With an increasing worldwide client base, the Sustainable Packaging Alliance (SPA, www.sustainablepack.org) has entered into Channel Partnerships for the European and North American markets.

SPA is well known as the company that created the leading streamlined Life Cycle Assessment tool for packaging, PIQET (Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool).  It has long been used by Nestlé as their in-house packaging software; Nestlé recently reported at Pack Expo to have used PIQET in more than 4,000 projects with over 13,000 scenarios.Paste

Heading up SPA’s North American effort is Jay Edwards, from Pack2Sustain, who has worked in the packaging R&D field for 20 years, beginning with 18 years at Kraft Foods where he was the global sustainable packaging expert between 2007 and 2011.  “He has direct experience with the nuances of packaging development work, contributed to the packaging intellectual property landscape, and worked extensively in the area of sustainable packaging metrics as applied within brand-owner and retailer contexts” says Victor Barichello, SPA’s Relationship Marketing Manager.  “All of this makes Jay a natural fit as he knows what companies need, because in many instances he has navigated much the same challenges” adds Barichello.

The European market is led by Graham Houlder from SLOOP Consulting.  According to Houlder, “the expansion with channel partnerships reinforces SPA’s commitment to their growing international client list. Having partners that intimately know their markets and understand the true internationalization of the packaging industry at a practical level is a significant factor in our ability to ensure client needs are met.“

Whilst many know SPA for their PIQET tool, the company also provides LCA services, something that it has been offering for several years.  The assessments are conducted by packaging and LCA experts from SPA and are typically commissioned by organizations that have limited time or internal staff resources.  Furthermore, the actual process of working with a consultant creates an environment where questions and testing of design ideas are freely discussed.

According to Edwards, “clients seek to understand the business case for packaging sustainability and the implications in adopting such an approach.  Putting it simply, SPA goes beyond an assessment report and works with clients to ensure that the reports create value throughout their organization”.

SPA’s commitment to upgrade PIQET twice a year is viewed by its many clients as very important; it ensures that datasets are reviewed and functionality is constantly improved.  To achieve this, SPA and its Channel Partners constantly engage in dialogue with the clients to maintain PIQET’s advantage of being current and relevant.

 A key factor of SPA’s success is that it engages with the full range of stakeholders in the supply chain.  “The value of SPA is predicated on the fact that we have always consulted and worked with stakeholders in the supply chain; it ensures we look at each constituent part at a practical and commercial manner and not solely as an academic exercise” says Barichello.