Sugar cane, seaweed, cow waste, bamboo: These are just some of the unlikely ingredients being used in packaging for today’s cosmetic and beauty products as younger consumers push for more sustainable packaging.

According to industry estimates, 120 billion units of packaging are produced globally by the cosmetics industry. In response, consumer pressure is fueling the trend away from single-use plastics and toward recyclable and refillable packaging. One packaging company successfully embracing the circular economy is Barcelona-based Quadpack.

“Having sustainable production is a key driver for our business,” Mónica Garza, head of Business Technology at Quadpack, explains. “We provide eco-friendly products and materials based on our ‘4-Rs’ strategy: re-use, reduce, recycle, replace.”

The approach is certainly working, and Quadpack is now one of Europe’s top packaging specialists, creating and manufacturing a range of innovative packaging solutions for the worldwide beauty industry. Established in 2003, it has grown rapidly into a global independent packaging group, servicing the leading prestige, masstige, and mass-market brands.

Technology has been at the heart of this global expansion.

“Organic and inorganic growth present different challenges for process, data and system standardization across the business,” Garza continues. “Flexibility and scalability are vital, which is why we chose SAP as our technology platform at the start of our journey. Our goal is to transform Quadpack’s current ecosystem into one global platform to support us as our business evolves.”

This consistent technology platform – comprising SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP C/4HANA, SAP Cloud Analytics and SAP Cloud Platform – connects the entire business by consolidating all data into a single database in real time.

“Having a cloud-based platform gives us the scalability we need and promotes continuous innovation,” Garza says. “SAP provides quarterly software updates, so we are always at the leading edge of developments in technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics.”

This agility is particularly important in a fast-moving industry where creativity and innovation are the key to keeping ahead of the competition.

Quadpack offices: Image provided by customer

“Our customers are increasingly demanding more customized and personalized products, and time to market is critical,” Garza says. “We are investing in Industry 4.0 to create automated and lean processes that enhance our manufacturing capabilities so we can adapt quickly to changing customer demand.”

Quadpack has been supported at every stage by award-winning SAP partner Seidor, which specializes in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

“Seidor understand our business and our current and future needs,” Garza says. “They also have a deep understanding of SAP products and how they can help us develop our business moving forward.”

Quadpack has ambitious plans for the future. As well as continued expansion of its sales and manufacturing operations into America and Asia pacific regions, it intends to maintain business growth through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as it follows the road to a potential IPO.

Garza anticipates that the company’s strong technology platform will continue to enable Quadpack to create new business models, improve customer satisfaction, collaborate more effectively, and enhance employee engagement — all while staying true to its founding principles.

“No matter where the future takes us, it’s important that we keep embracing our little big company values: respecting how we do business, looking after our people, and caring for the environment.”

Images via Quadpack.