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About the Sustainability Awards

Packaging waste, climate change and other environmental problems demand an urgent and coherent response from the CPG industry. All too often innovations are marketed as ‘green’ based on gains in a single metric, when the complex landscape of ecological challenges requires a holistic approach. Packaging Europe’s fourth annual Sustainability Awards is here to make the connections.

The WPO WorldStar-recognised competition categories encourage a joined-up view of the tasks facing us. The all-star judging panel brings together stakeholders from the whole value chain. And in celebrating achievements in early-stage R&D, packaging innovation and cross-industry collaboration, we’ll be stimulating debate and cross-fertilisation of ideas – culminating in the Sustainable Packaging Summit and Sustainability Awards at Scanpack.

Six Categories
+ One Overall Winner

Emphasising a holistic view of sustainability.


The eminentjudging panel is a cross section of the value chain.

23 October
at Scanpack

Culminating in a the Sustainable Packaging Summit and Sustainability Awards ceremony in Gothenburg.


Resource Efficiency

Innovations in packaging that do more with less. For instance, downgauging materials or reducing their carbon footprint without increasing the environmental impact of the packaged product.


Uflex Limited - Waterless Internet Flower Packaging

Driving the Circular Economy

Breakthroughs and innovations in recycling technology or reusable packaging systems; initiatives promoting increase in recycling rates or nurturing demand for recyclate.


James Cropper - CupCycling™

Bio-Based Packaging

Development or innovative use of new, bio-based materials with significant positive impact or potential in packaging applications.


VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd - Cellulose-based packaging solution

Best Practice

Retailers or brand owners that have achieved the most in minimising the environmental impact of packaging and its supply chain.


Coca-Cola Western Europe - This is Forward Circular Economy


Innovations in engineering that have increased production line environmental efficiencies (in energy or water consumption or waste reduction) or facilitated adoption of sustainable packaging materials.


Amcor Rigid Plastics and The Liquiform Group - LiquidForming Plastic Bottles

Recyclable packaging

Innovations in materials / packaging design for recyclability; groundbreaking use of recycled feedstocks.


Mayr-Melnhof Karton GmbH - FOODBOARD™ virgin fibre

Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation Winner:
Uflex Limited - Waterless Internet Flower Packaging


click an image to make it bigger!

Judging Panel

  • Virginie Helias

    VP Global Sustainability


  • Arno Melchior

    Global Packaging Director


  • Bruno Van Gompel

    Technical & Supply Chain

    Western Europe

  • Kevin Vyse

    Circular Economy Lead


  • Jean-Marc Boursier

    Senior Executive VP in charge of Recycling & Recovery Europe


  • Virginia Janssens

    Managing Director


  • Dr Mats Linder


    Ellen MacArthur

  • Paul Vanston



  • Annika Olsson

    Professor & Head of Packaging Logistics Division

    Lund University

  • Michael Nieuwesteeg

    Managing Director


  • Thomas Reiner


    Deutsches Verpackungsinstitut

  • Antro Säilä


    Suomen Pakkausyhdistys ry

  • Graham Houlder

    Project Co-ordinator


  • Haulwen Nicholas


    The Packaging Oracle

  • Sanjay Patel

    Founding Partner

    Simple Better Human and The Packaging Collective

  • Tracy Sutton

    Circular Economy Packaging Design Consultant


  • Paul Jenkins

    Managing Director

    The Pack Hub


13:00 | 23 October | SUPERBRAND STAGE

Preceding the Sustainability Awards presentation, Packaging Europe will be curating and hosting a high-level Sustainable Packaging Summit from 13:00 on 23 October at Scanpack, Northern Europe’s leading packaging event.

The summit will focus on one of the key environmental dilemmas for consumer packaged goods: how do we develop resource-efficient packaging with minimal carbon footprint and product waste at the same time as eliminating unrecycled packaging waste?

Leading players in this endeavour will share their contrasting approaches, and then come together for a panel discussion. Keynote speakers include:
Gwendoline Riou (EUROPEN, EU Public Affairs & Communications Manager)
Philippe Diercxsens (Danone Waters, packaging and environment manager)
Ian Schofield (Iceland Foods, own label and packaging manager)
Norah Lewis (Technical Specialist - Circular Economy Strategy)
Gian De Belder (P&G, principal scientist – packaging R&D)
Jocelyne Ehret (www.therightpackaging.com, founder)

Click on the programme (right) for more information about our speakers and their presentations.


Tim Sykes

Packaging Europe,
Head of content

Introduction by Tim Sykes

Gwendoline Riou

EUROPEN, EU public affairs & communications manager

Achieving timely and profound change in the environmental impact of packaging depends on coordinated systemic change and investment across all the major stakeholders. Gwendoline sets out EUROPEN’s view of the current regulatory climate in Europe and the extent to which it nurtures or obstructs advancement in the sustainability of packaged goods. How are the Circular Economy Package and Plastics Strategy impacting on industry efforts to move toward circularity? Gwendoline explores the challenges and opportunities facing the packaging value chain in Europe.

Philippe Diercxsens

Packaging and environment manager, Danone Waters

In the context of the EU Plastics Strategy, proposed taxation of single-use plastics and broad consensus that urgent action is required on packaging waste in the environment, Philippe describes the multi-faceted challenges involved in aligning resource-efficient, functional packaging with the circular economy. He sets out some of the solutions considered and initiatives undertaken by Danone, including chemical recycling technology, adopting alternative packaging materials, and the concrete work underpinning commitments such as the Evian Pledge to become a 100% circular brand by 2025.

Ian Schofield

Own label and packaging manager, Iceland Foods

In 2018 Iceland Foods announced that it would become the first supermarket to entirely eliminate plastics from its private label packaging. Ian shares the reasoning behind this bold move, and discusses the packaging development challenges the retailer now faces to replicate the functionalities of plastics – as well as some of the innovative materials Iceland is exploring.

Norah Lewis

Technical Specialist - Circular Economy Strategy

WRAP launched the UK Plastics Pact, a cross-industry collaboration taking actions to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging items through redesign, innovation or alternative re-usable delivery models. Norah shares the progress from 97 members and partners who are at the forefront of generating fundamental changes to the way we design, produce, use, re-use, dispose and reprocess plastic packaging by meeting four world-leading targets set for 2025.

Gian De Belder

Principal scientist – packaging R&D, Procter and Gamble

Having accomplished many of its 2020 sustainability goals ahead of schedule, P&G has this year released its new Ambition 2030. Gian talks about the implications for packaging and the challenges P&G will grapple with to make the necessary progress on packaging waste at the same time as minimising the overall environmental footprint of packaged products. He will introduce P&G’s collaborative strategy for identifying and developing new technologies. This includes tracer and digital watermarking for improved sorting being worked on within New Plastics Economy, opaque and difficult to recycle PET containers (including plastic aerosols) being worked within Petcore Europe, and other initiatives that will help the full packaging value chain and the brand owner meet the new set of objectives.

Dr Jocelyne Ehret

Packaging strategist, www.therightpackaging.com

It’s crucial to see the whole picture. Wrong decisions can be taken by looking with a narrowed field of vision at short-term benefits and one-shot technological horizons. It’s about consumer and business dilemmas regarding packaging and its whole impact in the value and supply chains. The war against plastic was lost with consumers a long time ago, and the good question is why? it seems to be too late for food and food services items but what are the consequences for all segments? Jocelyne will look at questions such as:

  • Why did plastic lose the raw material packaging war?

  • Is it sustainable to remove all plastic packaging in the food & beverage segment?

  • Could the pharma & medical products be efficient and healthy for people without plastic?

  • Should we avoid plastic in transport packaging for e-commerce?

  • How to make the right decision about packaging choice?

Panel discussion taking a wider look at questions of resource efficiency and packaging waste, expand on ideas explored in the presentations, and take questions from the audience.

14:50 Immediately after the Sustainable Packaging Summit, visitors can enjoy drinks, nibbles and the announcement of the winners of the Sustainability Awards.


No! Participation in the competition is free of charge.

Once you have created a user account in the competition platform, simply fill in the submission form. This consists of several fields but the key criteria on which entries are judged are 1) a statement outlining the entry and what is innovative about it, and 2) the impact it has had or is projected to have. There is a limit of 250 words for each of these sections. You are also encouraged to upload an image of the innovation or initiative. You can save your entry and finish it later. Don’t forget to complete all sections of the form before 15th May!

The innovations or achievements entered into the competition must have been launched or announced no earlier than 1 April 2017.

There is a maximum of three entries per organisation. These can be either in the same category or different categories. Please fill in a separate submission for each entry. Please ensure that multiple entries represent genuinely distinct products / projects.

No, you can only submit a particular product or initiative in one category. Otherwise, Packaging Europe reserves the right to withdraw the submission from one or all categories. Please read the category descriptions carefully before deciding which is the most appropriate one.

The closing date for entries will be midnight (CET) at the end of 15 May 2018

A selection of industry experts representing the whole value chain will vote independently on the submissions, resulting in the winners for each category. The overall winner ‘Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation’ will be the entry representing a particular innovation that accrues the highest overall score across all categories. In the event that the highest scoring entry is not an innovation per se, e.g. if it is a broad sustainability strategy entered into the ‘Best Practice’ category, this will not be considered for the ‘Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation’ prize.

Please read the specific criteria for each category. In general, the core principle of the awards is to reward the project or product that, in the judges’ view, has the greatest significance in terms of its positive impact on sustainability. This can be understood either in its immediate performance metrics or in the potential transformative impact – i.e. there isn’t necessarily a stronger weighting to commercialised products over early-stage R&D breakthroughs. Judges are also instructed to consider the holistic implications for sustainability, even when the category emphasises a particular aspect. For example, if the criterion is ‘resource efficiency’, the winning entry should not simply be the one with the biggest weight reduction, but also offer a viable solution that does not result in reduced performance according to other environmental criteria.

Yes! Although a single user must submit the entry, you can list all involved stakeholders. We welcome collaborative entries such as packaging innovations developed jointly between a brands and packaging companies, and multi-stakeholder projects.

As much as we’d like to offer feedback on individual submissions, because of the sheer number of entries this is just not feasible.

Announcement of the winners will be made at the awards ceremony at Scanpack, on Tuesday 23rd October 2018.

Yes. The Sustainability Awards have been recognised by the World Packaging Organization and therefore all winners are eligible to enter the WorldStars.

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We’re proud to present our Sustainability Awards and Sustainable Packaging Summit at Scanpack – Northern Europe’s No.1 packaging exhibition.