One such approach is providing staff with citizen science pathways to allow non-scientifically trained individuals to work with researchers to gather meaningful data to tackles real world issues.
"When tailored to a company’s core activities, citizen science can have powerful impacts that benefit the company and broader environment.”
This people-powered approach increases the scientific community’s capacity to build valuable data sets rapidly. Data is used to inform appropriate policy, innovate product design and manufacturing, and drive more sustainable practices.
When tailored to a company’s core activities, citizen science can have powerful impacts that benefit the company and broader environment including the:
- provision of evidence required to shape policy and practices;
- improvement of employee environmental and scientific literacy leading to more informed decision making; and
- empowerment of individuals to create positive change.
Pack your bags
Since 2001, Amcor, one of the world’s largest packaging companies, has partnered with Earthwatch Institute Australia to send over 200 employees on scientific expeditions around the globe.
Focused on the global waste crisis, Amcor employees have worked with scientists from Southern Cross University and CSIRO gathering data on debris hotspots around the world including Queensland, Indonesia, South Africa and Peru.
Teams collate data on marine debris volume and type which provides insight to ecological risk and the source of debris, its country of origin and source industry.
Combined with statistical models of oceanography, this data prompts local remediation action and helps government and industry build targeted solutions for the region. Solutions may include education campaigns, product innovation, infrastructure improvements and/or economic incentive schemes.
Better understanding the causes of marine debris and how so much of it originates from regions with poor waste management and recycling, has motivated Amcor to become the first packaging company to commit that all their products will be recyclable by 2025.
They have also committed to use more recycled plastics in their products and to work with governments and NGOs to increase the amount of plastic packaging that is recycled, helping to keep it out of the environment.
”As a product development engineer I plan to give customers a glimpse of the impact we observed on the environment when we discuss the sustainability of new packaging opportunities,” Amcor Product Development R&D Principal Engineer, Dennis Kittel says.
“Making better decisions on raw material selections with suppliers can result in improved sustainability and higher quality of the recycle streams.”