APCO simplifies the annual reporting process for SMEs


The new SME report from the Australian Packaging Covenant Organization (APCO) will help companies meet packaging targets for 2025.

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organization (APCO) has introduced a new, more efficient declaration process for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that reduces the declaration workload.

The new reporting process has gone from over 50 possible questions to 15 targeted questions that generate real sustainability value for SMEs, and it is estimated that this will reduce task reporting time by up to 80%.

It also provides a consistent and transparent path for members who own APCO brands to assess and track the sustainability of packaging over time.

Updates to the Packaging Sustainability Framework and APCO Member Reporting Requirements, which come into effect for the 2022 reporting cycle, benefit not only SMEs, but organizations of all sizes as well, as APCO has streamlined the its entire annual reporting process.

According to the Council of Small Business Organizations Australia (COSBOA), many small businesses do not have the time, resources or expertise to keep abreast of ongoing legislative and regulatory changes.

Small business owners also face significant time constraints and hence reporting can be a significant burden at this time.

Brooke Donnelly, CEO of APCO, said the new process helps the average small business owner by providing the important support they need.

“APCO is constantly looking for ways to better support its members and to improve the quality and efficiency of the resources and services we provide,” said Donnelly.

“We believe this change will dramatically improve the way SMEs meet their obligations and add value to their businesses by stimulating discussions on sustainable packaging choices that lead to better environmental and business outcomes.

It is also easier for SMEs to take responsibility for packaging waste management, while continuing to identify ways to improve and better manage the overall approach.

Donnelly said the SME report was the result of stakeholder feedback and APCO’s dedication to providing valuable services to its members.

“APCO is a large and diverse community of business types and sizes, and we recognize the need to provide services tailored to the different requirements and resource capacities of these organizations,” she said.

“We strive to help the SME sector play an active role in Australia’s vibrant and robust sustainable packaging system. “

One of the main drivers of the updated report was the time constraints presented to SMEs.

“We understand that time is a valuable resource for all businesses, especially SMEs,” said Donnelly.

“APCO can work with them to better support and empower these companies to meet their responsibilities and generate added value through sustainable packaging practices. “

Members’ comments were solicited by APCO to help better inform the SME report.

Donnelly said the comments helped them better understand the resources and support required for SMEs.

“It kicked off a conversation about the important role of SMEs in the collective approach with industry and government to help Australia meet the 2025 national packaging targets, and what that may look like as we move forward. “said Donnelly.

APCO member KeepCup, which introduced the world’s first reusable barista standard cup, was touted as an example of the success and benefits of sustainable packaging.

Abigail Forsyth, co-founder and CEO of KeepCup, said the journey to more sustainable packaging is constantly evolving.

“Technology is changing, processes are improving and new materials are becoming available and, more importantly, customers are demanding change,” said Forsyth.

“Smart companies place sustainability and the circular economy at the center of their business strategy. “

Other SMEs, such as Sancell, a manufacturer of protective packaging, are keenly aware of the impact their products can have on the environment as one of Australia’s leading plastics manufacturers.

Doug Parkinson, CEO of Sancell, said reducing and minimizing waste is always at the forefront of Sancell’s manufacturing and product development processes.

“Make sure what you change is genuine, fit for purpose, and delivers real, measurable environmental benefits. And, most importantly, avoid greenwash, ”Parkinson said.

With over 1,500 Australian companies already part of the APCO community, membership provides organizations with support to improve their business performance by promoting packaging sustainability to meet Australia’s 2025 national packaging goals.


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