Taking a Position
Next there is the issue of recycling our products, not just the packaging. This debate continues, but we all appreciate that at the end of the day the industry as well as the consumer must bear a higher cost for the products we sell. In the short-term the question is: Do we step up now to deal with the issue or wait until compelled by government action?
These tradeoffs and the requirements to deal with environmental sustainability are real. The choices are ours. We can stick our heads in the ground and wish for the best, we can merely comply as required when asked or we can become leaders. There are significant risks associated with any position we take, but I argue that not taking a position will ultimately eliminate you as a player.
So what can you do? Take a position. This means assessing the tradeoffs of cost, market positioning, customer base and long-term goals. If you choose to comply with changes as they occur, then it is necessary to time your business strategies accordingly. Determine how far you intend to go and make those goals clear so all your partners can support you and your customers will acknowledge your efforts. You can also allow your customer to make the decision by offering them options that meet their business goals. If you are doing something in between then be clear about where you intend to comply, where you will provide options and where you want to be a leader.