'A brilliant opportunity to change the planet'

How can the packaging industry – in the face of stiff competition from other sectors – attract the talents needed to deliver products for a low-carbon circular economy?

Laurence Mott points out that the packaging industry has not always been the most attractive destination in recent years for the most innovative minds. “But now there is a brilliant opportunity to change the planet, to make a big difference in terms of delivering sustainable products,” he says.

The skill sets required to drive innovation in the packaging industry may surprise the casual observer. “We need a huge range of engineering and science skills from mechanical engineers and automation engineers to microbiologists to regulatory specialists, and so on,” says Mott. “Finding these skills is a huge challenge today, it’s a very competitive marketplace.”

A competitive marketplace – but also one that is increasingly diverse. Mott points out that many key innovation roles within Tetra Pak and elsewhere in the industry are today filled by women. “Our head of automation and development is a woman, our head of programme management is a woman, the head of systems engineering for the company is a woman, our head of materials and package is a woman,” he says. “So bringing diversity – and this diversity in thinking – to the workplace is just as challenging as bringing the right skill sets. I think we're doing rather well at that at the moment.”

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