In his position as Vice President, Sustainability, Ron Cotterman is responsible for Sealed Air’s company-wide strategy in sustainable business practices. In this global role, Ron works to advance sustainability initiatives across all of Sealed Air’s business units. His primary focus is to align customer needs, manufacturing platforms, business plans and technologies to improve sustainability of products, processes and services.
Ron is an active member of several external organizations where he has led or participated in key sustainability initiatives, including Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Flexible Packaging Association, the Consumer Goods Forum, AMERIPEN, EUROPEN, and Walmart’s Packaging Sustainability Value Network.
Through his external collaborations, Ron is dedicated to promoting sustainability practices across the packaging industry and is a lecturer in Furman’s Post-Graduate Diploma program in corporate sustainability and a member of the advisory board of the Michigan State University School of Packaging.
Ron has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He has over 26 years of industrial experience in technology, business development and sustainability. Ron has 11 issued U.S. patents and 18 publications in refereed journals. He has been employed with Sealed Air for the last 15 years and currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina.
3 Questions to… Dr. Ronald Cotterman
1. Which aspect of the food loss and waste problem is the most relevant for you?
At Sealed Air, we recognize the growing need to address the most pressing issues facing our food supply, including food safety, waste and access. What we eat and how we eat have changed. Foods coming from one central location are widely distributed, meaning that sickness can spread quickly and there is greater chance for waste and spoilage from production to the consumer.
Nearly every step from food production to food consumption affords the opportunity for waste reduction. We are committed to addressing these needs by using technology to eliminate contamination and waste throughout the entire value chain, with a focus on perishable foods including meat & seafood, fruits & vegetables, dairy products and baked goods.
2. And what should be done to improve things in this field?
Sealed Air delivers innovative packaging and hygiene solutions that can prevent contamination, extend shelf life and deliver consumer convenience for fresh foods. For example packaging that provides a barrier to moisture or air, can be used to prolong freshness and reduce spoilage. In addition, portioned packages keep foods fresh, until needed, while making meal preparation and storage more convenient.
3. Which role does the Initiative SAVE FOOD play in fighting food losses and food waste in your opinion?
SAVE FOOD provides an outstanding forum for organizations, companies and governments to work together to address food waste challenges on a global scale by increasing awareness and sharing best practices. Sealed Air pledges our continued engagement and expertise to help our industry reduce food waste and enhance overall sustainability.