About The Goals Database
The SPC Goals Database was designed to provide SPC members with comprehensive information on voluntary corporate commitments to sustainable packaging, giving insight on the direction industry is headed and the achievements they are pursuing. SPC members can use the Goals Database to discover overarching themes as well as specific information on the pursuits of key market sectors and individual companies, illuminating trends to clarify the landscape and inform future focus areas and sustainable packaging goals.
Goals are taken verbatim from the source documents. See something that needs to be updated? Look for the blue “suggest an edit” next to each goal and submit your suggested updates.
Access to the Goals Database is exclusive to SPC members.
Companies included in the database
The SPC studied the public statements and commitments of over 90 brands and retailers, including SPC members and other prominent companies drawn from the Fortune 500 list. Material manufacturers, converters, and other upstream packaging suppliers are not included in the current version of the Database, but may be added in a future update.
Industry commitments included in the database
The Goals Database contains hundreds of sustainable packaging commitments pulled from publicly available annual reports, websites, and other industry communications. Each commitment is categorized according to its best fit within one of 14 classifications of topical areas in sustainable packaging, covering key concepts in material sourcing, design optimization, recovery, and environmental impact reduction.
The difference between a goal and a statement of interest
Voluntary commitments to sustainable packaging are made with varying degrees of specificity, ranging from general statements of support to formal goals with target dates, metrics, and baseline information. The Goals Database uses a binary classification: goals, which are explicitly stated to incorporate a target achievement, metric, baseline date, and target date, or else are implied to be pursued within such a framework, and statements of interest, which are more abstract public statements of support or belief in the importance of a specific type of packaging improvement. A commitment classified within the Goals Database as a statement of interest was not found to have the criteria of a formal goal, such as a target date and metric, but is noteworthy because any public communication addressing a specific concept in sustainable packaging often implies the existence of an internal goal or strategy around that topic.
The difference between a corporate sustainability goal and a packaging sustainability goal
Industry commitments affecting packaging tend to be made within two distinct layers: overarching corporate goals, which apply to the entirety of a company’s operations and tend to focus on energy, water, waste, and/or greenhouse gas emissions, and goals that are more specific to packaging decisions, such as material selection and design priorities. Corporate sustainability goals are not always directly reflected in packaging strategies and goals – and many corporate sustainability goals expressly address products and operations but not packaging – but they are important nonetheless because environmental impacts such as waste, water, and greenhouse gas emissions are directly affected by packaging, and this type of corporate commitments may influence packaging decisions.
The goal categories
Each industry commitment analyzed by the SPC was assigned to one of fourteen distinct classifications:
Commitments related to material selection and sourcing:
- Recycled Content: increasing the use of postconsumer and/or post-industrial recycled materials to replace conventional virgin feedstocks.
- Bio-based/Renewable Materials: increasing the use of plant-based packaging materials, including fiber/paper packaging and plant-based bioplastics.
- Responsible Fiber Sourcing: following a procurement policy for fiber/paper packaging aimed at encouraging responsible forest management, protecting and preserving forest health, and preventing long-term deforestation.
- Eliminating Unfavorable Materials: phasing out or outright elimination of substances of concern or materials perceived as problematic, usually related to considerations around toxicity.
Commitments related to design optimization and efficiency:
- Material Efficiency: reducing the amount of packaging materials required, measured by packaging weight.
- Volumetric Efficiency: improving the product-to-package ratio by eliminating unnecessary airspace, potentially increasing cube efficiency and allowing more efficient transportation of packaged products.
Commitments related to recovery:
- Design for Recovery: improving packaging design to increase compatibility with existing recovery streams.
- Improving Recycling Infrastructure: increasing the prevalence of collection points for recyclables and/or improving the capabilities of those who process collected recyclables, including material recovery facilities and manufacturers, either through direct means or in collaboration with a recycling-focused NGO.
- Increasing Participation in Recycling: driving better consumer behavior in recycling through media campaigns, on-pack messaging, and/or community messaging, either through direct means or in collaboration with a recycling-focused NGO.
Corporate sustainability commitments related to impact reductions:
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions: reducing greenhouse gas emissions intensity, or absolute amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Renewable/Alternative Energy: increasing the use of less emission-intensive energy sources to offset conventional fossil-based energy.
- Energy Consumption: reducing energy intensity or absolute amount of required energy.
- Water Consumption: reducing water intensity or absolute amount of required water, or applying special considerations to water-constrained regions.
- Manufacturing/Operational Waste: reducing the amount of solid waste generated and/or sent to landfills from within company operations, usually focused on waste at manufacturing sites.
The Goals Database will be updated periodically as new information becomes available. If you see information that needs to be updated, you can click on the “suggest an edit” button on the company’s profile page and enter your suggested edits, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy
- UN Sustainable Development Goals/
- UK Plastics Pact
- Consumer Goods Forum
- Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation (CPIC)
- Plastics Europe
- G7 Oceans Plastic Charter