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25 September 2019 • Nürnberg, Germany

"The most serious, rigorous and prestigious international competition for sustainability in packaging."

In conjunction with:

brought to you by:

in association with:

Platinum sponsor:

mondi logo

Gold sponsors:

#SustainabilityAwards2019

Packaging waste, climate change and other environmental crises demand an urgent and joined up response from the CPG industry.

Challenging us to take a rigorous and holistic view, the Sustainability Awards sets the agenda on best practice, turns the spotlight on the most important areas of R&D, and helps separate greenwash from the innovations that make a genuine difference.

Sustainability Awards is independently judged by an expert jury representing a cross-section of the international packaging value chain, including leading brand owners and retailers, sustainability organisations, waste management, academia and industry experts. Each year the competition sees ever growing engagement, assessing submissions from start-ups and global brands by the same, carefully considered criteria.

Six Categories + One Overall Winner

Independently Judged

25 September at Fachpack

WPO World Star Accredited

"Due to the win in the competition, we have already been contacted by three major brand owners to discuss our innovation and packaging R&D."
Anna Tenhunen (VTT)

"The Sustainability Awards is a wonderful project. I particularly like the fact that all levels of the market are covered. It is not just about the circular economy and design for recycling, but looking at sustainability holistically."
Thomas Reiner (former dvi Deutsches Verpackungsinstitut)

"Thank you very much to Packaging Europe for the organisation of the Sustainability Awards, which contributes hugely towards sustainability and motivates the industry."
Susana Pliego (Coca-Cola)

Last Year's Awards

Last years winners

OVERALL WINNER - UFLEX

BIO-BASED PACKAGING

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

BEST PRACTICE

Coca-Cola - This is Forward Circular Economy

DRIVING THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

James Cropper - CupCycling™

RESOURCE EFFICIENCY

Uflex Limited - Waterless Internet Flower Packaging

MACHINERY

Amcor Rigid Plastics and The Liquiform Group - LiquidForming Plastic Bottles

RECYCLABLE PACKAGING

Mayr-Melnhof Karton GmbH - FOODBOARD™ virgin fibre

CATEGORIES

The competition’s categories spotlight each of the key areas of innovation where the environmental footprint of packaging and packaged goods can be reduced, from resource efficiency to recycling, biomaterials to greener packaging machinery, and driving best practice at the brand owner and retailer level. Moreover, across all categories the judges are instructed to favour holistic solutions over those whose gains in one area may be offset by negative side-effects in others.

BIO-BASED PACKAGING

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.

BEST PRACTICE

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

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.

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.

MACHINERY

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.

RECYCLABLE PACKAGING

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

Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation

The overall winner. Chosen from the shortlisted entries in the categories below, this must be an entry which makes a very important contribution to sustainability, preferably scoring highly according to more than one criterion.

Judges

Essential submissions information

Submissions to the Sustainability Awards 2019 can be made between 1 April and 20 May via our dedicated competition portal. You’ll need to create an account, which enables you to return and edit your submission anytime until the closing date. There is no charge to enter the Sustainability Awards. Please carefully read the rules and instructions before submitting.

Is there a fee for entering the Sustainability Awards?

No! Participation in the competition is free of charge.

How should we submit an entry?

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 600 words for each of these sections. You can also link to an external web page with additional information or a video about your submission. Please also upload an image of the innovation or initiative so it can be included in articles about the competition. You can save your entry and finish it later. Don’t forget to complete all sections of the form by 20th May!

What is the qualifying period for entries?

The innovations or achievements entered into the competition must have been launched or announced no earlier than 1 April 2018.

Can we submit multiple entries?

There is a maximum of three entries per submitting organisation. Large organisations with multiple business units are encouraged to coordinate internally to decide which innovations or initiatives to nominate.

Can we submit the same product / project in more than one category?

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.

When is the closing date for entries?

The closing date for entries will be midnight (CET) at the end of 20 May 2019.

How are the entries judged?

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.

What are the judges looking for in a submission?

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. The more factual information you can provide –including any relevant supporting data –the more likely the judges are to accept your claims. You are encouragedto provide links to additional information, videos, etc.

Can a collaboration be submitted to the Sustainability Awards?

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.

What happens if my submission is chosen as a finalist?

The jury will complete the first round of judging by the end of June. If your submission is selected as one of the 24 finalists (the top four in each of the six competition categories), judges may request additional information / clarifications from you at this stage, if they believe this may be important in selecting the eventual winners. In any case, the 24 finalists will be celebrated at the Sustainability Awards 2019 ceremony at FachPack on 25 September.

Can I get feedback on my entry?

Because of the sheer number of entries it is not feasibleto provide feedback on all entries. However, we will invite judges to share their comments about the 24 finalists.

When are the winners announced?

The winners will be revealedat the Sustainability Awards 2019 ceremony on the afternoon of Wednesday 25 September at the PackBox Forum at FachPack, in Nürnberg, Germany. Everyone is welcome to join us for sustainability discussion, drinks, networking and the big announcements!

If I win one of the Sustainability Awards can I enter the WorldStar awards?

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

Event Partner

This year we’re co-promoting the Sustainability Awards with our partner FachPack – the leading European trade fair in 2019, located in Nürnberg at the heart of Europe’s biggest economy. Integrated, along with our Sustainable Packaging Summit, into the official FachPack program at the climax of the expo’s busiest day, the Sustainability Awards 2019 will reach a wider audience than ever before.

FachPack
Exhibition Centre
90471 Nürnberg, Germany

Date & Opening Times
24 - 26 September 2019
09:00 - 18:00 (24 and 25 September)
09:00 - 17:00 (26 September)

Visit the FachPack Website

Sustainability Awards 2019: Rules and Guidelines

The Sustainability Awards is organised by Packaging Europe and judged by an independent, international panel of experts. For additional information and to submit to the Sustainability Awards, please visit thesustainabilityawards.com.

Basic criteria

1. The core principle for each category in the competition is to reward the project or innovation 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.

2. Judges are also instructed to consider the holistic sustainability implications, even when the category emphasises a particular attribute. 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.

3. The Sustainability Awards promotes rigorous assessment of substantive impacts. Therefore, submissions should be supported wherever possible and appropriate by empirical data, preferably with details of testing methodology.

4. Entries to the Sustainability Awards 2019 may be submitted to the following competition categories:

● Bio-Based Packaging: development or innovative use of new, bio-based materials with significant positive impact or potential in packaging applications.

● 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.

● 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.

● Recyclable packaging: innovations in materials / packaging design for recyclability; groundbreaking use of recycled feedstocks.

● Machinery: 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.

● Best practice: retailers or brand owners that have achieved the most in minimising the environmental impact of packaging and its supply chain.

● An overall winner 'Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation' will be chosen from submissions to the above categories.

Submissions rules and eligibility

5. The innovations or achievements entered into the competition must have been launched or announced no earlier than 1 April 2018.

6. Supporting information for submissions should be provided in English.

7. Please refer to the descriptions of the individual categories for information about eligibility to enter a particular category.

8. Packaging Europe reserves the right to change the category to which a valid submission has been entered if it deems this appropriate. Packaging Europe is not obliged to inform participants in the Sustainability Awards if it amends the category of their entry.

9. The competition is open to entries from organisations and initiatives from the following organisations:

a. Manufacturers and innovators across the packaging technology and waste disposal value chain, including suppliers of raw materials, converters, contract manufacturers, machinery suppliers and recycling technologies

b. Brand owners

c. Retailers

d. Early stage R&D, including academic sector

e. Individual entrepreneurs and designers

f. Multi-stakeholder consortiums and projects

g. NGOs

h. Local authorities

10. The competition is open to the following types of entries:

a. Generic packaging substrates, formats, technologies and raw materials

b. Specific packaging products and solutions, including machinery

c. Wider projects and initiatives aiming to boost sustainability through best practice, collaboration, research, etc.

11. Collaborative projects can be submitted as a joint entry, e.g. packaging developed jointly by a brand owner and packaging specialist.

12. There is a maximum of three entries per submitting organisation. Large organisations with multiple business units are encouraged to coordinate internally to decide which innovations or initiatives to nominate. Packaging Europe reserves the right to withdraw submissions from the competition if this limitation has been exceeded. Where autonomous organisations within the same group or holding company can reasonably be considered to be effectively separate organisations, the ‘three entries’ rule may be waived. Packaging Europe reserves the right to make final judgements on such questions.

13. Participants cannot submit the same product or initiative in more than one category. Otherwise, Packaging Europe reserves the right to withdraw the submission from one or all categories.

14. If a product or innovation has been submitted to the Sustainability Awards in the past, it cannot be submitted a second time unless it has undergone sufficient advancement to be considered effectively a new entity.

Judging

15. Judges are to base their decisions on their objective assessment of the merits of entries and are instructed that no preference should be given to past or present Packaging Europe contributors, advertisers or sponsors.

16. Judges should recuse themselves from judging any submission where there is a conflict of interest, in particular if they represent or have a commercial relationship with the organisation that made the submission.

17. Individual judges’ grading and comments during deliberation will remain confidential.

18. Judges access and grade the submissions through the same online portal to which entries are submitted. Judging will take place across two rounds. In the first round, sub-groups of the jury will each assess a selection of submissions in order to select those with sufficient merit to be considered as finalists. In the second round, the entire judging panel will assess all finalists across all competition categories.

19. Judges may instruct Packaging Europe to request additional information or clarifications from the finalists following the first round of voting.

20. Winners are selected based on the aggregated grades of all judges. Therefore, the results cannot be attributed to the opinions of any individual judge.

21. 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.

Sustainability Awards 2019 timeline

● Submissions open: 1 April 2019

● Submissions close: 20 May 2019 at 23:59 CET

● Finalists announced: 2 September 2019

● Winners announced: on 25 September 2019 (live at FachPack in Nürnberg, Germany)

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