When it comes to climate change, no matter how big or small a business is, every climate conscious adjustment can make a difference.
Founded in 2013, Georgette Packaging’s sole purpose is to offer environmentally conscientious custom packaging to like-minded brands across North America. Acting as a brand’s packaging department, Georgette Packaging orchestrates packaging prototyping, assists with printing and manufacturing choices, and arranges distribution, financing and logistics.
Having recently been recognized by the Globe and Mail as one of the Top 50 Changemakers, the company’s founder, Sarah Landstreet, MBA ’13, shared more details on how they are helping tackle the climate crisis, one package at a time.
Georgette Packaging carbon offsets through the Darkwoods Forest Carbon Project, an award-winning mature forest project in British Columbia managed by Nature Conservancy Canada. But Landstreet did not stop there.
She also created an educational piece for her customers through the website, knowyourpackaging.com. The website consists of videos and articles about recycling and composting packaging.
Going even further, Landstreet focused her attention on labelling. Georgette Packaging labels the environmental properties and geographically specific disposal instructions for everything they make.
Remarkably, there is no specific legislation in Canada or the US that requires packaging companies to offer this. We aim to set our own precedent in this regard”.
Sarah shared even more about her journey and the role the Ivey Business School played in helping her build a successful and environmentally conscientious venture.
What was the inspiration behind Georgette Packaging?
I started a bakery in Belfast, Northern Ireland when I was 24, and wasn’t able to find the professional-looking, branded packaging that my product and company needed. Custom-designed packaging is essential for growing brands to promote themselves (through social media and in-person interactions) and leave a real impression on customers. This was a major frustration for me, and it got me interested in exploring the Ontario packaging manufacturing scene.
What has been the biggest hurdle you've had to face with Georgette Packaging?
I’ve found building a capable, resilient and convivial team to be both my biggest challenge and greatest source of pride as a founder. Starting a business from the ground up means that values, workstyle and processes are developed experimentally (and sometimes in the most awkward ways!). Simply everything has to be designed from scratch, and it takes a certain type of people to thrive in that environment, and to understand that while doing our jobs we’re also designing our jobs and our internal community.
How did your Ivey education and experiences set you up for your role as founder and CEO?
My Ivey education helped me develop an understanding of societal infrastructure, in particular the place and role that business plays in that setting, and how it interacts with government, academia, and politics. My objective in studying business was to learn more about the strategies and measurement devices employed by successful firms, and how one might best design a company’s foundations – this certainly helped me when I was thinking through what type of business I would like to start after graduation.
What is the most exciting thing coming up for Georgette Packaging?