Packaging in the Sustainability Agenda: A Guide for Corporate Decision Makers

08 July 2009

A non-technical guidance document for corporate decision makers aiming to achieve a common understanding of sustainability principles among packaging supply chain stakeholders covering the entire life cycle.

A guide intended as a reference for corporate decision makers, this publication is not a packaging design guide, nor a technical document.

Since the impact of packaging on sustainability involves an assessment of the life cycle of the package and of the product it contains, this guide illustrates how designers, manufacturers, and users of packaging should collaborate to optimise the performance of packaging while minimising the risks of supply chain inefficiences.

Each section or chapter has been structured such that if required it can be read as a unit by readers with a specific interest:

Preface: addresses the rationale behind the production of this guide.

Executive Summary: presents the central arguments of the guide, key conclusions and recommendations for action.

Chapter 1: provides readers with an understanding of the multiple functions and roles of packaging in society.

Chapter 2: contains key definitions related to sustainability.  It offers summaries of the tools that can be used to assess the environmental profile of packaging, and reviews the legislation related to its environmental impacts.

Chapter 3: explores how sometimes conflicting needs and obligations interact with packaging, and outlines how to reach sound packaging decisions.

Chapter 4: offers practical advice about developing packaging plans that support a company's overall sustainability goals; choosing the right metric(s); and ensuring decisions interact positively with others along the supply chain.

Appendices: include notes on further reading references and a glossary of terms.

  • Packaging in the Sustainability Agenda: A Guide for Corporate Decision Makers

  • 08 July 2009
  • 28 pages(44 pages including appendices and bibliography), July 2009, free of charge