SPC Advance 2017

Sustainable Packaging Coalition members gathered in Pittsburgh for presentations, workshops, and tours that advanced the conversation on sustainable packaging

Oct 17, 2017 - Oct 18, 2017 Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh PA

View the 2017 SPC Advance Attendee List and Presentation downloads

SPC Advance is the event for sustainability professionals across the packaging value chain to come together to collaborate, learn, engage, and ask questions about the issues that matter most for moving sustainability forward.

Our 2017 conference was designed to inspire action and drive solutions by connecting sustainability professionals with diverse perspectives in an open, collaborative environment. Over 400 attendees were at this year’s conference, which was the first year that SPC Advance was co-located with The Association of Plastic Recyclers’ Fall Conference. For 2 and a half days of networking, learning, and idea sharing. Speakers came from a diverse array of companies, from Walmart and Starbucks, to Penn State University and the American Forest & Paper Association and the program was specifically designed to address all areas of sustainable packaging.  

This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo’s Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, who shared his story of joining PepsiCo’s team with no formal background in sustainability. In the years that he has been with PepsiCo, he has learned that to achieve the company’s ambitious sustainability goals, every team member has to have a hand in making progress toward the goals. In one example, Khan said that he put a member of the Board of Directors who has a background in finance in charge of the sustainability committee. By having people from a diverse background involved in sustainability decisions, PepsiCo has been able to reach even more ambitious goals.

Other session highlights include “Sustainable Packaging in The Real World,” led by SPC’s Trina Matta and The Recycling Partnership’s Dylan de Thomas. Matta and Thomas led attendees through a role-playing game where people get to play out the role of packaging designer, marketer, or municipal recycling facility staff. By putting people into a different role, and gamifying the sustainable packaging design process, attendees got to experience the challenges of designing the ideal sustainable package from a new perspective.

Browse through the full photo gallery of the event and read our series of blog recaps:

SPC Advance 2017

See the full album

SPC Advance 2017 Blogs

Psychology of Recycling: Driving Consumer Recycling Behavior

It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that consumers don’t recycle as much as they could or should because they’re… Read more »

Sustainability Considerations for Luxury and Premium Paper-based Packaging

Luxury. The word in of itself is hard to define. What you might consider to be luxury might differ for… Read more »

Material Health in Packaging: Keeping Consumers Safe While Building Brand Loyalty

At SPC Advance 2017, a panel of professionals provided insights on how companies might approach the topic of material health… Read more »

The Diversity of Recyclability Goals

The SPC Advance 2017 panel session on recyclability goals featured sustainability experts from Walmart, Nestlé USA, the Association of Plastic… Read more »

Brand owner and family forest owner partnerships for sustainability outcomes

“Conservation will ultimately boil down to rewarding the private landowner who conserves the public interest.” Aldo Leopold Conservation Economics The… Read more »

Goals and aspirations: three takeaways from the SPC Advance 2017 Brands Roundtable

Look at almost any corporate social responsibility report from a major brand or retailer and you’re bound to find commitments… Read more »

Moving from Aspiration to Impact: The power of collaboration leads us into the next era of design for recyclability

The session “Moving from Aspiration to Impact” at SPC Advance 2017 in Pittsburgh was not about the packaging industry’s hopes… Read more »


Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh, PA

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