Plastics News Rising Stars 2020 recognition winners

Accredo Packaging’s Mandy Craig Named Rising Star 2020 by Packaging News

Mandy Craig, Global Head of Marketing Accredo Packaging, INc.
Mandy Craig

Global Head of Marketing and Sustainability
Accredo Packaging Inc.

Mandy Craig graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in management and Harvard Business School with an MBA. She said she did not plan on working in the plastics industry, “but a lucky series of events landed me in the Dow packaging business in Houston.”

“I had interned in the housing and construction business, and didn’t really enjoy my experience. My mentor appreciated my experience in food manufacturing and thought that packaging could be a good fit for me,” she said. “I was very drawn to the sustainability aspects of food packaging, and when I had the chance to head up a marketing and sustainability department, I jumped at it.”

She previously worked at General Mills in finance with various positions of responsibility, from operations and merchandising to innovation.

At Dow, she was the senior marketing manager for $1.1 billion in business leading all of rigid packaging for North America and caps and closures worldwide. She was the Dow Pinnacle award winner for marketing excellence.

Craig joined flexible packaging maker Accredo Packaging Inc. of Sugar Land, Texas, as the head of marketing and sustainability in 2019, she said, where she works on marketing and sustainability initiatives “globally helping brand owners convert to more sustainable packaging solutions.”

Craig attends industry events such as Global Pouch ForumSPC ImpactPack Expo and Plastics News’ Women Breaking the Mold.

Plastics News: What is your current challenge at work?

Craig: Working in sustainability in such a complicated regulatory environment can be very challenging but also exciting. People look to me to help them choose the most sustainable packaging solutions for their products. Keeping up on all of the exciting technologies available, making sure that I understand all of the latest legislation and synthesizing that information so it is easily understandable is a constant battle. However, the dynamism of this industry is also incredibly exciting and rewarding and puts me in a unique position to make an impact.

Q: Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?

Craig: Growing up in Oregon, I was always a fan of [Olympian] Steve Prefontaine. His grit and determination were unparalleled and he always performed best when he was under intense pressure. He reminds me to elevate my game when things get tough and that life can be short so you have to live it to the fullest.

Q: If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?

Craig: At Accredo, sustainability is at our core. We are the only LEED Silver-certified flexible packaging company in North America using 100 percent wind energy to power our facility. We were the first to commercialize a compostable pouch and have industry-leading recyclable pouch technologies. If I were a CEO at a packaging company, I would replicate this and ensure that sustainability is at the core of what I do even before consumers and customers may have that expectation.

Q: One of our criteria for Rising Stars is whether they are active in plastics industry, manufacturing or their community. How are you involved?

Craig: I am the chairman of the board for the Wells International Foundation, a nonprofit here in Houston that focuses on child literacy and the arts. I’m extremely passionate about making sure that kids have the right tools to learn how to read, including having books at home. Studies show that if a child graduates elementary school without the ability to read, they are much more likely to drop out of high school. Helping to get books into the hands of kids who don’t have access to reading materials at home really helps me to make a difference. I believe that volunteering is not a selfless act because you get much more out of it than you give.

I'M GREEN

I’m green PE is a plastic produced from sugarcane, a renewable raw material, while traditional PE uses fossil fuel sourced raw materials. For this reason, I’m green PE captures CO2 from the atmosphere during its production, helping to reduce greenhouse gases emissions. Additionally, suppliers must follow principles of sustainable development present in the “Responsible Ethanol Sourcing” developed and implemented by Braskem, which covers aspects such as respect for biodiversity and good environmental practices. I’m green PE retains the same properties, performance and application versatility of traditional PE and can be recycled within traditional PE recycling streams.

Source: Braskem USA
EPA GREEN POWER PARTNERSHIP
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Green Power Partnership (GPP) in 2001 to protect human health and the environment by increasing organizations’ voluntary green power use to advance the American market for green power and the development of those renewable electricity sources. The Green Power Partnership helps to achieve Clean Air Act requirements by reducing the pollution and the corresponding negative health and environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The program provides a framework that includes credible usage benchmarks, market information, technical assistance, and public recognition to companies and other organizations that use green power. Partners commit to use green power for all, or a portion, of their annual electricity consumption.

For more information, please visit https://www.epa.gov/greenpower

OPERATION CLEAN SWEEP

Zero Pellet, Flake, and Powder Loss is a priority for the plastics industry—and a critical issue for our environment. Spilled pellets, flakes, and powder can make their ways can make their way into local waterways and ultimately estuaries and the ocean. This isn’t just an eyesore and a litter issue; pellets, flakes, and powder, if accidentally mistaken for food by birds or marine animals, could harm them. That’s why the industry is behind Zero Pellet, Flake, and Powder Loss—and it can only be achieved with your help. The OCS Program was created to help you protect the environment and keep it clean.

The campaign’s goal is to help every plastic resin handling operation implement good housekeeping and pellet, flake, and powder containment practices to work towards achieving zero pellet, flake, and powder loss, protecting the environment and saving valuable resources.

For more information, please visit https://www.opcleansweep.org/
CERTIFIED BIO-BASED

The USDA Certified Biobased Packaging label on a product certifies that the packaging contains third-party tested and verified biobased content. The purpose of this label is to make it easy for consumers to locate and compare biobased products for purchase.

The USDA has established minimum biobased content standards for many product categories. A product must meet or exceed the minimum biobased content percentage in its given category in order to qualify for certification. Products belonging in categories for which minimum biobased content requirements have not yet been established must contain at least 25% biobased content.

Biobased products are derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials. These products provide an alternative to conventional petroleum derived products and include a diverse range of offerings such as lubricants, detergents, inks, fertilizers, and bioplastics. For the purposes of the BioPreferred program, biobased products do not include food, animal feed or biofuels.

For more information, please visit https://www.biopreferred.gov

HOW2RECYCLE
How2Recycle is a standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public. It involves a coalition of forward thinking brands who want their packaging to be recycled and are empowering consumers through smart packaging labels. The label communicates the following details:
  • How to prep the material for recycling
  • For more information
  • How to recycle
  • Type of material
  • Packaging format
Source: https://how2recycle.info/
OCEANBOUND PLASTIC

Cleaner oceans start by preventing plastics from entering them in the first place. Being able to recycle that plastic is even better. That’s the concept driving OceanBound Plastics. 

We take material at-risk of becoming ocean pollution and turn it into a reliable plastic resin. Combining supply chain experience with technical expertise, we create a versatile product that can be used in virtually any application where HDPE is preferred. Every pound of OceanBound Plastic is potential pollution transformed into a recyclable resource.
Source: Envision Plastics

MINORITY OWNED

The National Minority Supplier Development Council advances business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises and connects them to corporate members. They work through the NMSDC Network to support and facilitate MBE integration into corporate and public-sector supply chains; build MBE capacity and capabilities through our programs and other education offerings; and facilitate MBE-to-MBE partnerships to meet the needs of their corporate members. They do this by matching our more than 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses to their vast network of corporate members who wish to purchase their products, services and solutions. Their corporate membership includes many of the largest public and privately-owned companies, as well healthcare companies, colleges and universities.

Source: https://nmsdc.org/about-nmsdc
WASTE REDUCTION

Our expanded gamut printing process eliminates all ink changes which results in up to 95% ink waste reduction, and up to 35% less ink and solvent usage.

Our state of the art extruders are capable of producing the thinnest, high-performance films and barriers that can also incorporate eco-resins such as renewable content or post-consumer recycled content.

We also have a closed loop recycling system in our US facility to recycle and reincorporate our waste into new packages.

All of these work to reduce our waste to landfill relative to conventional printing and extrusion processes.

WIND ENERGY

Accredo Packaging uses 100% wind electricity to power its Sugar Land, Texas Global headquarters and manufacturing facility. In 2013, we were recognized by the EPA for our leadership in green power with the Green Power Leadership Award.

Our sustainability goals include continued dedication to 100% Texas wind energy in our Texas operations through 2025.

LEED® CERTIFICATION
LEED projects earn points across nine basic areas that address key aspects of green buildings.
  1. Integrative process
  2. Location and transportation
  3. Sustainable sites
  4. Water efficiency
  5. Energy and atmosphere
  6. Materials and resources
  7. Indoor environmental quality
  8. Innovation
  9. Regional priority
Based on the number of points achieved, a project earns one of four LEED rating levels: LEED Certification Legend: 4 Levels
Source: http://leed.usgbc.org/leed.html

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