Sustainable Packaging: an opportunity for the development of Albanian companies
March 23, 2023
In partnership with the Swedish International Development Agency, UNDP works to empower private sector entities in Albania to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals into their operational models.
By now, we have become accustomed to hearing about sustainable packaging, a promising sector at the forefront of environmental protection, innovation, and technological advancements. However, what may be overlooked is its enormous impact on the food industry. Sustainable packaging can be a valuable ally in preventing and managing food waste, enhancing food safety, and enabling the tracking and labeling of food products. These characteristics make it a powerful force in enhancing the sustainability of agro-processing businesses in Albania.
At the high-level event "Business Culture and Sustainability in Sweden: Focus on Sustainable Packaging," held on September 14, 2022, it was evident that some companies are making progress towards sustainable packaging. Albanian water company Lajthiza, for instance, shared their latest efforts in improving the sustainability of their transportation and packaging. Through partnerships with Swedish companies Volvo and TetraLaval, they are investing in enhancing their sustainability. However, for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), financial challenges remain significant compared to larger companies.
Despite making up a great part of the economy and being among the most sustainable companies, micro and small businesses often lack the resources to seize sustainable investments and to expand while decreasing their ecological footprint. At the same time, these businesses are also the most vulnerable to shocks, which makes it critical to support them if a just green transition for Albania’s private sector is our objective.
Another side of the coin is, of course, recycling. Due to the delayed development of a national legal framework for integrated waste management, Albanian producers are not incentivized to decrease waste at the source. In addition, municipalities often lack the organisational capacity to ensure recycled waste collection and companies deem current government incentives and subsidies not up to the task. Albania’s future access to the EU market and the preparation to the higher competition that Albanian companies will encounter provide strong incentives both for the private and public sector to increase the pace of their work towards sustainability.
By shedding light on and providing a solution to some of these challenges, sustainable packaging can give a boost to the Albanian food industry and become an ally of local companies in embracing sustainable development. Since businesses of different sizes will encounter diverse challenges, government as well as international development programmes support will be crucial to ensure their green transition and development.
Through the project ‘Business Partnerships & Solutions for SDGs’, funded by the Government of Sweden, through the Swedish International Development Agency, UNDP is engaging Albanian companies in their sustainability journey and creating opportunities for knowledge exchange with Swedish counterparts, considered global pioneers in the integration of sustainable business practices.
UNDP aspires that this project's activities serve as crucial steps towards raising awareness, improving sustainability, and enhancing the competitiveness of Albanian companies. By supporting them in achieving their next milestones, this project aims to catalyse positive change and drive progress.
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