Sustainable Food Trade Association
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Sustainable Food Trade Association Webinar Series

Search for the Emerald (Polymer) City: The Advantages and Challenges of Bio-Based Packaging

February 26, 2018 at 10am PT / 1pm ET
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The search for the most sustainable packaging solutions continues in the food industry. For many, bio-based plastics are key to achieving that goal. However, many challenges exist prior to reaching that mystical Emerald City of functional and sustainable green-polymer packaging.

Search for the Emerald City brings together packaging manufacturing experts compost and recycling policy advocates to discuss both origins and end-of-life advantages and challenges of bio-based packaging. Presenters will review the manufacturing components that make up flexible bio-based packaging. The functional needs that these products meet will be gauged against their sustainable qualities. Attendees will be presented with a lens through which they can consider differing sustainability traits to help them consider which may be the best fit for their company. The latter half of this webinar will include a panel that brings together packaging manufacturers and packaging end-of-life (i.e. composting) experts. Challenges that exist for bio-based plastics to be utilized on a larger scale will be explored, including the barriers that inhibit the widespread recycling or composting of these materials. Finally, panelists will explore the solutions to these challenges and help attendees identify ways that their companies can work—and work together—to help move the needle towards these sustainable solutions.

Appealing to procurement, marketing, and sustainability professionals alike, Search for the Emerald City will leave attendees with a strong foundational understanding of how bio-based, flexible plastics are made, how businesses can optimize their use in sustainable packaging efforts, and how they can help drive large-scale sustainable packaging solutions.


Jake HebertJake Hebert is the Western Regional Sales Manager with Futamura, the global leader in Cellophane films and a market leader in sustainable packaging. He graduated with a B.B.A. in Marketing from Kennesaw State University. Combining his passions for packaging design and sustainability, Jake has worked with numerous brands as they transition their traditional packaging to flexible bioplastics. On the weekends you can find him on the hiking trails around the Bay Area.
Rhodes YepsenRhodes Yepsen is Executive Director of the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), North America’s leading certifier of compostable products and packaging in North America. A nonprofit, the BPI’s goal is the scalable diversion of organic waste to composting, by verifying that products and packaging will completely break down in a professionally managed composting facility, without harming the quality of that compost. Yepsen also co-chairs the Compostable Products Task Force at the US Composting Council, where he formerly served on the Board of Directors.
Cost: Free for SFTA members; $25 for non-members
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Worth its Weight in Water: Corporate Water Assessments & Context-Based Water Targets

December 7, 2017 at 10am PT / 1pm ET
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Inefficient water use, water scarcity, pollution, competition for water, climate change, and other water-related concerns affect companies in a number of different ways. And yet, it can be hard to know how to fairly assess your own impacts and water demand – beyond what comes out of the tap— and set water goals to advance and improve your sustainable water management.
Join SFTA’s webinar on December 7th, and speakers from the Pacific Institute and the World Resources Institute (WRI) to increase your ability to both comprehensively assess your direct and indirect water risks and impacts, and set targets for improvement.

The webinar will review the concept of corporate water stewardship, and introduce attendees to a water stewardship framework to guide their “good water citizenship.” The Framework, from the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, will review a four-step approach of understanding water use, assessing water risks and impacts, developing company strategy, and leveraging collective action across your value chain. Discussion will include how to consider your local watersheds as well as water policy in goal setting. Water risk tools used in this process – including WRI’s Aqueduct— will also be reviewed, and the corporate water strategy development process will be brought to life by a review of case studies of the process in action.


Tien ShiaoTien Shiao
Senior Research Associate
The Pacific Institute

Tien Shiao joined the Pacific Institute in 2016. She is a Senior Research Associate for the Corporate Sustainability team and has ten years of experience in corporate sustainability, stakeholder engagement, and water risk and stewardship.

Tien’s work focuses on innovative solutions for corporate water challenges, encompassing corporate disclosure frameworks and impact metrics. She also works on CEO Water Mandate projects such as the Business Action on Water and Climate (BAFWAC) and the water security process developed by the Sustainable Water Partnership as ways to scale up best practice on water stewardship around the world. Prior to Pacific Institute she worked for H&M’s sustainability program in Shanghai, WRI’s water program in DC, Yale’s entrepreneurship program in New Haven, and Battelle’s environmental restoration program in Columbus.
Paul ReigPaul Reig
Water Program Associate
World Resources Institute

Paul is an Associate with the Water Program and Business Center, and is responsible for guiding the design and development of WRI’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas and managing WRI’s corporate engagement on water. Paul has worked with numerous companies in the food and beverage, oil & gas, consumer goods, and apparel sectors on water risk assessments and stewardship strategies. Paul is a published author and has been quoted in mainstream and specialist media on the topics of corporate water risk and stewardship, including in The Financial Times, CNN, the Guardian, Fortune, LA Times, The Oil & Gas Journal, and others.

Prior to joining WRI, Paul spent 4 years managing a wide range of watershed restoration projects throughout the US States of Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. Paul also spent time in Latin America working on environmental and social impact assessments for international energy and mining companies.
Cost: Free for all attendees, including SFTA members and non-members.
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