Sustainable Packaging Indicators and Metrics Framework Version 1.0 therefore gives brand owners and retailers a list of around 60 metrics to measure sustainability progress.
These are established against the criteria in the SPC Definition of Sustainable Packaging, and are organised into eight categories including material use, energy use, water use, material health, clean production and transport, cost and performance, community impact and worker impact. To read access the Metrics Framework, and learn about specific metrics and how they should be used click here.
The document is the culmination of two years of research and consultation with stakeholders, designed to create a commonly recognised way of measuring sustainability.
The SPC, an industry work group of around 200 companies, began work on the project in response to market concerns about the proliferation of scorecards and metrics employed by different companies to judge sustainable packaging.
“Without consistent guidance, sustainability criteria vary significantly from one company to the next,” Katherine O’Dea, chief author of the SPC report.
This is ultimately confusing, and costly for industry, according to O’Dea. “This lack of coordination has made the data collection process time consuming and costly for suppliers, as well as making it difficult for companies to consistently benchmark their performance over time.
“Our hope is the Metrics Framework will standardise how the industry measures its progress toward making packaging more sustainable.”
Although all members of the packaging supply chain can use the Metrics Framework, SPC had brand owners and retailers in mind as the primary audiences.
SPC said this is because they have been driving the movement to measurement and are best positioned to engage the supply chain in the collection of data. Consumers also look to them for packaging and sustainability-related information.