Sustainability is at the core of everything we do, but to break new ground in sustainability we cannot work alone. To develop innovative, cost effective solutions and bring them to market as fast as possible, we need to bring together a variety of perspectives and adopt 360-degree thinking, since game-changing ideas can come from anywhere.
We therefore join forces with customers, suppliers, and partners from across our ecosystem - and beyond - to develop and deliver solutions that contribute to a better future. One area we give particular focus is collaborating with startups, through pilot projects, investment, and more.
Partnering with startups through AD Stretch
To foster open innovation, our AD Stretch accelerator program was born in 2022. The program begins with a simple yet powerful premise: collaborate with startups with promising ideas, driven teams, and the potential to disrupt industries. Together we’re creating new sustainable solutions, new business opportunities, and shared growth.
Through the program, we invite startups to offer solutions to specific business challenges, such as enabling packaging reuse. From the submissions, we select a small number of startups with whom to develop and execute pilot projects, and ultimately bring new solutions to market.
In just 18 months, the AD Stretch accelerator program has grown from launch mode to a thriving program that has fielded over 500 applications from over 35 countries and created pilot programs for 14 startup businesses.
The program is not only an opportunity for startups to find real-world applications for their solutions, but also gain insights that will help them long term. "Being part of AD Stretch has opened doors to many markets much faster than we could have done ourselves,” says Chris Braine, CEO and co-founder of program participant Cellr. “The project's champions and mentors were instrumental in Cellr successfully running pilots across different segments. We learned what it takes to stand on a global stage with a purpose. Scaling up with a brand like Avery Dennison is a game changer, and we are very excited to see where this journey goes next."