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How to Use this Guide

The Sustainable Packaging Guide is designed to provide action-oriented tools to help inform the development of sustainable packaging strategy or roadmap. The following approach is recommended as a starting point for those seeking to make best use of the Guide.

Identify the Available Tools and Resources

The Sustainable Packaging Guide for Food and Fresh Produce provides the following three tools to packaging decision makers:

  • Packaging Guides: packaging guides which help users identify “what is possible” in terms of current and emerging sustainable packaging options, 
  • Assessment Tool: an interactive assessment tool guiding users to develop a packaging “heat map”, and
  • Resources and Tools: supporting resources and tools to help answer sustainable packaging-related questions.

Define Your Sustainable Packaging Goals

Recognizing that expertise and experience can vary significantly across the industry, the Guide can benefit users of varying expertise – from the novice thru to the seasoned packaging expert – by using one or all of the available tools to:

  • Identify leading Sustainable Packaging Use Cases – by accessing the individual packaging guides,
  • Develop a Sustainable Packaging Heat Map – by using the interactive assessment tool, and
  • Answer leading sustainable packaging questions – by leveraging the resources and tools.

Develop a Sustainable Packaging Workplan

To fully benefit from the Guide, and develop your customized sustainable packaging strategy, users are encouraged to undertake the following steps:

  • Define the Team – identify an internal (or external) resource(s) to lead your packaging sustainability initiative, as well as key staff with roles or responsibilities which impact packaging (e.g., procurement & purchasing, quality control, marketing, etc.)
  • Review the Sustainable Packaging Assessment – have the team member(s) review the sustainable packaging assessment framework, which outlines the key considerations in packaging decision making.
  • Team Working Meeting – to review and select which tool(s) to leverage from the Guide: the iterative assessment tool, the use case inventory, or the general resources and information. Prior to the meeting make best efforts to answer these baseline-setting questions:
    • What are your organization’s sustainability goals?
    • Do these sustainability goals include packaging related objectives?
    • Are you required to meet any key customer sustainability goals?
  • Apply the relevant Tools from the Guide – based on the organizational needs and priorities, select the appropriate tool(s) from the Guide to:
    • Identify leading sustainable packaging use cases – leverage the individual packaging guides to identify leading sustainable packaging options.
    • Undertake a Sustainable Packaging Assessment – assign responsibilities to perform the sustainable packaging assessment using the interactive assessment tool.
    • Answer leading packaging questions leverage the resources and tools to answer leading packaging related questions.

Develop your Packaging Strategy or Roadmap

  • Develop or enhance your sustainable packaging strategy or roadmap – by using one or more of the tools, develop or enhance your sustainable packaging strategy or roadmap. Identify which potential actions warrant further consideration, and where you need more information to help advance your sustainable packaging decisions.