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COMPASS Version 2.0 provides more resources for sustainable packaging design

Enhancements to SPC’s packaging design application include the ability to model transportation impacts, create multipack scenarios, and more.


The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) has released a new version of its COMPASS® (Comparative Packaging Assessment) Web application, which allows packaging professionals to compare the environmental impacts of package designs.

Using a life-cycle approach, COMPASS assesses packages on resource consumption, emissions, and packaging attributes such as material health, recycled or virgin content, sourcing, and solid waste. Version 2.0 will include the ability to model the transportation impacts associated with packaging distribution and an enhanced user interface.

“We have collaborated with several members of the user community to implement additional features in this round of development,” says SPC project manager Minal Mistry, who has overseen the development of COMPASS. “The combination of user interface enhancements and additional functionality makes COMPASS an even more robust system that provides a cost-effective means to include environmental parameters into the packaging design process.”

COMPASS Version 2.0 enhancements include:

• The ability to model the impacts associated with the transport of packaging/product from filling, collating, and shipping to the distribution center

• The ability to create multipack scenarios, such as a six-pack of drinks.

• The ability to compare single-use packages to refill alternatives.

• An enhanced user interface for improved workflow, package creation, and assessment.

• New features to capture detailed assessment results and charts in an Excel report.

COMPASS puts 80 CPGs on track

Since the March 2009 launch of COMPASS, SPC says the program has been adopted by more than 80 companies, which are using it to guide their packaging programs. Among them are Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. Packaging academic institutions Michigan State University and the Rochester Institute of Technology are using COMPASS in their packaging curriculum.

In April, UPS announced that it would use COMPASS for its Eco Responsible Packaging Program to provide the environmental profiles of their customers’ shipment packaging.

"UPS evaluated several tools for calculating life-cycle metrics. We decided on COMPASS, due to its breadth of information and our confidence that the SPC would be committed to keeping this tool updated with the best-available information,” says UPS manager of sustainability solutions Arnold Barlow. “COMPASS is now an integral part of our Eco Responsible Packaging Program, and we welcome the release of Version 2.0."

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