Good for business and for the planet.
In Gail Tavill’s line of work, the phrase “less is more” is a way of life. As vice president of sustainable development at ConAgra Foods, she’s tasked with ensuring the company does more for the planet by burdening it less.
At ConAgra, Tavill directs the integration of sustainable technologies to create environmentally friendly packaging and products—from using postconsumer materials in frozen food trays and manufacturing ketchup bottles that are easier to recycle to promoting the sustainable production of beef and fish.
“If we’re doing our job right as a manufacturing company, we’re designing things that don’t require you to throw something in a hole in the ground,” says Tavill, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1990 from MSU’s School of Packaging in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and has been a member of the school’s alumni board for 10 years.
“Success for me in my job is that I’m not doing this in five years because there’s no need for a VP of sustainable development,” says Tavill.