technologies, labeling, packaging, and secondary waste:
In the beauty sector, blockchain technology can encrypt epigenetic data to generate consumer-specific cosmetic profiles – providing hyper-personalized service. While digital identities can be used to trace raw ingredients and materials, further equipping consumers with details on how their products are made and sourced.
In the food and beverage sector, profound issues exist with complexity of how supply chains work. Applying physical items with a unique digital identity enables traceability and transparency, empowering brands and consumers to reduce food waste. Additionally, with material innovations such as pH-sensitive dyes, oxygen barrier labels and second skins aim to preserve and monitor food freshness while reducing traditional packaging.
In retail, e-commerce has experienced a boom during the coronavirus pandemic. Smart packaging and logistics can be a new touchpoint for transparency and sustainable practices. Here transparency is as much about social values as environmental ones. By assigning digital identities to physical products brands are enabled to bring more visibility into their supply chains and to better monitor global sourcing processes.
In materials, conscious consumers want to know and understand where products came from and what their environmental footprint is. They are becoming increasingly aware of a product’s journey—from sourcing to the overall lifespan of a product. Designing materials for longevity or using waste to create by-products, should be taken into account. This should be considered for all components of a product to encourage circularity, recycling, and ultimately future-proof supply chains.
“First and foremost, consumers are demanding this information—they want to understand the environmental footprint and be able to trace the provenance and journey, in detail, of the products they buy,’ said Renae Kezar, Global Senior Director, Head of Sustainability at Avery Dennison. ‘But embedding transparency also serves to unlock more effective decision-making for businesses, increasing their resilience.”