Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Course

Training that offers a comprehensive introduction to sustainable packaging.

The Essentials of Sustainable Packaging is a five part in-person and online training course that offers a comprehensive introduction to sustainability considerations that apply to the entire packaging life cycle: sourcing, design, recovery, and beyond. 

Developed by the SPC, these dynamic courses present an opportunity to bring a company’s entire staff (from packaging, marketing, procurement, to sustainability) up to a common level of understanding about how sustainability relates to packaging.

For years we have been educating professionals in person at their offices, and we are excited to announce that later this year we will be launching a new online platform for professionals to take the courses online. Companies will be able to purchase access to the online course through a year-long subscription to our online platform. Courses are available to both SPC and non-SPC member companies and discounts are available for SPC members. The in-person course will still be available for those companies in a full day or half day format hosted at their offices. At this time we do not offer the online or in-person ESP to individuals.

To be the first to hear more about the online Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Course, fill out the form below.

In both the in-person sessions and the online course, participants will learn about:


Why Packaging?

  • The $11 billion elephant in the room
  • Making sustainability part of your brand
  • Communicating sustainability through packaging
  • Case studies: from start-ups to green giants

Optimize the Design

  • Leveraging the product/package system
  • Avoiding product and transportation waste
  • Retail and shelf-ready packaging
  • Packaging for e-commerce environments

Design for Recovery

  • Psychology of recycling
  • What does recyclable even mean? Compostable?
  • Designing with an end market in mind
  • Fitting packaging into the infrastructure or change the infrastructure?

Source Sustainably

  • Certifications: when, how and where to use them
  • Primary concerns for virgin and recycled materials
  • Setting and reaching procurement goals

Planetary Boundaries

  • How packaging fits into “the whole”
  • Sourcing and manufacturing during The Great Acceleration
  • How to build resilience through packaging


The following are also available exclusively for in-person Essentials of Sustainable Packaging courses:

Essentials of Bioplastics

  • A family of different materials
  • Bioplastics myth busting
  • Sourcing and recovery considerations
  • Compare and contrast bio-based recyclable resins with compostable resins

Essentials of Sourcing Fiber

  • Key considerations domestically and abroad
  • Sourcing and supply chain certifications
  • Recovered fiber and recycled feedstock

Essentials of Compostable Packaging

  • Considerations for compostable plastic and fiber foodservice-ware
  • Understanding residential and commercial composting access
  • Compostable packaging as a vehicle for food waste diversion

We’ve taught over 900 professionals and counting! Here’s what past attendees have to say:

We have taught over 900 professionals from leading companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions since 2008. In late spring 2018 we will launch  the new digital format of the Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Course on the brand new GreenBlue Education portal, powered by LearnUpon. We are still offering the in-person Essentials of Sustainable Packaging course.

Want to learn more about the Essentials of Sustainable Packaging Course and be the first to hear about the new online format?

Fill out this brief form and you will be added to our email list and a member of the SPC team will reach out to you for more details.

Essentials Course Inquiry