Australia’s largest distributor of printable materials is using its reach to lead the conversation on packaging sustainability. 

The Labels and Packaging division of Ball & Doggett, based in Victoria, has launched an online educational portal — the first in the world of its kind — to support businesses, no matter where they are on the sustainability journey.  

The project, a community-based hub, was driven by Zaidee Jackson, Ball & Doggett’s National Business Development Manager - Sustainable Packaging, ahead of Federal Government plans to implement a national approach to packaging regulation, along with a focus on design standards and traceability. 

“The goal was to create a platform that allows people to come to a central body to understand what sustainability looks like from different lenses, because it's complex; it means different things for different people,” Ms Jackson said. 

“Some people aren’t even on the adoption curve, while some are already at the innovation stage. 

“We're hoping to bring everybody on a journey, and whatever that looks like for them, we hope they gain value from this platform.” 

The online portal, ecoporium by Ball & Doggett, and an accompanying podcast bring together sustainability and industry experts to offer insights into the Australian packaging market and to look at how industry can drive commercial decisions that align with sustainable outcomes. 

 It is predicted that 70 per cent more packaging will be needed by 2050, when the global population is expected to reach more than 9.7billion, up from 8billion today. 

“The platform allows people to settle into a conversation on how they define themselves around sustainability and how their role in the supply chain impacts brand owners on a positive level,” Ms Jackson said. 

“For us, it's about the greater good of the industry, our customers and their customers.” 

The online resources, launched six months ago, earned Ball & Doggett an Industry Sector Award at the 2023 APCO (Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation) Awards. 

Printers, converters, brand owners, design agencies, government organisations and industry associations such as Ai Group are all set to benefit from the expertise within the portal, which users can access for free.

“(The focus on sustainability) is a once-in-a generational change for Australia,” Ms Jackson said. 

“We all need to be prepared to put in the hard yards and those that haven't jumped on the adoption curve need to start at some point, and we're here to support them on that journey. 

“We’re proud to be driving the conversation in our industry.”  

Ball & Doggett has been a member of Ai Group since 2020. 

“We greatly value the support and expert advice that comes with being a member of Ai Group. Their advocacy and support for Australian businesses is second to none, and their economics data is insightful and helpful. We also greatly appreciate Ai Group’s workplace relations support including award updates and advice and we regularly attend WR briefings and events — online and in-person. We know we are in good hands with Ai Group by our side.” — Tony Bertrand, National Marketing Manager, Ball & Doggett 


Wendy Larter

Wendy Larter is Communications Manager at the Australian Industry Group. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a reporter, features writer, contributor and sub-editor for newspapers and magazines including The Courier-Mail in Brisbane and Metro, the News of the World, The Times and Elle in the UK.