Portrait of partner O. Kleiner AG – responsibility for society and the environment

Nearly everyone has held a product of O. Kleiner AG in their hands at one time or another. The family-run company from Wohlen is one of Europe’s most important and innovative manufacturers of flexible packaging in the food and non-food sector. Martin Kleiner, Managing Director of O. Kleiner AG, presents his company and explain how the subject of sustainability is approached internally.

What is the probability of me finding packaging from your production line in my shopping trolley when I do my normal shop at one of Switzerland's large retailers?

The likelihood is very high and I would put it at approximately 15%. Many products are in packaging that we have produced. Incidentally, this is not restricted to Switzerland; our export ratio is over 50%. Therefore, the chances of you holding a little piece of Switzerland in your hands when you make a holiday purchase in France are not so small.

What makes O Kleiner unique in your industry?

We have a broad, innovative range of products. Our specialities such as <link www.okleiner.ch/en/canpeel.html - external-link "Opens external link in current window">CANPEEL®</link> or <link www.okleiner.ch/en/brainypack-en.html - external-link "Opens external link in current window">BRAINYPACK®</link> are registered trademarks. In addition, we offer all three standard printing methods - digital-, flexo- and intaglio – under one roof to the benefit of our clients. We are proud of our environmental programme, which we practise with conviction. Our climate-neutral production and climate-neutral packaging film are important elements.

Packaging is viewed critically from time to time. Where and why is it indispensable?

Packaging fulfils very different, but important functions. First and foremost it offers all sorts of protection for sensitive products. Not only at the point of sale, but also before, during transport and during storage. This automatically leads to an extended shelf life, especially for fresh products, which is reinforced by the respective packaging composition. Products remain fresh and presentable for longer and are therefore sold and consumed to a greater extent, which is largely a sustainable approach.

Naturally, packaging also provides information on the filling material itself (its composition, etc.). This ensures on the one hand that the statutory requirements are met and, on the other hand, it gives the client a high added value. Of course, packaging also mostly serves as a communication or promotional tool. This is perhaps not indispensable, but simply important in the retail trade.

How come your company has made sustainability one of its guiding principles?

I can answer that simply and concisely: sustainability is our personal conviction!

What are the cornerstones of your commitment to the environment and society?

We base our approach on the three traditional pillars of sustainability, namely social, ecological and economic sustainability should work in harmony.

Looking into the glass ball: What innovations are awaiting us as end consumers in the area of packaging in the next five years?

As in many areas, there is definitely still scope for reducing the weight of packaging without compromising on function. Colours will also play a stronger role.

Ultimately, the aim is to optimise or redevelop packaging in such a way that it fulfils its primary function of protecting products and extending shelf life even more effectively. There is still quite a lot of potential here.

At a climate-neutral. The unavoidable CO₂ emissions are completely offset in the project “Solar energy for education and jobs”, which was the winner of a Climate Secretariat of the United Nations award. 

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