Stewart Whitmire is the Senior Vice President at Atlantic Packaging responsible for leading R&D and innovation around sustainable packaging. With over 25 years of experience in the packaging industry including expertise in equipment and automation as well as high performance materials, Stewart has been instrumental in developing programs focused on improvements in packaging efficiency, optimization, and use of renewable materials. The resulting advances in sustainability affect the entire packaging supply chain and make sustainable packaging affordable, desirable, and accessible to Atlantic’s vast customer base.
In his role with Atlantic’s Sustainability Leadership Council, Stewart oversees the company’s participation in the annual CDP survey to measure the company’s existing environmental footprint and improvements year over year. He monitors progress on the targets they set to reduce operational carbon emissions and works closely with suppliers to provide a platform to help them better understand their own impact and set a path for progress.
Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee?
I believe that the greatest opportunity to solve sustainability challenges in packaging lies in collaboration across the supply chain. Because the Sustainable Packaging Coalition brings together many of the key stakeholders involved in tackling these complicated challenges, this organization is uniquely positioned to bring about meaningful gains. The programs developed through the Coalition provide critical education for its members as well as potential solutions for those issues. I believe that improving sustainability throughout the packaging supply chain is the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge that our industry faces, and I want to contribute to these solutions in every way possible.
What do you think you would contribute as an Executive Committee representative?
My experience of 25 years in the packaging industry as well as in developing programs aimed at efficiency and sustainability provides a unique perspective on packaging issues and opportunities. As a supplier to many of the largest CPG companies in the world, I see the hurdles that these companies face in implementing changes that may lead to more sustainable solutions. Those challenges may come in the form of capital equipment costs, material costs, material performance, and consumer preferences. Because Atlantic is positioned to provide equipment and materials as well as paper and plastic solutions, we have been able to work to solve big problems for many of these companies. As a member of the Executive Committee, I would bring the experience, the process, and the insight it takes to find solutions to complex sustainability issues.