Executive Update

Practical Application of the Global Packaging Project’s Sustainability Metrics

In this session, Ellen Feeney, vice president of corporate affairs at WhiteWave Foods and Kim Lymn, senior manager of packaging at Target Corporation discussed the Global Protocol on Packaging Sustainability Project (GPPS), a voluntary effort that began three years ago, involving some of the largest global retailers and brand owners.

The objective of the GPPS was to develop a much needed common language to allow for the intelligent and informed debate between and within companies on sustainability and packaging to obtain the ultimate shared goal: optimum packaging.

 “It really does have a good perspective of value in packaging, it’s a very broad view across the supply chain, it was a harmonized effort among the industry participants, and it’s very flexible, allowing you to pick and choose only what you want, to make something happen,” said Lymn.

The GPPS approach to achieve this goal was based on four steps: developing a basket of commonly used metrics to facilitate business discussions throughout the value chain about the sustainability of packaging systems; using pre-existing internationally recognized metrics where these exist; including environmental, social and economic metrics; and finally creating something that would build on existing work.

To illustrate how the GPPS works, Feeney and Lymn staged meetings between Target and WhiteWave, showing how CPG companies and vendors can bring ideas forward to their customers, retailers can drive sustainable packaging strategies to engage partners and service providers can leverage agreements on how to measure and communicate accomplishments all by using this one, common language. To obtain a copy of the final project, click here.