35 Sustainable Packaging Resources
Sustainability is always developing, and keeping up with the latest trends is important for your business.
Checking in with sustainability news, joining sustainable packaging associations and attending events on sustainable packaging are ways you can strengthen sustainability compliance at your organisation.
We know there's a lot to keep up with. That's why we've compiled this list of sustainable packaging resources so you can continue to cultivate your expertise. Check out these associations, events, publications, newsletters, tools and case studies that can spark new ideas and help you optimise your organisation and its sustainable packaging efforts.
You'll learn about conferences to put on your calendar, newsletters to subscribe to so you always know the latest, and case studies to check out and apply to your business. Some associations require memberships, and other resources are completely free and accessible at any time. See dozens of sustainable packaging resources below. Did we miss any? Let us know if there are any other resources you use to learn about, design, implement or oversee sustainable packaging in your organization.
Sustainable Packaging Associations
The Consumer Goods Forum
The Consumer Goods Forum is a CEO-led, membership-based organization that focuses on retailer-manufacturer collaboration to promote best practice sharing across the consumer goods industry. The forum has initiatives in areas including environmental sustainability, social sustainability and sustainable supply chains, with more than 40 global projects and working groups.
Institute of Packaging Professionals
The Institute of Packaging Professionals is a membership-based association that provides networking and educational opportunities to members. Its core values include dedication to environmentally responsible packaging that benefits the well-being of society.
The Packaging Society
The Packaging Society is a division of the United Kingdom-based Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. It has several membership tiers and provides resources to packaging professionals regarding technologies and engineering developments focused on sustainability in packaging.
Sustainable Packaging Coalition
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) is a membership-based organization focused on making packaging more sustainable. The SPC promotes projects based on innovative ideas submitted through the organisation, creates sustainable packaging tools for businesses to use and makes sustainable packaging educational courses available. One such project, Applying Systems Thinking to Recycling, works on mapping barriers and opportunities in recycling across the United States.
Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment
The Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN) is a United Kingdom-based research organization focused on delivering the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. INCPEN collaborates with businesses, government, sustainability initiatives and waste management to conduct research on the relationship between the environment and product packaging.
Want more? Check out our list of 45+ professional packaging organizations and associations.
Sustainable Packaging Events
LuxePack is a series of global events held every year focusing on cutting-edge packaging products and solutions and trends in sustainable packaging. The conference reflects consumers tastes in packaging, including eco-friendly innovation in packaging design.
The Packaging Conference
The Packaging Conference is an annual event that connects packaging industry professionals. Attendees include retailers, technology providers, equipment manufacturers and brand owners. The conference features presentations on packaging innovations including sustainable efforts.
Sustainable Packaging Coalition Events
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition puts on events throughout the world every year covering topics like challenges in sustainability, assessing materials use and creating systemic change. The events include speaker sessions and participatory masterclasses in subjects like compostable packaging and microplastics and microfibers in oceans.
Sustainability in Packaging
There are Sustainability in Packaging events in the United States and Europe every year, focusing on themes like designing packaging for end of life with sustainability in mind. The conferences include workshops, guest speakers and networking opportunities.
West Pack brings more than 19,000 industry professionals and more than 1,900 packaging suppliers together at one expo and conference, which features sustainable technologies in packaging. The West Pack event includes lunch and learn sessions, classroom speakers and a paid conference track with topics covering innovation and technical solutions.
See a more comprehensive list of packaging trade shows, conferences, meetings and expos.
Sustainable Packaging Publications
Brand Packaging magazine covers news, trends and branding leaders related to packaging solutions. It provides news about brands using sustainable packaging and sustainable packaging innovations, like managing packaging waste and sustainable packaging award winners.
Greener Package is a web publication featuring original articles on sustainable packaging, as well as a collection of sustainable packaging news from around the web. Content covers topics such as rethinking packaging production, plastic packaging reduction and packaging redesigns to reduce food waste.
Packaging Digest is a trade publication that has been published since 1963, covering news, trends, best practices and technology related to packaging. It regularly features articles focused on sustainable packaging, covering topics like recycling and end of use.
Packaging Strategies is a monthly magazine covering topics like innovations in packaging sustainability and safety technology in packaging. Recent issues covered developments in plastics and sustainable packaging operations.
Packaging World covers packaging news, trends and innovations related to packaging sustainability. Some topics covered in articles include recycled content, landfill reduction efforts and circular economy sustainability for packaging.
Sustainable Packaging Newsletters
The Brand Packaging publication puts out a weekly newsletter with a strategic view of packaging, design inspiration and analysis.
A subscription to the monthly GreenBlue newsletter provides news from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, including news on sustainable educational training courses and new on topics such as solutions to plastics in oceans and sustainable solutions for multi-material flexible packaging.
Subscribe to the Packaging Digest newsletter, which provides multiple topic subscription options. These include weekly news and insights on sustainable packaging and twice-monthly insights on food and beverage packaging, packaging design and concepts, and packaging machinery and automation.
Packaging Strategies News
This paid newsletter by Packaging Strategies is published 22 times a year. A subscription includes the annual industry report Packaging Outlook, which includes packaging data and forecasts for the next year.
Subscribe to the Packaging World newsletter to get news regarding sustainable packaging trends, package design and development, packaging machinery and contract packaging.
Sustainable Packaging Training
Sustainable Packaging in a Circular Economy
Learn about the design of sustainable packaging systems, including how circular design principles can be applied to create “closed loop” packaging systems and opportunities for designing with renewable packaging materials, in this self-paced online course from TU Delft. The course is free (users may add a Verified Certificate for $50 ).
Essentials of Sustainable Packaging
The SPC’s Essentials of Sustainable Packaging are educational training courses address all major sustainability considerations across the entire packaging life cycle, including sourcing, design, use, recovery and beyond. The online format is available for both individual and company-level annual subscriptions, and are available to SPC and non-SPC members.
Sustainable Packaging 101 - The Packaging School
In this course from the Packaging School, students receive a “foundation in sustainable design thinking.” Sustainable Packaging 101 covers frameworks, materials, design guidelines, reporting and other critical aspects of implementing a sustainable packaging program. The course costs $399 and can be completed in approximately 4 hours.
Applied Systems Thinking to Recycling (ASTRX)
ASTRX is a joint initiative by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and the Recycling Partnership that aims to provide guides, worksheets, tools and other resources to help companies assess how well their packaging flows through the recycling stream. If you are looking to educate yourself and learn more about sustainable packaging, the ASTRX resource center is a great place to start.
Sustainable Packaging Tools
COMPASS (Comparative Packaging Assessment)
COMPASS is a streamlined life cycle assessment (LCA) tool for rapid package design optimization, providing directional guidance when multiple packaging choices exist to deliver the product. The tool is part of a broad sustainability platform offered by GreenBlue, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to the sustainable use of materials in society.
PackageSmart by EarthShift Global is “the most powerful and convenient packaging LCA software” for evaluating the environmental impacts of packaging design decisions. PackageSmart combines over 8,000 internationally-verified datasets, ensuring packaging designers, engineers and managers have the most up-to-date and accurate environmental analyses to inform packaging decisions.
Supply Chain Environmental Sustainability Scorecard
P&G uses its Supply Chain Environmental Sustainability Scorecard to track improvement on key partner-related sustainability measures in the supply chain. The scorecard’s primary use is to measure and reward improvement over time in each key environmental sustainability measure (including packaging). You can download a copy of the scorecard template or use it to model your own supplier sustainability scorecard.
GaBi Packaging Calculator
The GaBi Packaging Calculator is an LCA calculator specifically designed for packaging that spans the entire packaging product lifecycle. The tool contains dozens of datasets on packaging materials and manufacturing processes that play a role in the economic, environmental and social impact of packaging at each stage.
The Goals Database
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s Goals Database is a curated compendium of over 80 industry commitmented aimed at improving packaging sustainability. Learn what other brands are doing and get ideas for your own sustainable packaging program. Note: you must be an SPC member to access the Goals Database.
Sustainable Packaging Case Studies
See the power of sustainable packaging in action. Sustainable packaging case studies provide ideas your own business can implement. These case studies can be used when working with other key stakeholders at your organisation to create sustainable packaging initiatives.
Sustainable materials, better bottom line
Billerud helped HP achieve sustainability gains and cost savings with its notebook packaging — and won a Green Supply Chain Award. Learn more.
Optimised Transport Packaging System Slashes Costs
Billerud helped a global apparel company create better, sustainable packaging at a lower cost, from idea to implementation. Learn more.
Sustainability Equals Cost Savings
Billerud helped a sport equipment and shoe producer shift to sustainable packaging, which also resulted in reduced complexity and standardised material usage. Learn more.
Sustainable Opportunity in Relaunch
When a sport shoe producer needed to relaunch its image with a new box design, Billerud optimised packaging with high-quality, sustainable materials that also made the brand stand out and drive sales. Learn more.
New Fit, Better Efficiency
One shoe producer was not optimising the shoe box design for the product. Billerud optimised packaging fit with new carton assignment processes, improving the overall supply chain. Learn more.
Stay Up-to-Date on Sustainability to Stay Ahead of the Game
Hopefully the resources listed here are a meaningful starting-off point for your business to get up-to-date news on sustainable packaging trends and developments. Sustainable packaging is good for the environment, but it’s also great for your brand. Unfortunately, implementing and overseeing a sustainable packaging program with suppliers, producers and distributors on the other side of the planet can be difficult. That’s where Billerud can help.
From design and engineering to sourcing and distribution, our teams make the complex world of packaging simple so global brands can focus more on the benefits of better packaging and less on the day-to-day aspects of managing packaging overseas. Customer engagements begin with a no-obligation, no-cost audit of your packaging and shipping operations in Asia to identify savings opportunities.