Colbert Packaging Expands Capabilities
Colbert Packaging continues to expand its capabilities in folding carton printing and converting to be a full-service supplier for its customers.September 2013 By Sue Busch
If there's one word at work on multiple levels at folding carton, rigid box, and paperboard specialty product converter Colbert Packaging, it's sustainability. The term's environmental angle is just the start for this Lake Forest, Ill.-based converter, which recycles 6,700 tons of scrap annually, and has held Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) and Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) chain of custody certifications since 2010, which assure responsible paperboard sources. Moreover, Colbert was honored in 2007 with the Illinois Sustainable Technology Award for its BlisterGuard® and EnviroGuard™ packages, designed as paperboard-oriented alternatives to plastic clamshell packages.
And then there's the overarching matter of being sustainable in the marketplace. "We're a survivor in the folding carton business," says Jim Hamilton, president of Colbert Packaging. "We've grown past what family-owned businesses typically do in net sales." He chalks up this achievement to the converter's narrower, sales-oriented market focus. While, according to Hamilton, "folding cartons are the heart of our business," the company (which has remained family-owned since its founding in 1959) maintains a strategic pursuit of marketplace niches that may not be open to every competitor. "We have not tried to be something for everybody," he explains. "We've focused on pharmaceuticals and healthcare, where the barrier to entry can be significant."
Colbert has found sustainable business in the pharmaceutical arena through a strong track record of earning certified supplier status with multiple Fortune 500 companies. This achievement has opened doors for the converter to work with similar customers that perform rigorous compliance checks on service providers, adds Jennifer Gross, manager, marketing and sales support. Packaging configurations typically produced for pharma and medical customers can range from a standard reverse-tuck folding carton to combination packaging that includes a folding carton and a package insert, while typical folding carton applications for healthcare and nutraceutical packaging customers include reverse tuck and auto-bottom styles.
Survival through progress
Still, for Colbert, sustainability is not meant to imply stagnancy. "This doesn't mean being a one-trick pony," says Brad Davis, vice president and general manager of Colbert Flexographic Packaging. Davis explains that instead of finding one thing to do well and sticking with it, "Colbert has, and continues to strive to provide all the components to be a full-service supplier to our customers."