Envirowise Guide to Eco-Design

In a previous post I mentioned a great lecture I went to at the HBA on sustainable package design. The speaker, Jane Bickerstaffe, the director of INCPEN, directed me to a fabulous guide that INCPEN created for designers and manufacturers on the 360-degree considerations one should make in developing a sustainable product and packaging.

Although the guide is a lengthy 64  pages, I found it to be incredibly informative on how to consider your packaging from the sourcing of the materials, to the energy involved in transport/production, to the effects the packaging has on the distribution, and the waste caused by under-packaged and over-packaged goods. It also delves into the trade-offs of design for end re-use vs. recycling vs. compostablity.

These days, when everyone wants you to believe that even the smallest efforts they are making are green, I found this guide to be the comprehensive answer many of us need to explain that green design is more than just choosing FSC-certified, post-consumer recycled paper. An eco-friendly package is a holistic process that begins with a full buy-in from all stake-holders and a true partnership with everyone on the development team from the raw goods through manufacturing, distribution, retail support, and, ultimately, consumer actions.

This may sound like a daunting task at first, but the end benefits are well worth it. This kind of ground-up approach has proven to reduce costs and waste at all levels. Moreover, we’ve found this joint approach and renewed ideology at all levels strengthens internal and external morale.

Please have a look at INCPEN’s guide . I found it to be a great resource for both designers and company leaders as well.