In July 2021, the Understanding Packaging (UP) Scorecard was released as a novel online tool for evaluating the impacts of foodware and food packaging on the environment and human health. The UP Scorecard is the outcome of a multistakeholder collaboration. It is being developed by the Single-Use Materials Decelerator (SUM’D), which brings together leading food service companies, waste managers, non-profit and civil society organizations, and technical experts working towards reducing the environmental and human health burden of foodware and food packaging used in restaurants and cafeterias. The SUM’D grew out of an accelerator program initiated by the Food Team at Google and led by the non-profit organization The Lexicon. The Food Packaging Forum is one of the collaborators in SUM’D and has been appointed as the host organization responsible for supporting the development of future versions of the UP Scorecard on the tool’s website.

“Sorting out all the sustainability claims for these products can get pretty complicated,” said Johanna Anderson of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council. “But in just a few clicks, this tool identifies options that are better for people and the planet.” Michiel Bakker, VP at Google, added that “building the circular economy for food will require examining every aspect of food production. The SUM Decelerator’s work will play a vital role in addressing present knowledge gaps and hopefully inspiring more sustainable solutions.”

The UP Scorecard assesses six metrics of high importance: plastic pollution, chemicals of concern, climate, water use, sustainable sourcing, and recoverability. A detailed description of the methodology is available. The current beta version of the UP Scorecard includes waste recovery data for North America, and updates for expanding the tool to other geographical regions are planned. The tool is currently freely available as a beta version and will be further updated in the coming months. Stakeholder feedback is welcome and being accepted via an online survey. A virtual introduction event for the tool will take place on August 19th at 9:00am PDT, 12:00pm EDT, and 6:00pm CEST. Registration is open and free on the event’s registration page.


Read more

SUM’D (July 2021). “The Understanding Packaging (UP) Scorecard.”

SUM’D (July 2021). “UP Scorecard Introduction Event.”