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How does Pickler score the sustainability of products?
How does Pickler score the sustainability of products?

We use the input data from suppliers and multiply with averages from an verified eco-database to score each step of the product life cycle.

Tess Heeremans avatar
Written by Tess Heeremans
Updated over a week ago

In cooperation with LCA and packaging industry expert Dr. Ing. J. Vogtländer from the institute for Sustainability Impact Metrics (Spin-off technical university Delft) we have put over a year of development into a methodology to score packaging on sustainability. Our methodology aims to be the right balance between accuracy, current (ISO) standards for Life Cycle Assessments and scalability, which is currently unique in the industry.

In short:

We use the input data from the supplier and multiply their data with the data of peer reviewed and verified environmental data to score on sustainability for each step of the life cycle of packaging. The scope of the calculations is illustrated in the figure below.

For each section of the life cycle stage we also provide more in depth information about the calculation. Find more information in the articles below:

Furthermore, the benefit of recycling is counted at the supply side (Scope 3). The benefit of electricity production at the End-of-Life is counted by a so-called “system expansion” (of the municipal waste incinerator), according to ISO 14044 section Data is available in the IDEMAT tables.

Input data by supplier

The carbon footprint data and the eco-costs data are based on the following data, which are provided by the supplier.

  1. A quantified list of ingredients (raw materials) of the product (the bill of material (BOM) of Scope 3).

  2. Quantity electricity (country average, or sustainable source specified) at the manufacturing site of the product (Scope 2).

  3. Transport distances (sea transport as well as inland transport) from the manufacturing site to the warehouse of the packaging supplier.

  4. When part of the electricity, Scope 2, is from a special sustainable source (i.e. from PV cells, windmills, bio waste, or waste), the percentage must be proven by the product supplier. CO2 offsets and general Guaranties of Origen and RECs (other than from the same electricity supplier, or SRECs in the USA) are not counted. More information.

  5. When available, a verified LCA of the product may be applied (e.g. an EPD), instead of data of point 1 - 4

Environmental data

LCA scores for point 1, 2, 3, and 5 (i.e. Scope 3 and Scope 2 background processes) are from the IDEMAT tables. Electricity data for specific countries can be found here.

Eco-costs data on the eco-costs of toxic foreground emissions point 4, Scope 1 can be found here.

Eco score by a stoplight classification

Pickler translates the eco-costs of the total impact to a classical stoplight categorical system, with green indicating a sustainable packaging option, yellow indicating a moderately sustainable option, and red indicating an unsustainable option.

the colours and categories provide a clear and easy-to-understand visual indication of the environmental impact of different types of packaging, so that the suppliers and consumers can quickly and easily identify which packaging options are environmentally more friendly and which are not.

There are eight possible eco scores ( A, B, C, D, E, F, and G), and they are grouped into different label classes according to their cost:

A: anything below €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

These classes were developed in collaboration with Sustainability Impact Metrics. For more information, please visit:

Eco forecast

For every footprint calculation, we generate an eco forecast. The eco forecast is dynamic and shows the up-to-date report of the footprint of your product.

In there, you find the data and evidence to back up your claim.

Eco forecasts can be shared easily with anybody outside of Pickler and used to win over your customers and stakeholders.

Eco forecasts of products can also be compared easily, using our powerful comparison tool.

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