Design for Sustainability

Our last blog post dealt with the questions of what benefits packaging has, whether there is THE most sustainable packaging and what you should look for in the design. Now we want to dig deeper into this topic.

That's why I spoke to the head of the Products & Innovations team - the managing director Christof Spies himself - and asked what is taken into account in the development process to make products as sustainable as possible.


What does “Design for Sustainability” mean for SPIES?

In development projects, we are guided by our 5 principles:

1. redesign - This means that for each project we look for the optimal packaging for the intended use.

2. Reduce - "As much as necessary, as little as possible" is the guiding principle when it comes to material usage in our packaging. We are always looking at where we can save the last few grams of plastic in order to conserve resources and reduce our CO2 footprint.

3. recycle - high recyclability is a prerequisite for a circular economy. Thanks to the decoration technique of in-mold labeling, our packaging is made of mono-material.

4. research - innovation in products, materials, processes and technologies is of high importance to us in order to always be at the cutting edge of technology and a pioneer in the field of sustainable innovation.

5. rethinking - in discussions with our customers, we look at all sides and try to find the best solution together, while educating them about recycling and resource conservation.


True product development and adherence to these principles is surely not as easy as it sounds here. What are challenges in the process?

A major challenge is that many criteria have an impact on other important features of a package. For example, material reduction is super in terms of sustainability, but only as long as the stability and safety of the packaging is not compromised. New products using new materials or technologies may initially be slightly more expensive, because investments may also have to be made in new plant technology. The task here is to balance the different requirements and find the optimum solution.


And how does SPIES manage that?

We have developed the "360° Packaging Assessment" in order to be able to examine various packaging features and advantages and disadvantages together with our customers. In this process, we sit down at a table with various decision-makers from our customers and each one is allowed to assign points for the importance of various criteria from the individual perspective. There are 14 criteria in total, including carbon footprint, production efficiency or recycling content. At the end, the evaluations are layered on top of each other and evaluated.


What are the advantages of this 360° Packaging Assessment?

During the evaluation, it is always exciting to see where the common priorities lie, but especially where there are conflicting goals. The priorities of different people are often very different. People from purchasing, for example, attach completely different importance to points than people from marketing. This comes across well in the pictorial evaluation and forms a good basis for discussion in order to jointly agree on priorities and, if necessary, to make compromises.  In the end, we provide support with our expertise to find the packaging that is optimal for the individual product and fulfills as many desired characteristics as possible.








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Talking to each other.

What would you like to know?

Whether it’s about the enterprise, production, one of your product ideas or…?

All you need to do is ask us! We’re looking forward to an interesting discussion with you!