Emma Dawley

Location

Jamestown, RI, United States

Role

Consultant

Job Title

Project Manager

Company

Environmental Packaging International

Profile

Emma Dawley is a Project Manager at Environmental Packaging International (EPI), a consultancy specializing in packaging sustainability and compliance with global product stewardship laws. Since joining EPI in 2006, Emma has assisted clients in compliance with ever-evolving customer packaging requirements, creation of internal metrics to chart and measure continual improvement in packaging, sustainable packaging strategy implementation and implementation of custom software to meet both internal and external packaging reporting requirements. She has experience developing and managing global data collection and reporting programs consisting of the integration of several online data collection interfaces, Help Desk support, data entry validation tools, packaging design evaluation tools, and environmental metrics and indicators.

Emma holds degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies from the University of Chicago. She has been working with public and private organizations on sustainability issues since her time spent with the Chicago Department of Environment in 2000 and as an Environmental Planner. Emma is a LEED Accredited Professional.

EPI was founded in 1998 and provides expert consulting on a range of packaging and product stewardship issues. EPI clients include companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, The Estée Lauder Companies, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, MeadWestvaco, Microsoft Corporation, Nike, Starbucks and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, trade associations, non-profits, and small companies that export packaged products. EPI is a founding member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.


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Comments

  • Role of Weight in Sustainability Assessments; LCAs

    While each LCA-based packaging analysis may have different boundaries and assumptions, and thus may tell a more or less comprehensive picture depending upon the comparison being made, the concept of analyzing a package or product from cradle to grave (or cradle) with a wide angle lens is critical to understanding its sustainability. The first of the three "R"s is "Reduce", but packaging weight/weight reduction is not, and should not be considered the determining factor for the sustainability of a product. Yes, weight does play a major role in terms of energy inputs for harvesting, conversion and transportation, but there are significant other design factors to consider. For example, material type dictates the energy input needed in the material harvesting, as well as what conversion processes, and thus what respective energy inputs and emissions, are relevant. Additionally, the combination of material type and component type can greatly impact the end of life scenarios that are likely or even possible for the package. Material type and the respective harvesting and manufacturing processes are also factors that determine the human impacts of a package. As a last example, the configuration of a package/packaging system, and its relative efficiency at carrying its product, are other factors that should be considered when determining the sustainability of a package, and these may vary greatly even among packages that weigh the same amount. I don’t deny the important role weight plays in the sustainability of a package; weight is often a common denominator among packaging impacts and it is often the most influential factor when all else is equal. Assuming that all else is equal for all packaging situations, however, is not a valid assumption. As such, all of the above are important factors, too, and none is considered if packaging weight is alone the focus of a packaging analysis. A key principle of sustainability is understanding and making considerations for all impacts in the big picture. By definition, an LCA-based approach to a packaging analysis will give you a more comprehensive view of the sustainability of a package than evaluating any one attribute or impact. Often the cost of a full LCA on one package/product alone can be prohibitive (in the range of 15-30k USD). As this is a hot and emerging topic, however, there are several new analysis software packages out there now (and more under development) that incorporate the basic principles and methodology of LCAs and cost a fraction of what a full LCA would cost. Of course the more you simplify the model and more assumptions you make, the less clarity your results may give, but when considering sustainability, I can not understate the importance of looking at, and making considerations for, the full life cycle impacts of a package.

  • EPI can help you with this.

    We work with many Fortune 500 companies, some of whom are in the medical/pharmaceuticals industry, helping them with projects ranging from basic packaging and product regulatory compliance to voluntary sustainability visioning and strategy. For the past year, we have also been at the forefront in reviewing environmental claims, first during the Walmart trade show, and now as one of two authorized third-party reviewers for Greenerpackage.com. I’d be happy to talk with you more about the building blocks of a successful sustainable packaging strategy. Please feel free to contact me directly at edawley@enviro-pac.com and/or to review our website at www.enviro-pac.com.

* indicates an article that was submitted directly to this Web site by the supplier, and was not handled by the Greener Package editorial staff.

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