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Kickstart: LG making $8.7B investment in sustainability

LG making $8.7B investment in sustainability

South Korea’s LG Chem is planning some major investments globally to “switch [its] business portfolio for sustainable growth.”

LG will spend $8.7 billion through 2025 to accelerate sustainable growth, with more than $5 billion going to lithium-ion batteries and the rest on “eco-friendly” materials.

For its batteries, LG Chem is reviewing potential M&As and joint ventures to support separator films made with materials such as polyethylene and polypropylene to “build a global production base as soon as possible,” the company said in a July 14 announcement.

“The standard for measuring competitiveness in the business world should be based on sustainability for revenue and operating profits, and this should be reflected in all business processes, strategy and investment,” CEO Hak Cheol Shin said in a news conference.

The company also will focus on developing “bio-balanced” materials in PE, PP, polycarbonate and other plastics, using plant-based biorenewable materials such as waste cooking oil.


Rising costs, shrinking packages

Inflation is continuing to raise eyebrows as prices for consumer products in stores are reflecting higher costs in the supply chain that started earlier this year.

Conagra — the food giant that makes Birds Eye, Reddi Whip, Slim Jim, Duncan Hines and a range of other brands — said in its quarterly call July 13 that it expects to raise more prices to reflect what CEO Sean Connolly terms an “atypical level of inflation.”

He pinned much of the reason for the increase on higher prices for protein sources but also included packaging in its list of rising costs.

“At the time of our third-quarter call in April of 2021, we expected fiscal ’22 inflation to come in at … around 6 percent,” Connolly said in the call with investors.

“And as all of you know, inflation has continued to rise sharply since April. We now currently expect fiscal ’22 inflation to come in around 9 percent,” he said. “The difference between the 6 percent we expected a few months ago and the 9 percent we expect today equates to approximately $255 million in additional costs during fiscal ’22.”

There’s also been buzz about “shrinkflation,” with brand owners charging the same price for their products, but reducing the amount in each package. I don’t know if shrinkflation has led to any changes for packaging makers’ production, but feel free to drop me a note at (We can keep it anonymous. I’m genuinely curious if it has popped up beyond speculation by market watchers.)


Removing rubber from the name

Defense industry supplier Avon has dropped the rubber from its name.

The company officially became Avon Protection plc on July 12, reflecting its focus on helmets, gas masks and other products as well as its use of more materials beyond rubber. Avon Rubber opened in 1890.

Earlier this year, Avon added to its plastics processing capabilities with the acquisition of United Kingdom-based Edgewood Plastics.

The U.K.-based Avon first signaled its pending name change in May.


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