Earlier this year, the advocacy committee of the Emerging Leadership Council (ELC) elected Monica Scott, strategic account manager at H.B. Fuller, as vice chair. With her support, the advocacy team was split into two subgroups: legislatorial advocacy, led by Scott; and sustainability advocacy, led by Weston Harcourt, chair of the committee and account manager at Sonoco Flexible Packaging.
While the ultimate goal of these two subgroups is the same, the respective approaches are different.
Advocacy With Legislators
Two major initiatives have been undertaken for this year:
• Organize a fly-in of ELC members to Washington, D.C., to meet with legislators and staff.
• Facilitate legislator visits to converter facilities throughout the United States.
The fly-ins will give emerging leaders in the flexible packaging industry an opportunity to advocate for the industry in person with legislators they may not have had exposure to in the past.
“We’re working hard to help bring key issues our industry sees to the forefront of our congressional leaders’ agendas,” says Charles Golub, food and beverage market manager at ProAmpac and member of the advocacy committee. “Current topics include labeling laws and ensuring infrastructure spend is properly allocated to our industry.”
By establishing ourselves as an over $42 billion industry employing over 85,000 people, we are bringing attention to the needs of an industry that is key to our local, national, and international economies. Legislator visits will showcase converter facilities and industry contributions.
“By meeting with the key congressional leaders and bringing them to sites within their districts, it helps to tie the leaders to the community and districts they serve with a focus on flexible packaging,” Golub says.
We know it is common for young staff members to stand in for legislators. By leveraging the ELC, we’re better able to connect with the staff members who participate in these meetings. By pursuing these initiatives, the committee is engaging emerging leaders of the industry with legislators to make a lasting impact to support circular economy principles.
This process only works if we have unwavering support from our member companies, both in funding and ELC membership participation for fly-ins and participating in converter site visits.
The sustainability advocacy group started the year strong with the launch of a social media campaign coined “Did You Know Flexibles?” The campaign can be sectioned into four parts:
1. Recycling 101
2. Why Flexible Packaging Matters
3. Legislatorial Advocacy and Sustainability
4. Recycling Technologies
Each segment contains approximately five to eight posts, which are released one post at a time on a weekly cadence through channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) leveraged The Cyphers Agency to support the refinement and issuance of the campaign, as well as track engagement metrics.
This campaign can only succeed with the support of all FPA members through comments, likes, and reposts. We need your help to make an impact with our “Did You Know Flexibles?” campaign.