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Katherine Fleet, Sustainability Manager at the RPC Group, has won the inaugural Rising Star Award at the Food Service Packaging Association (FPA) Awards 2017. The award, which recognises a star of the future within the packaging industry, was presented to Katherine by celebrity guest Jo Caulfield at a ceremony at The Grand Hotel in Brighton.

The judging panel – made up of four members of the FPA board and Phil Chadwick, Editor of Packaging News – selected Katherine from an extensive list of nominees that included professionals in the first five years of their career from every link in the foodservice packaging supply chain.

Katherine’s career at the RPC Group reflects the growing importance of sustainability issues throughout the plastics and packaging industries. She began her current role of Sustainability Manager in 2013, having been promoted from Sustainability Adviser – the job for which RPC recruited her upon her completion of an MSc in Environmental Science and Management at the University of York.

As Sustainability Manager at the RPC Group, her main responsibilities include providing both the company and its customers with support, training, and expertise on sustainability; overseeing all marketing and communications relating to sustainability issues; and fulfilling corporate sustainability reporting requirements. She also works closely with the major plastics and packaging trade associations, such as the BPF, INCPEN, and Recoup.

“It was quite a shock to win the FPA Rising Star Award, but at the same time I was delighted and honoured,” says Katherine. “I am extremely grateful for the support and opportunities I have received from RPC during my career so far, which have made all this possible.

“The environmental challenges we face mean there is never a quiet moment in my job, but I believe that the plastics industry has an increasingly positive story to tell. We are doing so much to contribute to a sustainable future for packaging, and there is so much we can still do. I hope to be part of that for many years to come!”, the company reported.