Oerlemans Packaging Group makes impact} under new name OPACKGROUP

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VEGHEL – Under a new name, the Oerlemans Packaging Group is taking a leading role in making the packaging economy more sustainable. During the congress ‘Verduurzamen doen we Samen’, the group of seven packaging producers launched the new name OPACKGROUP. With the presentation of the IMPACT vision, a concrete plan was presented to the more than 500-strong audience in Theater aan de Noordkade. CEO Joan Hanegraaf took his leave after 20 years of managerial responsibility in various industry organizations, giving him more space to give the rapidly growing company direction in the transition to a circularly operating packaging producer.


The conference is the apotheosis of two decades of industry work by Hanegraaf, mainly in the packaging field. Above all, the Dutchman wants to leave a constructive message for the industry: “we at OPACKGROUP write SUSTAINABILITY with capital letters.”

Director of sustainability Rob Verhagen is taking Hanegraaf’s vision on board by succeeding him in the board position of chairman at NRK Packaging and StiMO. “When we talk about sustainability – we mean IMPACT: with focus on: Innovation, Employees, Partners, Ambassadorship, Climate impact and Transparency.” Meteorologist Helga van Leur likes a pragmatic approach: “Entrepreneurship is figuring out with ups and downs how you can contribute to a better world.” Director of CSR Netherlands Maria van der Heijden follows the development at the packaging producer with interest. “Making sustainability is difficult for many companies: be courageous in your discomfort and use your influence as a leader.”

Good precursors

Sometimes the delusion of the day and the issues of the moment need to be transcended with a larger thought. Philosopher and former Thinker of the Fatherland Daan Rovers has an idiosyncratic take on sustainability: the question “How do I become a good ancestor” is central to her story – a creative angle, which provides food for thought. It is a contrast to OPACKGROUP partner and supplier DOW. Marco ten Bruggencate, also involved as president of trade association Plastics Europe, looks at sustainability more from the industry’s point of view in a world where the use of raw materials as well as decarbonization is essential. “The scale and complexity of the upcoming transition is huge, but: you can do more than you think.”

The theater also finds inspiration this afternoon in the approach of Hans Tanger, the managing director of the OPACKGROUP who has been responsible for process since his arrival in 2020. “We steer by IMPACT. We are taking responsibility for our industry and society as a whole, even if it takes more and more time and energy.” In short: a nice momentum in Veghel, where the whole chain has come together to make substantive strokes about the sustainability of packaging. Extra festive makes the golden edge of the fiftieth anniversary of subsidiary Oerlemans Plastics, where the story of growth and sustainable development began in 1972. At the end of the official program, Hanegraaf was promoted to Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau by Mayor Van Rooij of the Municipality of Meijerijstad for his (inter-) national industry work. The theater thus became the setting for gathering with parties from the entire chain; a physical example of sustainability together.

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