P&G, Unilever, PepsiCo Affirm Commitment to a Circular Economy Powered by Tech Innovation

Lisa Johnston
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COVID-19’s disruption on the consumer goods industry isn’t slowing down brands’ commitment to sustainability.

CG brands including 3M, Coca-Cola, P&G and Unilever have solidified their obligations to developing a circular economy by extending their capital commitments with the Closed Loop Infrastructure Fund (CLIF). Their investments are directed to support recycling infrastructure and spur growth and tech innovation around end markets for post-consumer materials across North America.

The nine consumer goods companies that comprise the original CLIF investor group — 3M, Coca-Cola, Colgate Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, Keurig Dr. Pepper, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and The Walmart Foundation — have extended their capital commitments. Amazon, Danone North America, Danone Waters of America, Nestlé Waters North America and Starbucks have since joined the fund.

Rather than putting sustainability aside in favor of other priorities during the health crisis, Closed Loop is instead seeing retailers and consumer goods companies doubling down on their commitments, a spokesperson told CGT. It’s a sentiment that was echoed by Campbell Soup Company when it announced its new packaging sustainably goals in the spring.  

"As COVID-19 has disrupted the status quo, it's further highlighted the need to build our economy back in a way that is sustainable, resilient and safe,” said Bridget Croke, managing director at Closed Loop Partners. “The circular economy increases efficiencies, reduces costs and creates a new kind of capitalism that aligns people, the planet and business.”

The initial investment has leveraged more than $200 million in co-investment, supporting the development of domestic recycling infrastructure, local jobs and new markets in cities across the United States.

This includes investments in TemperPack, which manufactures plant- and fiber-based insulated packaging solutions for cold chain shipments, perishable food and pharmaceuticals, intended to replace Styrofoam.