Technology to support the circular economy for packaging

Technology to support the circular economy for packaging

Now more than ever, digital agility is important for companies that wish to remain future-proof. Particularly in the current uncertain times. For Fost Plus, 2020 was synonymous with new, robust and efficient systems that smooth the path for a circular economy for packaging. We are focusing on three important digital innovations.

The digital transformation is no longer a buzzword. Now more than ever, digital agility is important for companies that wish to remain future-proof. Particularly in the current uncertain times. For Fost Plus, 2020 was synonymous with new, robust and efficient systems that smooth the path for a circular economy for packaging. These digital systems promote exchange and cooperation within our ecosystem and make it possible to act in real time. Agility is not an empty term for Fost Plus. We are focusing on three important digital innovations that support our ambitious plans.

Services tailored to the customer

Customer Relationship Management involves remaining relevant and gaining a head start as a company in the long term”, says Laurence Havrenne, Chief Financial Officer at Fost Plus. “A high-performance CRM system ensures good cooperation within our ecosystem: among our members and with our partners in collection, sorting and recycling. It is a perfect example of an efficient base system that supports our operations.

Companies that bring packaged products onto the Belgian market are obliged to ensure the related selective collection, sorting and recycling. They can fulfil their Extended Producer Responsibility (ERP) collectively via Fost Plus. Our network comprises over 4,700 widely differing companies: from large retail chains to international food producers to industrial cosmetics firms.

Our members include a very wide range of companies from very widely differing sectors. So their needs differ. For this reason, we have divided our members into segments with an appropriate service range. A new CRM system enables us to flexibly offer segment-specific services.

Reliable data at the entrance

A CRM system like this collects a lot of customer data. In addition, we also collect very detailed data about the packaging that is brought onto the market. To this end, companies make an annual declaration and we set this off against the collection and recycling figures. In this way, we calculate the recycling percentages in complete transparency. Thanks to the new MyFost declaration system, we can react even more promptly.

To measure is to know. Reliable data at the entrance means reliable data at the exit. Our new, user-friendly declaration system can guarantee this.”
MyFost is an interactive platform where companies can also manage contracts and invoices. Moreover, the new packaging types from the New Blue Bag have already been integrated into the updated declaration system. Selective collection gives materials a second life through recycling. In the declaration system, the material-specific costs linked to the collection, sorting and recycling are therefore quantified.

Multinational Unilever cooperated on the test phases. “MyFost is extremely user-friendly. If ERP systems from other countries also introduced this system, my life would become a lot easier”, says Marcjanna Wojcicka, Indirect Local Taxes Junior Manager.

“The big advantage is the various options in MyFost”, adds Margot Cornelis, FBNL OGI Master Data at Procter&Gamble. “So there are various ways of inputting the company-specific data, which means that we don’t have to adapt our own way of working to MyFost. MyFost adapts to us.

From data to information

The Belgian recycling percentages are among the highest in Europe. Our uniform systems lie behind this success. Uniform systems for collection but also for data management.

Business Intelligence enables us to take objective decisions based on facts. Reliable and insightful data mean that we can set priorities and stick to them. So we achieve results on time and within budget. Following the data in real time makes us more agile. This agility served us well in 2020.”

Using digital systems, we are taking major steps towards the circular packaging economy. By resolutely opting for the digital approach, we can bring our ecosystem together, deal with rapidly changing legislation and guarantee transparent recycling figures, which in turn means that members of the public remain confident in the system.