IBA Member Spotlight – Melissa Niebes with Federal Package. Celebrating Earth Month.
Earth Month 2022 finds Melissa Niebes at the right place at the right time. “I love skin care and consumer products; I love this company and I love the opportunity to work on sustainability.”
As the Chief Commercial Officer at contract manufacturer Federal Package, Melissa’s combined responsibilities of product development, sales and marketing, public relations, and sustainability allow her to incorporate her previous experience at retailers (Dollar General, Target, and Best Buy) and consumer product giants (L’Oréal and Reckitt Benckiser) to help people and organizations find the right solutions to bring their products to market. Her training, work experience and internal drivers, integrated with leadership skills honed at the MBA program at University of Connecticut, enable her to envision a range of strategic commercialization approaches and to execute them at the granular level.
Melissa has seen that more and more brands are interested in–and committed to–a more sustainable approach to not just their product materials, but also to their packaging. Keenly aware of the need for the beauty and skin care industries to take a thoughtful approach to honoring the environment, Melissa heads up the Federal Package EcoSmart® program, designed to create earth-friendlier packaging that biodegrades at a faster rate than comparable traditional plastics. Their ongoing ASTM testing (American Society for Testing and Materials) continues to show measurable progress in biodegradability. When she and the sales team present contract manufacturing bids to potential clients, they always offer the Eco Smart® packaging as an option.
Also, with single stream recycling becoming more common at city and state levels, there is a need to address package recycling opportunities. She sites statistics that indicate Americans recycle less than 20% of all containers that could be recycled. Some containers can be more readily recycled than others, so Federal Package looks at the beginning of the product life cycle to determine how companies can incorporate more readily recyclable materials and reduce the use of virgin plastics in their packaging.
Melissa Niebes serves on the IBA Supply Chain and Sustainability Committee and is currently focused on its education subcommittee. Recently she spoke at a forum on “Reducing Packaging Footprint — Creating Sustainable Solutions” sponsored by the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce. She is also looking forward to listening to the on-demand recordings of IBA’s recent Technical and Regulatory Forum.
What words of advice does Melissa have for the newcomer to the beauty and skincare industry? “Ask questions, utilize membership in IBA to network and find experts so you can learn more. Be aware of the legal aspects of the industry, the FTC Green Guides, and changing legislation so you are better able to champion your brand.”