Circular Design Metrics

London, May 4, 2021: DS Smith is today announcing another milestone in its commitment to lead the way towards a more Circular Economy. The sustainable packaging giant unveiled its Circular Design Metrics, an industry first that allows customers to rate circularity of their packaging.

The pioneering initiative provides a unique insight into how companies packaging choices can reduce their impact on the environment. Through the collaborative design process customers will be able compare the environmental performance of different solutions to create more circular packaging.

Stefano Rossi, Packaging CEO at DS Smith, commented:It has never been more important for companies to manage their impact on the environment. We want to show brands the beauty of the circular economy and allow them to explicitly understand what their packaging choices mean for that model. Our new Circular Design Metrics is a game changer in driving environmental performance in packaging. We’re excited to use our expertise to help companies, large and small, on their journey to become circular ready.”

The Circular Design Metrics is a new breakthrough tool that makes it possible to see and compare the performance of a packaging design across a range of indicators, such as recyclability, renewable content, supply chain optimization. The metrics include eight different indicators that provide a clear indication of circularity performance and help identify areas with potential for improvement. The tool is a first of its kind for brands that want to drive sustainability performance through their packaging.

DS Smith launched its Circular Design Principles for packaging in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2020. The Principles were developed to help companies design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems. Now, one year later, the company has trained its 700 packaging designers to apply the Circular Design Principles in the packaging design process. With the addition of the new Circular Design Metrics it will be possible to rate the impact of every design decision, and help customers create the most circular packaging solutions. DS Smith will embed the new metrics in the packaging design process with customers over the coming months.

Joe Iles, Circular Design Lead from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, commented: “The design stage has a huge influence on how products including packaging are produced, used and what happens to them after use. DS Smith's Circular Design Metrics are a key milestone to help drive change towards a circular economy. As a Strategic partner, DS Smith has the ability to make change happen faster by mobilizing its large design community and influencing its customers, many of which are global brands. And what’s more, the company will also inspire many other businesses and designers worldwide.”

Today’s announcement builds on the company’s ongoing commitment to put sustainability first, as it continues to develop innovative packaging solutions that ensure for 100% recyclability or reuse, optimising every fibre and offering alternatives to problem plastics.