About Greener Package
Introducing Greener Package. More than a Web site, we call it an initiative, with four prongs:
1. an awards competition that recognizes outstanding sustainable package design and application of best practices
2. a comprehensive product database with detailed environmental data on a host of new packaging materials now hitting the market
3. expert-guided discussion groups specific to packaging sustainability
4. interactive news blog updated several times per week with packaging sustainability news and information.
Infusing all four of these areas is our Advisory Board and Expert Network, consisting of 40+ packaging experts from across the packaging value chain—retailers, packaged goods companies, converters, raw material suppliers, academics, and trade groups. These men and women have helped to shape this Web site to meet the real needs of industry. Literally woven into the fabric of this Web site are science-based principles and sound thinking of some of the smartest people in this field.
Greener Package Awards
The Greener Package Awards are North America's only independent, neutral, sustainable packaging awards competition not affiliated with any supplier or company. We tapped the deep pools of expertise embodied by our Advisory Board to determine what should be rewarded, and what should not. After hundreds of back-and-forth emails, hours of phone conversations, we have distilled the awards down to essential criteria against which all entries will be judged. The Advisory Board members will serve as judges. Those who win should be considered as examples for the rest of us to follow.
Comprehensive product database
One of the most useful parts of the site is the searchable database which will contain detailed environmental data on a host of new green packaging materials, containers, and products that are being introduced each month. (Right now, we're collecting the data from suppliers.) Each supplier who submits a product to this database submits to a rigorous and uniform series of questions—about 35 data points—for each product submitted. You can drill down to find products by market (food, beverage, etc.), package format (can, bottle, etc.), or material type (glass, plastic, paper, etc.).
Expert-guided discussion groups
What if your sustainability questions have already been asked—and answered—by someone else? What if you can benefit from reading discussions that others are having over the very same issues you are working through? Now you can with our expert-guided discussion groups.
There are two things that separate these discussion groups from the inanity that dooms most forums and chat rooms on the Web today. First, we have secured—in advance—the cooperation of the 40+ experts in our Expert Network to try to respond to questions posted on the site. Not every expert will answer every question, but at least some folks with a background you can trust are standing by and will respond to your question. For free! This is your chance to tap into a massive brain trust in the field of packaging sustainability.
The second thing we have is a disciplined community manager whose sole job it is to weed out the riff-raff, prune duplicate questions, and gently urge our experts to take time out of their busy schedules to respond to your questions and participate in discussions posted on the site.
Interactive news blog
Our staff editors will ply the Web site with constant updates on the latest news and strategies pertaining to packaging sustainability. We're writing short punchy articles that can be read quickly on the Web. Our editors will try where possible to include analysis from our Expert Network to help provide context and analysis—explain what the news means, and whether it's good or bad. So you're not only getting great reporting, you're getting feedback from our Expert Network.
If you have news to share, please do so at editors [at] greenerpackage.com.
Behind the scenes
While the stars of this initiative are the Advisory Board and Expert Network, we'd like to acknowledge the team behind Greener Package. Anne Marie Mohan is GreenerPackage.com's Managing Editor. She has covered packaging sustainability for the last several years and authored the ground-breaking Wal-Mart interview with Amy Zettlemoyer-Lazar earlier this year. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also contributing to the site is Steve Sterling, author of the best-selling Field Guide to Sustainable Packaging, and long-time editor of our Sustainable Outlook e-newsletter. And I'm delighted to introduce Gretchen Edelbrock, whose lively writing style you no doubt have enjoyed if you receive our Global Packaging Minute e-newsletter. Finally, Cynthia Vorachek has signed on to be our community manager, keeping the Web site a clean, well-lighted place for you.
Last but not least is Christine Smallwood, our director of business development. Christine has logged thousands of frequent flyer miles attending sustainability meetings and conferences—importantly, especially the ones outside of the packaging field—to make connections and sharpen our vision for how best this initiative can serve you. Her leadership will keep us true and on track.
All that's missing is you. Please consider this an invitation from all of us—the full-time staff and 40+ members of the Greener Package Advisory Board and Expert Network—to get involved in the awards competition, the database, the discussion groups, or even as a member of the Expert Network. With these tools at hand, we have no doubt you'll have what you need to pursue a Greener Package.