The most prestigious global competition for sustainable packaging innovation returns - with an expanded format, new prizes, and culminating at the Sustainable Packaging Summit in the European Green Capital, Lisbon on October 15-16. 

The Sustainability Awards is open for submissions, once again seeking all over the world for the most significant and impactful sustainable packaging innovations and initiatives. The 2020 edition of the competition will introduce exciting new developments, while strengthening its core ethos of integrity, expertise and inclusion.

Expanded format for 2020 

The Sustainability Awards categories and judging criteria promote a holistic view of sustainable packaging innovation, recognising the contributions made by the whole of the value chain and the variety of green metrics and multiple paths toward improving environmental impacts. This year, the competition adds a new category, to focus on the most important pre-commercialized technologies (which will no longer be eligible for the other awards, so judges are not required to directly compare them with products already launched on the marketplace). The full list of categories open for submissions are:

  • Bio-Based Packaging
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Driving the Circular Economy
  • Recyclable Packaging
  • Machinery
  • Best Practice
  • Pre-Commercialized Innovation 

In addition, an overall winner will be chosen as 'Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation' from the winners of the other categories. This year will also see the return of the Readers' Award, parallel to the main competition, nominated and voted for by the international readership of Packaging Europe.

Pestana Lisbon Sustainability Summit and Awards, 1080px shallow.jpg

Sustainable Packaging Summit

In another expansion, The Sustainability Awards 2020 winners will be revealed at a special awards dinner at the Sustainable Packaging Summit, which takes place in Lisbon on 15-16 October. A 'summit' rather than a 'conference', the event will break familiar paradigms with a sharp focus on practical discussion that moves stakeholders forward on key sustainability dilemmas. Key pillars of the summit will consist in defining sustainability objectives (in relation to packaging waste and the climate crisis); how to overcome challenges as a value chain; and spotlighting new ideas and technologies - among them the finalists of the Sustainability Awards. 

The programme will be highly interactive, featuring workshops, panels and one-to-one discussions with disrupters, global brand owners, retailers, producers, recyclers, European Commission regulators and NGOs. Confirmed speakers include Kim Houchens (Amazon), Tom Szaky (TerraCycle), Gian De Belder (P&G), David Katz (Plastic Bank), Louis Lindenberg (Unilever), Archana Jagannathan (PepsiCo), James Bull (Tesco) and Hans Van Bochove (Coca-Cola). Partners of the summit include the organizations CEFLEX, NVC, Petcore, PCEP and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. 

“The most serious, rigorous and prestigious global competition for sustainability in packaging”

As ever, the Sustainability Awards is free to enter, and treats the smallest start-ups just the same as the largest multi-nationals. It will be judged as usual by an independent, expert and international jury, whose combined knowledge and perspectives ensure truly authoritative and holistic results. Drawn from brand owners and retailers (including Amazon, Nestlé, PepsiCo, P&G and Unilever), sustainability organisations, waste management, academia and industry experts, this year's jury has greater depth and breadth of expertise than ever before. It also has increased in number in order to deal with the ever growing volume of submissions. 

Thanks to quality of the judging, transparency of the process and international engagement on the part of the whole value chain, the Sustainability Awards has become the most serious and impactful initiative of its type. Claiming the famous glass trophy is the pinnacle of many careers in packaging innovation - but this year there's an additional prize: Packaging Europe has announced it will produce videos profiling each of the winners.

About the Sustainability Awards

Entering its sixth edition, the Sustainability Awards challenges the FMCG / packaging value chain to take a rigorous, honest and joined-up approach to packaging waste, the climate crisis and all environmental metrics. It sets the agenda on best practice, turns the spotlight on the most important areas of R&D, and helps separate greenwash from the innovations, initiatives and strategies that make a genuine difference. 

In brief:

  • Submissions: submit online via the competition portal before the end of 6th April 2020. No charge to enter. 
  • Finalists will be announced on 14th June 2020. Winners will be announced at the Sustainable Packaging Summit (Pestana Palace, Lisbon) on 15-16 October 2020.
  • Visit for full details, rules and submissions