Packaging Scorecards: Why are there so many?

In 2005, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition® (SPC), an industry working group dedicated to a more robust environmental vision for packaging, completed the Definition of Sustainable Packaging. This definition represents an important first step in articulating a common understanding of the term “sustainable packaging.” It provides a common vision and a framework for understanding activities directed toward improving packaging. This definition has been widely adopted throughout the packaging industry.

In 2006, Walmart released a packaging scorecard to continue its commitment of reducing packaging across its global supply chain by five percent by 2013. This act helps Walmart and its suppliers improve packaging and conserve resources. The Walmart scorecard was based on the SPC definition of sustainable packaging and
the eight criteria that are included in the definition. Click here to explore a video overview (produced in 2008) of how the Walmart scorecard started and how it works.

There are many sustainable packaging scorecards that have been introduced since then. Johnson & Johnson, Whole Foods, P&G, Unilever, Johnson Controls, Kohls, and McDonald’s are a few of the companies who have launched a packaging scorecard program. When asked why they came up with different scorecards, the answers varied but the intent was the same – to fit into particular business processes and supply chain – focusing on simplicity to start with, so a thorough understanding of the scorecard can grow.

Procter & Gamble, for example, wanted to create a scorecard that was a bit less complex, but covered key areas that they determined to be critical. The scorecard assesses P&G suppliers’ environmental footprint by measuring energy use, water use, waste disposal and greenhouse gas emissions on a year-to-year basis.

Scorecards are here to stay and the companies that are developing their own scorecards are eager to have their supply base collaborate with them.

This post is a followup to the previous article, “Sustainability Scorecards: Walmart Packaging Scorecard“.