GreenerPackage.com has opened its database on a beta basis for packaging suppliers to begin entering packaging performance and sustainability data. The database is free for suppliers to submit their data.
The data collection period begins now and will run through the next 30 to 60 days. Packaging suppliers are encouraged to submit their data at any time.
By late November 2009, the front end of the database is expected to launch, allowing consumer packaged goods companies and retailers to conduct detailed searches of the supplier data. Suppliers may continue to submit and revise their data at any time before or after the search feature launches.
The database consists of four questionnaires for packaging suppliers to answer:
1. Company profile
2. Converted package or raw material
3. Manufacturing location
4. Packaging service
Packaging suppliers may submit an unlimited number of converted package or raw material database listings to cover their product range. Each questionnaire contains 12 sustainability questions that were arrived at after months of deliberation by the Greener Package Advisory Board and Expert Network.
The questions are available for download prior to submitting data.
To mitigate greenwashing (the practice of making overly broad or unsupportable environmental claims), Greener Package has introduced a voluntary third-party review process. Packaging suppliers pay $330 per raw material or converted package database listing to have one of two authorized third parties review their documentation to make sure all sustainability claims are backed up by the proper documentation. While it’s not a full audit or chain of custody review, it’s intended to save CPG companies and retailers time by weeding out the greenwashing and confusion that has plagued the market.
Environmental Packaging International, along with Packaging Knowledge Group, are the two authorized third party reviewers. EPI wrote the Greener Package Guidelines to Sustainability Claims, which packaging suppliers are encouraged to download and study before making a sustainability claim.
An educational webcast targeted to packaging suppliers but open to CPG companies and retailers will be held October 26, 2009 to educate packaging suppliers explaining how the database works, including the third-party review process, and how to pass the third-party review.
The Greener Package database consists of data from ECRM’s Packaging.Marketgate Web site. Packaging suppliers who had data in the Marketgate site can go into the GreenerPackage.com site and modify and update their data.
GreenerPackage.com maintains a connection with ECRM’s computer systems, which enables the data on GreenerPackage.com to also be visible from within the Walmart Sustainable Packaging Scorecard Modeling Software, which is a product of ECRM.
However, as of January 6, 2009, any data on GreenerPackage.com that is not third-party-reviewed will no longer be visible within the Walmart Sustainable Packaging Scorecard Modeling Software.
There is no financial relationship between Greener Package and Walmart. “Ours is a relationship of collaboration,” said David Newcorn, VP/eMedia and architect of the Web site. “Data from Greener Package flows through to the Walmart packaging scorecard via our partner ECRM’s computer systems. We are happy to discuss a similar relationship with any CPG company or retailer that wants to connect our systems to theirs. Our relationship with Walmart is by no means exclusive.”