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Welcome to Sustainable Packaging with Cory Connors. Today's guest is Diana Verde Nieto . She's an ecopreneur at Positive Luxury. Hi, Diana. How are you?Diana Verde Nieto:
I'm good, thank you. How are you? Thank you very much for havingCory Connors:
me. I'm doing great. I'm so excited , to meet you in Paris at Paris Packaging Week. But let's talk a little bit about your, your background first what got you into this world of package?Diana Verde Nieto:
Well actually my world is a little bit beyond packaging. It's actually about E s G and, and sustainability. Good. And I've started this journey about 25, 20 16. Yeah. 25 years ago. And I got into it basically because I wanted to be a human rights lawyer and I was not allowed to. Cuz I'm Argentinian and of course you can congratulate me for the World Cup if you want to. Yes. Congratulations.Cory Connors:
36 years. Yeah. . WellDiana Verde Nieto:
done. Thank you. . And I came to the UK and it's very, very different in terms of, you know, law and everything else. And I bump into environmental technology and I completely fell in love with w with the career , with the profession. And it's a fascinating area in which you can actually understand. You know, kind of climate on one side, and this is 25 years ago, we were talking about this energy management. And of course waste is one big part of it. and you know, water obviously as well. And if you fast forward to today, those same topics, the same kind of conversations prevail today with perhaps a very, very, very small progress than the ones that we had 25 years ago. And I think the big change that we have seen since I started my career. is back then we had to convince people why sustainable development, sustainability, E S G was important. And today I think that we have seen enough about the erratic climate. Mm-hmm. and the risk that this. If this presents to businesses and the awareness is exponentially bigger. And of course every country's a different journey for, from awareness, but I think that's the big change. And that's why, you know, I started 25 years ago and I never left. And I never will. . Cory Connors: Well, good for you. I appreciate what the work that you're doing in this world of sustainability, it's so important. Can you tell us about your company? A positive luxury . Diana Verde Nieto: Yes, of course. So Positive Luxury is an E s G platform and we help companies to adapt and transform to a new climate economy. And that is we help them to understand where they are in their sustainability journey or their E s G, understand what are the pathway or roadmap that they could take, what are the risks and dependencies? And then You know, kind of what are the best mechanisms for reporting and to stay away of the new kind of tsunami of legislation. Yeah. That is coming their way. So how they can stay forward how can they keep, you know, relevant and how they can make sure that they, they don't stay behind basically.Cory Connors:
Such a key point to this whole thing is keeping up with all the, the rules and the laws and the, the specifics, wherever you deliver your products. It's absolutely critical to the future of getting it in on the right side of this situation. I think a lot of people are on the, the wrong side trying to get over to the right side, and that's exciting to.Diana Verde Nieto:
Absolutely. And you asked me earlier on about packaging, and I think this is it's an area in which the mindset has changed. Yeah. Because, you know, packaging before was. You know, a symbol of status basically. Yes. And today is not even part of the waste supply chain is just actually, it's a bad reputation for the business. So it moved from actually being something that was incredibly appreciated to something that is perhaps not. And I think that clever packaging, intelligent packaging, this is an area in which. We have seen from where we sit working with luxury brands, a change of mindsets and therefore a change of pace for adapt, adaptation and transformation. So I'm super excited to be part of you know, par Paris Packaging Week because I think we have so much to give and I also, I'm looking forward to learn. So I'm really, really excited.Cory Connors:
Yes, I am too. We were talking about that a little bit before the show started about this will be my first trip to Paris, so I'm thrilled to, to go and Paris Packaging Week has so much to offer. I'm excited about it. You mentioned the connected butterfly mark. What does that mean and how does that relate to your.Diana Verde Nieto:
Yes, I mean, when we we have a, a methodology that has a four parts. So when companies, when we start working with businesses, the first thing we do is we understand what is the baseline. Then we help them to transition to 50% across. Each one of the areas of E S G, so it's not a blended score, is 50% on environment social governance and innovation. And then it's about future proving them and of course helping them to communicate this in a credible way, way to the different stakeholders. But not just about what are the goals and the strategies, but actually what are the actions that they're taking. Yeah. And this is. Connected Butterfly comes in. So at a click you'll see the QR code, you put your phone on it, and actually you can start understanding not just what the butterfly markets as a, as a certification, but actually what are the concrete steps that the company has take in terms of. From an environmental perspective, from a social perspective, from a governance per perspective or from an innovation perspective mm-hmm. , what are the concrete steps that they're taking in order to actually get to this 1.5 degree pathway? And it's incredibly rewarded because in the last year the number of. Clicks and downloads is kind of, you know is exponentially incremental. So we have seen a lot of momentum and a lot of interest from consumers to really discover what brands are doing, which is brilliant.Cory Connors:
That's exciting to hear and good news. I think people are interested consumers are making decisions based on sustainability, I think. And that's, that's great news for the movement of sustainable packaging. Let's, let's talk a little bit about Paris Packaging Week. What are you excited about to, what are you looking forward toDiana Verde Nieto:
seeing? I am excited about the innovation that normally you know, the week brings and presents. I'm excited to meeting leaders in the space and have meaningful conversations. And I'm also kind of, you know, it's so nice to be face-to-face after two years of lockdown, right? So I am really excited to reconnect with friends and colleagues that I haven't seen for a long time. So and I love Paris. Brilliant.Cory Connors:
as a, as a first timer in Paris. Can you gimme one tip? Something I have to see.Diana Verde Nieto:
Oh my God, it's so hard to pick, but obviously, I mean, Tara fell is absolutely beautiful. The sand a cruise on the sand in the evenings is unbelievably romantic. Mm-hmm. and the food just basically anywhere . So it's, it's great. I, I just love.Cory Connors:
That sounds great. I've heard that food takes time and not to be in a hurry when you're eating. Is that, is that good, goodDiana Verde Nieto:
advice? Yes. But actually is, that's what is beautiful about it. Yeah. Is the fact that the pace of Paris is the pace of life and it's the way that we should perhaps live, like, you know, take an hour's lunch and actually sit down with a friend, with a colleague, with a newspaper and actually eat lunch instead of our desks. So It's really not. I, I, I, this is why I love it, because the li the, the quality of life is, is perhaps a little bit better. Yeah.Cory Connors:
I'm hearing so many positive things about it. , I really can't wait. Why? Why is Paris Packaging Week so important for your brand?Diana Verde Nieto:
We work with so many luxury brands and also suppliers that you know, kind of showcase what we do and enable others to really buy into the fact that they can have intelligent packaging and that packaging should not be part of the waste stream, but actually part of the brand. Yeah. In a way that is actually adds value instead of being wasteful. Is incredibly important. So for us, it is a fantastic opportunity to hopefully get more people on board and, and really help them to see the opportunity that packaging brings from a slightly different point of view.Cory Connors:
Well said. I love that mentality and it's so accurate. We need to look at packaging as, as part of the solution. And you know, what if it could be reusable? What if it could be easily recycled? All all of these things are very, very possible. I want to talk about e s G plus assessment as something I saw on your website. Can you, can you speak to that a little?Diana Verde Nieto:
Yes, of course. I mean, that's the methodology I was I was mentioning before. So it's the environmental social governance, that innovation framework. Yeah. It's is a methodology basically. Okay. So it is this four part methodology I mentioned before. So assess future proof build trust, and then communi.Cory Connors:
And I like that you were talking about authenticity and being accurate and, and providing real information that's so critical. So oftentimes we're seeing things that look kind of vague or kind of less than authentic, and so I'm excited to see that your urging brands to be more real and authentic.Diana Verde Nieto:
Yeah, I mean, there is a new tranquil green hashing. Basically brands are starting to become a bit quieter in terms of the claims because now you can't really say whatever you want. You know, you have to back it with facts. And backing it with facts is not the ambition of getting into something, but it's the ambition to get into something and how are you gonna get there? And I think that's when it started to become a little bit trickier now than it was before. Regulation is kicking in. Reporting mechanisms are getting kicking in. You know, double materiality is becoming important. , climate disclosure and financial disclosure are unison, are becoming mandatory. So when before was voluntary and anybody could say whatever they wanted to say. Going forward, companies will have to have a comparable set of data and actions in order to actually represent value. And for the first time in history last year you know, COP 26, the last cop was the first time that the Investment Con community really. Kind of got behind E S G in a, in at unison, and actually, you know, companies are starting being evaluated through this frame. So it is like, are you truly sustainable or are we investing a stranded asset? And. You know, as climate is becoming a risk, a real actual risk for businesses, risk in volatility, on supply chains, risk in volatility, on energy prices, volatility overall, really, yes. And scarcity of natural resources, water, et cetera, et cetera. I think this area of really understanding what is the r and d processes or the innovation that is gonna come into play in order to keep the brand relevant and also understanding what are the impact and dependencies all the BR from, from brands, including, you know, the impact and depend dependency of the NAT within the natural world is becoming now the new, the new way that brands will need to think. It's all changed really. And I'm super excited because I think if we actually managed to get brands aligned on impact and actions, yeah. We can actually solve this problem. Yes. And we can actually give future generations what we enjoy when we were children.Cory Connors:
Yes. I love it. We're, I am, I'm like you, very optimistic and think that we can do this. We can accomplish this as a, as a world, as a community, as as a people. So I, I'm on board with your, with your mission. Thank you. I wanna talk about Paris Packaging Premier, premiere ppp, W's new event. You're gonna take part in the packaging premiere talks and you're on the packaging premiere advisory. Is that right? Yes. Can you tell us, tell us about all of the, this is big. This is a new thing.Diana Verde Nieto:
It's incredibly exciting to be asked to do this because packaging, as I said, , the mindset of packaging was about. Something big and wasteful, and I think this is changing and actually it's part of brand and one of the examples I always comes to mind is I w C watches, when we started working with them back in 2014, the packaging was. Huge five times the size of the watch . If you fast forward today, the innovation of the brand and the incredible amount of work that they have done and their suppliers, they have come up from just packaging to packaging system. And this is kind of the, this evolution enables the watch case to travel, to put other jury to be just done a box that you have your watch and you take it home and you either throw it away or you know, put under your bed. Right? So I think this is kind of the progression I like to see, and this is why I am so excited to be part of this, because I really believe that this industry needs to move. having a negative impact to having a positive impact. And that is less is definitely more, and this is all the cliches, but it's true. less is more, and efficiencies within that is absolutely fantastic. And then the other point is how do you make packaging so beautiful and attractive that doesn't need to be thrown away, that is part of the brand. You know? So, and I, I think this is what the area that I'm the most excitedCory Connors:
about. I a hundred percent agree with what you're saying. Packaging can be useful in the future, and it can be keepsake, it can be artwork, it can be all of these things that consumers want to keep or they wanna reuse over and over again. It could be turned into a travel case or I yeah, love that concept really, really well.Diana Verde Nieto:
Well, is there I WC team? Very, very, very well doneCory Connors:
I'd love to see some of those watches when I'm over there in, in Paris. You think they'll be, will they be there at the event?Diana Verde Nieto:
I don't knowCory Connors:
actually. I'll have to look for them in stores while I'm there. , possibly. Anything else that I didn't ask you that you wanted to talk about or, orDiana Verde Nieto:
No, I think, I think we have talked. A lot, I think. Good. Yeah. Good. I mean, I am really, really looking forward to the event, and as I said, I'm excited to reconnect with all colleagues and old friends and actually talk face to face and brainstorm in terms of the evolution and why not leapfrogging of the packaging industry to what is, you know, what it needs to be, perhaps a little bit faster.Cory Connors:
Well said, we need to move fast. And I think that's, it's happening. We're seeing it. How do people get in touch with you, Diana?Diana Verde Nieto:
Diana positive luxury.com is my email address, so email me anytime. And our website is www positive luxury.com. And also you can follow us on Instagram, on LinkedIn.Cory Connors:
Excellent. Well, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for your wisdom and it's my honor to get to interview you. Thank you Landsberg Orora for sponsoring this podcast. Thank you EZ Fares for setting it up. We appreciate you and thank you, Diana. This has been great.Diana Verde Nieto:
Thank you very much for having me. Looking forward to seeing you in Paris. Me too.Cory Connors: