Moving to Sustainable Food Packaging: The actions of the food industry

Sanne Bor (Corresponding author), Gregory O'Shea , Henna Sundqvist, Maria Åkerman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


Although there is the starting of a recognition of the potential importance of multi-system interaction for sustainability transitions, there is not yet much clarity of how this takes place. In this paper we look at multi-system interactions in an ongoing transition which is following a de-alignment realignment, path after sudden heavy pressure from regulators delegitimizing the use of plastics in food packaging. Drawing on an analysis of data within this transition towards more sustainable food packaging, involving 20 interviews and hundred documents, we specifically look at how incumbents of a focal system may create demand or pressure to innovate in other systems. We show how the food system actors take actions to stimulate innovations in materials and packaging solutions by the material system actors and the packaging system actors. We recognize five different types of actions: (1) signaling, (2) supply-demand, (3) providing innovation receptivity, (4) driving co-innovation, and (5) system integration. We discuss how these actions by the focal system creates new dynamics and supports niche innovation in the upstream systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the British Academy of Management
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9956413-4-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event35th BAM 2021 Conference in the Cloud: Recovering from Covid: Responsible Management and Reshaping the Economy - Virtual
Duration: 31 Aug 20213 Sept 2021


Conference35th BAM 2021 Conference in the Cloud


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