As packaging waste continues to leak into the environment, it is crucial for companies to do their best to close the tap. There is no perfect packaging solution, but SPHERE can help you find the most sustainable one.

The environmental impact of packaging is increasingly a priority for companies and consumers, who are looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint. Together with 12 companies including several WBCSD members and the support of an advisory group, we have pledged to tackle the packaging waste mismanagement issue.

However, how do you ensure that trying to solve one issue will not create another problem somewhere else? Navigating the myriad of impact assessment metrics is not an easy task. Businesses currently face challenges in combining sustainability and circularity considerations in environmental assessments, as well as evaluating the trade-offs related to packaging and delivery systems alternatives. To address these limitations of existing methodologies, we are proposing a way to complete a holistic environmental assessment of packaging: SPHERE, the packaging sustainability framework.

Conceptualized as a framework to support decision-making for packaging strategies spanning company departments, SPHERE strikes a balance between complexity and simplicity. The framework collects all the aspects required to evaluate packaging from an environmental sustainability perspective and distils an approach that facilitates a holistic assessment.

The framework is based on six principles including packaging efficiency circularity, impact on climate change and biodiversity loss, absence of harmful substances and waste mismanagement, and can be used in two ways:

  • a portfolio assessment to identify potential hotspots across a range of packaging from a company-level perspective,
  • an eco-design approach to evaluate different packaging options for a specific product.

SPHERE allows companies to prioritize action and monitor their performance. By driving impact and owning their sustainability journey, they will inspire others all over the world to minimize their packaging’s contribution to climate change and nature loss.

We invite companies of all sizes and industries worldwide to demonstrate their leadership in the packaging sustainability space by using SPHERE to assess their impact and make meaningful steps towards a better world.

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