The global quest to develop common benchmarks for sustainable packaging is finally hitting its stride, after major companies agreed at a recent meeting to work on metrics.

The current clutter of conflicting mandates, regulations, requirements, and labels combine to make the work of the Consumer Goods Forum’s Global Packaging Project to provide clarity both timely and urgent.

Led by Kraft Foods and British supermarket chain Tesco, and including other notable companies such as General Mills, Walmart, Safeway and Sara Lee, the group met in January in Toronto. There, it suggested creating a set of global packaging definitions and principles for sustainability–a common language that would include benchmark goals for major brand owners and retailers to follow. The group is launching pilot programs this spring to test metrics. This fall, the group hopes to at least have some decisions made on benchmark definitions that can serve as an industry blueprint.

More details are available in the Feb. 15 issue ofPackaging Strategies.