GreenerPackage.com Releases Sustainability Claims Guidelines and Announces Third-Party Review of Packaging Sustainability Data

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Packaging World's sustainable packaging resource, GreenerPackage.com, announces the release of the Greener Package Guidelines to Sustainability Claims, and joins with Environmental Packaging International and Packaging Knowledge Group LLC to offer review of sustainability claims for data submitted by packaging suppliers.

In the wake of Walmart's recent decision to begin development of a sustainability index for suppliers, Greener Package™ (http://www.greenerpackage.com), Environmental Packaging International (EPI) (http://www.enviro-pac.com), and Packaging Knowledge Group LLC (PKG) (http://www.packagingknowledgegroup.com) announce a collaborative effort to make it easier for retailers, consumer packaged goods companies, and packaging converters to evaluate sustainability claims made by packaging suppliers.

The GreenerPackage.com database will offer optional third-party review for suppliers that list their product information in the database. Reviews will be initiated by the supplier and will be administered by EPI, specialists in global environment packaging and product stewardship requirements, and PKG, a full service packaging consultancy. EPI and PKG are currently the only authorized third-party reviewers for GreenerPackage.com. The Greener Package database offers consumer packaged goods companies a way to research and compare sustainable packaging materials, containers and suppliers.

"One of the biggest problems facing packaging professionals today is greenwashing, or the making of bogus sustainability claims. GreenerPackage.com will combat greenwashing by allowing suppliers to submit their data to a third party to review their claims and affirm their legitimacy," comments Summit Publishing Company's VP of eMedia, David Newcorn. "As brand owners take a broader view of the sustainability of their products, the demand for third-party review of sustainable packaging claims is likely to increase. We're pleased to be offering this service in conjunction with two well-known and respected packaging consultancies."

Without a means of identifying and defining sustainability criteria, any sustainability data collected would be meaningless. For this reason, Greener Package has released the Greener Package Guidelines to Sustainability Claims--authored by EPI and PKG--and available at http://www.GreenerPackage.com/guidelines. The document defines what sustainability means for each type of sustainability claim, and lists specific examples of what can and cannot be claimed. These guidelines are based on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Canadian environmental claims guidelines and will be regularly updated and monitored for relevance. As part of the data review process, EPI and PKG will check for corroborating material such as test results, data sheets, LCAs, or independent reports to support each claim; they will not attempt to verify or review documentation for technical accuracy. Suppliers who elect to have their data reviewed will pay a nominal fee.

EPI's CEO, Victor Bell, believes certification of claims is an essential next step in the evolution of sustainable packaging. "Consumer demand for sustainably-produced products is a key driver in promoting progress at the manufacturing level. Third-party validation is critical to combating greenwashing, which - if left unchecked - could erode consumer confidence and ultimately the public's interest in buying sustainable products and packaging."

Larry Dull, PKG Partner, concurs. "The cost for a company to verify their sustainability claims is relatively small, compared to the investment that same company makes to develop, produce and package more sustainable products. We see verification as a necessary, final step in the process and a point of differentiation for any company selling in a competitive marketplace."

The Greener Package database is scheduled to go live in September 2009. Though the database remains neutral and independent, it will be linked to Walmart's Sustainable Packaging Scorecard Modeling Software, as part of a collaborative agreement between Walmart, ECRM, and Greener Package. Early on, Greener Package teamed up with ECRM, the technology provider to Walmart's Sustainable Packaging Scorecard, to combine their current database of Sustainable Packaging Suppliers with the Greener Package database under development. This collaboration will provide an ongoing link with the Walmart Packaging Scorecard Modeling Software, delivering additional value to the users of the site.

About Greener Package™
GreenerPackage.com was launched in February 2009 by Summit Publishing Company, publishers of Packaging World. GreenerPackage.com aims to facilitate a knowledge exchange for sustainable packaging. An Advisory Board and Expert Network, consisting of professionals across the packaging value chain, oversee the Website; packaging journalist Anne Marie Mohan is Managing Editor. Advertising on GreenerPackage.com must adhere to the FTC Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims. Information on corporate sponsorships is available from Christine Smallwood, Director of Business Development at 770-664-4600.

About Environmental Packaging International
Environmental Packaging International (EPI) is a consultancy specializing in compliance with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws for packaging, batteries, and electronics. EPI offers a full range of customized regulatory tracking, research, and compliance management services. EPI provides assistance to companies with management of data and reporting for fee payment, the Walmart scorecard and similar customer requirements, Essential Requirements, and corporate sustainability goals. EPI also helps companies integrate environmental compliance and sustainability into their supply chain management, product design process, and other business systems, with software systems to support these reporting needs.

About Packaging Knowledge Group LLC
Packaging Knowledge Group is a full-service consultancy offering a variety of custom solutions in the packaging arena as well as in sustainable supply chain practices. The principals and associates of the Packaging Knowledge Group are knowledgeable, experienced and proven leaders in the field of packaging and related disciplines. They have helped a variety of companies achieve their packaging production and sustainability goals by providing innovative, technically sound packaging expertise. In addition, they are able to seamlessly integrate sustainable packaging and other practices into existing supply chain operations.

About ECRM
Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) is a recognized leader in business planning, event management and business technology development for the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and Packaging industries. ECRM is a leading provider of custom, business to business, and business sustainability software and the company's development team has been central to ECRM's success. ECRM specializes in creating complete online solutions customized to meet both internal needs and the needs of its clients. ECRM provides Business Solutions by integrating Process, Vision and Technology.

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