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Plastic Possibilities Podcast

Plastic Possibilities: Opportunities and Challenges as Seen from the C Suite

Image: Sergey Nivens/Adobe Stock businessman breaking through wall
CEO Tom Salmon explains how Berry Global keeps beating earnings expectations, even during a pandemic, and why the plastics industry has “limitless opportunities” in a net zero emissions environment.

During its Q2 earnings call earlier this month, Berry Global announced that its revenue grew by 13% year on year. It was the sixth consecutive quarter that Berry Global, one of the world’s largest plastic packaging companies, beat earnings expectations. Consequently, it upped the fiscal 2021 organic volume growth forecast from four to five percent. CEO Tom Salmon attributes the performance to partnering with customers on targeted growth investments and what he calls “local value delivery,” which has been especially valuable during the pandemic.

Berry GlobalTom Salmon, CEO

Tom Salmon, Berry Global CEO

In this podcast, Salmon explains how a focus on serving customers locally with dedicated supply chains has paid dividends while COVID-19 wreaked global havoc and how forward-thinking investment — some $600 million plus since 2017 — has put the company on a trajectory of success.

Describing himself as an “old soul in the plastics industry” with 35 years under his belt, Salmon argues that sustainability and plastics have a complementary role to play. When you consider the amount of innovation that has taken place in the plastics industry over the last 70 years, says Salmon, “the opportunities are limitless based on the design functionality and flexibility . . . of polymer science. Our customers have growth objectives and sustainability objectives,” adds Salmon, and given plastics’ carbon footprint and use of fewer resources — energy and water — than alternative materials, plastics “become an indispensable part of meeting net zero emissions goals.”

Got 20 minutes? Then you should listen to my wide-ranging conversation with Tom Salmon, the latest installment in the Plastic Possibilities podcast series.

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