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Adopt Sustainable Packaging for Goods


Segment    Family    Class




SDG Alignment

12. Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns

SDG Target


Target Description

By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

Level of Effort

Level of Effort Scale


1 -Quick Wins: solution involves adding criteria for the good or service being purchased (ex: certifications), minimal internal process changes.

2 -Long Term Adoption: solution requires some changes to internal processes and/or more capital investment (ex: digital transformation to reduce paper use).

3 – Disruptive Opportunities: requires significant investment and changes to internal processes (ex: retrofitting building)

Category Assessment

ETCH Procurement Process .png


• Perform an internal assessment to determine your packing requirements:

• Life cycle of packaging in your business by mapping out the type of purchase, logistics approach, and disposal processes.

• Cost per unit of flexible packaging, including volume of purchase, transportation needs

• Flexible packaging supplier contracts and certifications

• Flexible packaging specifications (such as right material for each type of product, weight, load capacity, transportation needs, preserves product before the expiration date, offers functional purpose after opening, % mixed polymers to be recycled or refurbished, structural design) that exclude problematic substrates such as laminates, polyester, polythene, cellophane.

• Calculate the footprint of your current packaging material using the EPA certified calculator (Linked in the resources section)

Opportunity Identification 

Packaging keeps products safe in transport, prevents perishable items from expiring and offers functional use.

Business: Adopting flexible packaging solutions helps organizations cut down on costs by reducing the weight and waste associated with their transportation and disposal costs. Smart packaging sells products, creates impactful marketing and increases brand awareness.

Sustainability: The use of flexible packaging uses fewer materials, thus reducing energy consumption and raw material cost for the manufacturer. It avoids the use of material challenging to recycle, such as polyethylene, laminates, polyester, and cellophane.

Strategy Build & Execution

• Evaluate the market with a Request for Information (RFI) that includes encouraging the current supplier to consider certifying in sustainable packaging with their products and use your organization as the pilot initiative

• Include a change management strategy in the RFI and take into account the implementation costs.

• Consider a local, flexible packaging supplier (decreases transportation costs and order turnover time).

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

• Consider working with a supplier to build capacity to create a sustainable packaging program/system and leverage this business creation in exchange for a discounted rate.

• Agree on the quality, quantity, accountability, and responsibility by management in turnaround times for supply, receive credits for large orders and establishing program.

• Leverage connections to the market through negotiations by including a clause with a discounted rate for benefits from marketing flexible packaging to other vendors.

Supplier Performance & Management

• Perform annual Supplier Relationship Review (as supplier relationship is vital for a successful program) and require sustainability reporting in yearly reviews.

• Maintain records of turnaround times, packaging quality, purchasing, warehousing costs, average inventory levels and inventory variations.

• Perform an internal review after the change has been implemented to evaluate flexible packaging’s commercial and environmental impact.

Resource Links

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