Gaurav Kale

Director - Packaging Engineering


Bio

Gaurav Kale currently leads the packaging engineering function at Blue Apron with a focus on design, engineering, and sustainability. He has been actively working with SPC and how2recycle to understand and improve the packaging sustainability in meal kits. Blue Apron is the first meal kit company to launch many packaging sustainability initiatives including the implementation of the how2recycle program. He also helped with the initiation of the cold chain packaging collaboration project at SPC and actively participated in it to develop a baseline and roadmap for opportunities in sustainability. He started working in the sustainable packaging field in 2004 at Michigan State University under the guidance of Rafael Auras and Ramani Narayan. His focus was compostable polymers and the research work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and books. He received the Innovation in Design Optimization award on behalf of Blue Apron at SPC Impact 2019 in Seattle as an outcome of unique innovations in packaging design. He also received the 2019 Dow Packaging Innovation Silver Award for innovation in the gel (ice) packs for the development of novel drain-safe gel packs that diverted waste from landfills to municipal wastewater systems.

Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee?

There has been a limited e-commerce brand representation on the SPC executive committee. I want to bring insights from both, brand and the eCommerce perspective and drive projects/advocacy that benefits brand owners, suppliers, customers, and the environment.

What do you think you would contribute as an Executive Committee representative?

I want to contribute in following ways to the SPC and the community: – Provide strategic guidance based on upcoming trends, industry initiatives, and consumer preferences. – Work with other member companies – brands, suppliers, nonprofits to drive engagement through projects, collaboration and participation in the bi-annual conferences. – Hackathon around packaging sustainability ideas (Packathon) – Partnerships with universities to engage students – mentoring programs, etc. – Initiate collaborative projects focusing on modernizing the sustainable packaging initiatives such as: * Introducing smart tools to address consumer perception and behavior * Technological advancements – use of blockchain and IoTs in packaging for optimization * Reusable packaging enhancements & address critical gaps * Support disruptive technologies and startups, and engage them in SPC