Women in the Packaging industry - better living through Innovation and Sustainability

12 Dec 2018

Supported by The Packaging Society and the IOM3 Women in Materials Group

Female experts from a variety of industries will take the audience through innovations and the sustainability of packaging and discuss their contribution to better living. The audience will be provided with a unique opportunity to network and learn about current innovative packaging concepts such as 3D printing, personalisation, digital, smart packaging and sustainable concepts and materials.

This event being hosted by the London College of Fashion, in the vicinity of Holborn underground station, will draw together key themes facing women and people working in the Packaging community, namely recycling, innovative design, sustainability and how these all need to be pulled together.

The progamme and speaker details are:

11:00 – 11:30: Keynote lecture

Speaker: Anne Emblem


Anne has both deep and wide-ranging knowledge of packaging technology, gained through experience in packaging material manufacture and in the specification, selection and testing of packaging in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries. Underpinning this is a background in Chemistry and a Diploma in Packaging Technology. Throughout her career she has continued her professional development via attendance and presentation at courses and conferences, and has authored and edited several textbooks and other publications. In the latter part of her career she moved into academia as lecturer and Course Leader on the BSc (Hons) Cosmetic Science course at London College of Fashion. Here she was able to apply her first-hand experience to the curriculum, enhancing teaching and learning so that graduates enter industry with a thorough understanding of the role of packaging in the product’s performance. In 2017 she was delighted to be named by the World Packaging Organisation as the first woman in its 49-year history to win the Lifetime Achievement Award, which honours individuals who have made a significant and recognisable contribution to the packaging industry over a prolonged period of time.

Anne Emblem‘s lecture synopsis

The presentation will attempt to address the following questions:

What has packaging done for women? Has it contributed to ‘better living’? If so, how?

What impact have women had on the packaging industry? What next?

The packaging developments with the most significant impact on women’s lives are undoubtedly in the arena of food and drink, especially those packs which provide CONVENIENCE. We have come a long way since the first ready meals and ‘TV dinners’ of 1950s America but the principles remain the same. Today’s availability of a wide range of foods in handy-sized packs, easy to store in the fridge, freezer or store cupboard, cuts down meal preparation time, yet still allows creativity and the individual touch – if we want it. Developments in packaging materials ensure that product quality is not compromised, as the properties of the pack are tailored to meet the preservation and protection needs of the product, as well as the demands of domestic appliances such as the microwave oven.

We will explore the major influences on packaging and then move on to consider what the next phase of women’s influence might be.

11:30 – 12:00 Lecture: Careers in the Packaging industry

Speaker: Joanna Stephenson


Joanna Stephenson, a graduate of UMIST, worked at Dow Chemical for 14 years, Sun Chemical for 5 years and LINPAC Group for 4 years. She has extensive experience across print, packaging and plastics and in 2014 established PHD Marketing & Strategy, a successful B2B marketing agency supporting a range of print and packaging organisations in the UK and Europe with business and content marketing services. She is a co-founder of "Women In Packaging"; an initiative created to connect, recognise and support females in the packaging sector. She is also a Board Director of the European Flexographic Industry Association (EFIA) and non-executive director of Cornelius Group Plc.

Joanna Stephenson‘s lecture synopsis

Delving into an overview of the packaging industry today and the importance of training for careers in packaging, industry expert Joanna Stephenson will be sharing her know-how on the packaging industry from experience gained in roles as co-founder of Women in Packaging and managing director of PHD Marketing & Strategy. Joanna will deliver an outline of the industry; what a career in packaging looks like and how important it is for the print and packaging sector to be recognised as a definitive industry. Her talk will push the breadth of invaluable opportunities open to men and women who are considering a career in the 4th largest industry in the UK.

12:00 – 12:30 Lecture: The concept of innovation and sustainability

Speaker: Sarah Greenwood


With degrees in Physics and Polymer Science from the University of Sheffield, Sarah has over 20 years’ experience in the plastics and packaging industries.  She has held technical positions at BP Performance Films, Asda, Fox’s Biscuits, Mars and SunBranding Solutions.

She now works as a freelance sustainable packaging and plastics specialist working with companies from start-ups to blue chips on all aspects of innovation, specification and problem solving. 

Sarah is delighted to be an advisor to Garcon Wines whose flat wine bottle has won multiple awards including the UK Packaging Awards Innovation of the Year 2018.

She chairs The North of England Packaging Society and enjoys being part of the grass roots music scene in Yorkshire.

13:30 – 14:00 Lecture: The Recycling Industry

Speaker: Emma Wise


Emma is a fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, a board member of the UK Packaging Society and self-confessed packaging nerd. Emma’s career in packaging spans nearly 25 years, from rigid boxes, luxury cartons, injection-moulding, blow-moulding, tool-making and more latterly vacuum forming.

She has worked for the crème da crème of market leaders and will be best placed to talk us through what steps the plastic industry are taking in relation to cosmetic packaging to tackle recycling issues, from the initial design concept through to manufacturing.

Lecture synopsis

Using case studies we will explore what steps industry are taking themselves and with their clients to ensure that all cosmetic packaging is designed to be sustainable and recyclable. We will also learn about a grading system that is helping to educate everyone in a simple and effect way! 

14:00 –14:30 Lecture: Cosmetics and Personal Care

Speaker: Lisa Meade


Lisa is a Packaging Consultant with 27 years experience across Food, Drink and Beauty Based FMCG.

With a strong bias towards integrating technical knowledge with consumer Insights, manufacturing constraints and customer requirements, Lisa has developed numerous global solutions. During her tenure with P&G, Lisa worked across multiple beauty platforms including Personal Cleansing and Cosmetics. She was the regional R&D Package Development leader for Skin Care, the Global packaging strategy owner for the Olay Total Effects brand and, the high viscosity dispensing lead, driving strategy, use and collaboration. In 2014, Lisa was instrumental in expanding some of P&G’s Prestige brands into Skincare, driving delight with the luxury consumer. On a personal level, Lisa’s involved in many local community projects, she is an avid football fan.

14:30 – 15:00 Lecture: The Food industry

Speaker: Nicola Smith


Nicola Smith is Packaging Commercialisation Manager at HAVI whose role involves developing new innovative concepts, products and accompanying packaging in combination with managing the delivery of results for a variety of technical programs predominantly within the food service sector. Her industry leading developments as part of the Innovations team have led to the filing of numerous patents for novel packaging technologies and a UK Packaging Award. Prior to working at HAVI, she worked as a Senior Packaging Engineer executing complex work programs for global FMCG, Agro-Chemical and Pharmaceutical businesses and also specialised in packaging testing and qualification for Smithers Pira.

Lecture Synopsis

In her presentation Nicola discusses some key historic drivers of innovation in food packaging that have brought us to the present-day situation. We will explore the current consumer appetite for sustainable & 'plastic free' packaging by addressing key questions such as: "What is the problem with plastic?" & "What does it mean to be 'plastic free'?".
We will conclude with an overview of how the food packaging industry is reacting to consumer demand through the development of new innovative packaging solutions and share what's next on the horizon to meet the current expectation of reducing the impact of packaging on the global waste crisis.

The full programme can be downloaded as per the attached document below.

For further information please contact Dr Milica Stevic.

Registration is essential for this event - see link below

Downloadable documents: 

Venue and booking

Event Location: 
London College of Fashion
272 High Holborn
United Kingdom
Contact details: 

Dr Milica Stevic, London College of Fashion m.stevic@fashion.arts.ac.uk

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