Afternoon Coffee: Fed expects COVID economic recovery to take year or so; J&J commits $800 million to sustainable packaging; Apple bets on 5G; SIG Summit news

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Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said the U.S. economy could recover from the coronavirus crisis in a year or so, CNBC reports about statements Wednesday at an annual event held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Clarida said policy moves by the Fed and Congress have helped stimulate activity that help with growth, like buying houses and cars and investing in software and equipment.

“That said, the Covid-19 recession threw the economy into a very deep hole, and it will take some time, perhaps another year, for the level of GDP to fully recover to its previous 2019 peak,” Clarida said. “It will likely take even longer than that for the unemployment rate to return to a level consistent with our maximum-employment mandate.”

Johnson & Johnson joins sustainability industry trend, commits to 100% recyclable packaging

Johnson & Johnson committed to use 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable plastic packing or certified/post-consumer recycled paper by 2025, according to Supply Chain Dive.

The decision is part of an $800 million effort to make packaging changes and some sourcing changes. It calls its sustainability efforts the “Healthy Lives Mission.” The project will include changes like creating home-compostable fibers in makeup wipes, buying oats or flavor oils from environmentally conscious farmers, and sourcing electricity from renewable sources, the article said.

J&J’s efforts come amid a wider industry trend of developing recyclable or compostable packaging. Many companies, big and small, are committing and adopting different sustainability models.

The article reported that one hiccup to implementation might be procurement departments who are only focused on cutting costs, but the industry is changing. Some things that can improve the process are designing sustainability for B2B, using clear plastics and making a circular supply chain.

“When you can find alignment between cost savings and sustainability, those programs work really well and happen much faster,” Wes Carter, president of Atlantic Packaging, told Supply Chain Dive.

Apple bets on 5G

Apple’s new iPhones debuted this week with a focus on 5G connectivity, and a Wall Street Journal article delves into Apple’s strategy and whether 5G is mature enough to sustain sales — or if Apple’s power in the market will encourage a surge of consumers to join the 5G network.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, who participated in the Apple event, said 5G hasn’t been huge with customers but the new iPhones could change that.

“Until now, most people have taken a wait-and-see approach to 5G,” Vestberg said. “They’ve been waiting for 5G to get real.”

Global SIG Summit taking place this week

This week, the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) is holding its 2020 Global Executive Summit to immerse procurement professionals and executives in the industry trends, best practices, innovations and solutions taking place in today's environment. Here’s coverage of Tuesday’s opening session. Spend Matters will post more updates this week as the Summit continues today and Thursday. Register or check out the event here.

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