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Explaining Pickler's eco score (+ best practises)
Explaining Pickler's eco score (+ best practises)

What is an eco score for packaging and how should it best be used?

Daan van Hal avatar
Written by Daan van Hal
Updated over a week ago
The Eco score is a labeling system that uses stoplight colors similar to energy and nutrition labels to show how environmentally friendly a packaging product is. 

What is an eco score?

The eco score system aims to help consumers make informed decisions and easily compare different products at a glance. There are 9 possible eco scores ( A+, A, B, C, D, E, F, and G), which are based on the eco-costs model.

Eco-costs refer to the total environmental impact of producing a kilogram of packaging material, and they are grouped into different label classes according to their cost:

  • A+: anything below €0.05 eco costs per kg of material*

  • A: €0.05 to €0.10 eco-costs per kg of material

  • B: €0.10 to €0.20 eco-costs per kg of material

  • C: €0.20 to €0.40 eco-costs per kg of material

  • D: €0.40 to €0.80 eco-costs per kg of material

  • E: €0.80 to €1.20 eco-costs per kg of material

  • F: €1.20 to €2.00 eco-costs per kg of material

  • G: anything above €2.00 eco-costs per kg of material

The eco scoring system is developed by Sustainability Impact Metrics.

For more information on the eco scoring system and use, please visit: https://www.ecocostsvalue.com/evr/green-marketing/

*Click here for more information if you encountered negative eco-costs / CO2-eq.

Best practices for using the eco score

The eco score is a great tool to use in 'green marketing' specifically, but as with every scoring model, it should be applied correctly.

The eco score is based on the full lifecycle impact of 1 KG op packaging for fair comparison, not the specific packaging's weight (say 60 grams). This has some consequences for its use.

1. Weight optimization doesn't lower eco scores

Should you want to optimize a client's packaging, reducing packaging material to lower its weight will not lower the eco score. However, they will (most likely) lower eco costs and carbon impact emissions. We recommend focusing on these values when optimizing the environmental impact of a packaging product.

In short: weight reduction will not be taken into account in the eco score, as it always covers 1 KG of a product.

2. Eco scores works best within similar product groups

Just as when you compare eco costs or the carbon impact of packaging products in Pickler, comparing within similar product groups is highly recommended for fair comparisons.

Should you use the eco score as a filter on your webshop, make sure customers can filter within similar product groups/categories.

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