Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Sustainable Tool


by Greg Kishbaugh

The February 11th issue of Flexo Market News featured an overview of the way in which Nestlé has used a tool called PIQET to measure and quantify its sustainability goals. The article analyzed the deep wealth of information available today for converters seeking aid in managing their sustainability programs, and, as such, the PIQET tool deserves a little added attention.
     Available from the Sustainable Packaging Alliance, PIQET (Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool) allows CPGs and converters to optimize packaging system design from a sustainability perspective in all stages of the product development process.
     PIQET allows packaging designers to:
• Benchmark current sustainability performance of packaging.
• Review and optimize current packaging to improve sustainability performance.
• Include sustainability performance in the design of new packaging.
• Training to build business capability to make more sustainable decisions.
     PIQET appears to offer a host of benefits for designers, but one that certainly cannot be overlooked is that of speed. Reportedly, a complete packaging evaluation can be completed in less than half an hour.
     Due to its web-based interface, PIQET is available globally 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The tool offers cradle to grave analysis and as such provides users with life cycle information from the production of the raw materials through the production, transport, filling, and waste management of the package.
     PIQET uses information from the user itself along with background from more comprehensive lice cycle assessment modeling to provide a report on the sustainability performance of the package design.
     Seemingly, another strong component of PIQET is that it is not a boilerplate application; instead a company can tailor which life cycle indicators are reported to align with its corporate sustainability goals. PIQET reports the sustainability performance of packaging designs using eight environmental life cycle indicators including climate change, water use and solid waste, as well as a range of packaging specific metrics such as packaging to product ratio and percent of recycled content. But it is up to each individual company to decide which of these metrics are most important to track for their particular sustainability program.
     Every day it is proven that in today’s business climate information is indeed king. And with such a voluminous amount of information at their fingertips, converters have the opportunity to bring added productivity to their companies each and every day.

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