Sustainable Packaging Coalition

Industry group dedicated to packaging sustainability

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition is the leading voice on packaging sustainability with a membership that encompasses the entire packaging life cycle. Membership is comprised of global brands, material producers, material converters, packaging designers, logistics, retailers, solid waste processors, academia, and government agencies. This creates a unique space for in-depth dialogue about key packaging material sustainability issues with the full value chain represented.

The Problem

Packaging touches all aspects of today’s material economy and plays an integral role in delivering goods and services in a global market. Packaging uses a variety of often substitutable and competing materials: plastics, paper and board, container glass, steel, aluminum, and other fibers. The industry needed a vehicle for non-competitive dialogue surrounding sustainable material management within the packaging framework.

The Solution

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition was the result of nine founding companies coming together to define what sustainable packaging means, creating the safe space for stakeholders to discuss emerging concerns shared by the entire packaging value chain with a material neutral perspective. The material neutrality invites all material perspectives and places the emphasis on sustainable materials management. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition was born in 2005.


Sustainable materials management is predicated on a virtuous cycle of understanding the environmental and human health impacts, measuring the impacts, tracking progress, and communicating efforts. Much of industrial sustainability is an art of balancing tradeoffs bound in decisions about materials we rely on to make the things companies want to sell. Materials are the center of resource management and as such, they are the limiting factor for continued consumption of goods and services at all facets of today’s global economies. GreenBlue, through its Sustainable Packaging Coalition has used the power of collective learning to help raise the knowledge base of member companies and others on key sustainability issues surrounding material consumption.


Cultivating Stewardship

  • Select packaging sustainability conferences that bring together key actors from across the value chain
  • Dinner and Dialogue sessions on relevant big-picture issues around materials
  • Applying life cycle perspective to the collective efforts of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition

Mobilizing Industry

  • Bringing together key industry expertise to create standards and metrics
  • Facilitating targeted dialogue in the form of Industry Leadership Groups
  • Brokering difficult discussions such as forest stewardship

Tools for Transparency

  • Industry tools such as Packaging Design for Sustainability, COMPASS
  • Authoring technical reports on relevant packaging sustainability topics
  • Educational courses such as Essentials of Sustainable Packaging

Members Include

  • dow
  • natureworks
  • nike
  • starbucks
  • unilever

Sustainable Materials Management

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition connects to Sustainable Materials Management along all three axes:

Material Sourcing

  • via stakeholder process to engage industry on topical discussions that enhances the collective knowledge base
  • via education by hosting annual conferences that serve as a central mechanism to engage membership in key issues based discussions and networking
  • via research to create relevant resources that are available to the entire industry

Material Health

  • by making material health a stated part of the definition of sustainable packaging
  • by engaging member companies

Material Value

  • via engaging participants in discussion on how materials flow in society through the municipal solid waste (MSW) system and the role of various waste treatment technologies and infrastructure
  • via research reports that delve into various end of life treatment pathways
  • via industry leadership committees (ILC) that bring together interested parties to in the membership

SPC Collaboratives

Shipping Liquids Collaborative

Discussing and mapping key issues and learnings on where damages occur in liquids shipping, the testing environment, and sustainable packaging solutions.

Learn More.

Compostable Packaging Collaborative

Sharing knowledge and best practices on labeling and composting infrastructure for compostable packaging, including both fiber products and compostable bioplastics.

Learn More.

Next Market Collaborative

Exploring how companies can support current and future end markets to create more demand for recycled materials.

Learn More.

Multi-Material Flexible Packaging Recovery Collaborative

This Collaborative’s studies sustainable end-of-life solutions for multi-laminate flexible packaging.

Learn More.

Safe and Circular Materials Collaborative

Exploring the challenges of safe and circular packaging materials and accelerating the transition to safer alternatives.

Learn More.

Residential Mixed Paper Collaborative

This collaborative will explore the recovery and utilization of residential mixed paper (RMP).

Learn More.

Chemical Recycling Collaborative

Exploring the landscape of chemical recycling technologies and the role that they may play in packaging sustainability.

Learn More.

Learn More

Learn more about the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and the value of membership:

SPC Membership Brochure