Environmental impact of products

Our commitment: Assess and optimise the environmental impact of our products

Our commitment: Assess and optimise the environmental impact of our products

Our objectives

To improve the environmental performance of our products, we need to better understand their impacts throughout the product life cycle and address them efficiently.

By 2014 – Extend the EcodEX ecodesign tool to all research and development locations.

By 2017 – Further enlarge the scope of our databases on agricultural raw materials used in EcodEX.

By 2017 – Identify or update and address sustainability hotspots for 15 product categories.

Our progress

In 2013, we met our objective to identify and address sustainability hotspots (high-impact areas) in 12 product categories a year early. In 2014, we updated our actions to address sustainability hotspots across 13 product categories. All new products undergo an environmental sustainability assessment.

The EcodEX ecodesign tool has now been rolled out to the entire research and development organisation, and piloted in several markets.

This was achieved in 2014 through five training sessions and nine webinars attended by 312 participants. To date, 5 740 projects representing 16 507 scenarios (2013: 5 200 projects, 15 500 scenarios) have been assessed using our ecodesign tools (covering packaging and product development projects).

Our perspective

We believe the environmental performance of a product starts with good ecodesign. This must be based on a clear understanding of the complex balance between environmental life-cycle impacts and other product requirements. We have carried out life-cycle assessments for all our main product categories.

Our EcodEX tool gives product designers a faster, more effective way to analyse impacts. It is being gradually phased in to ensure it is adopted effectively and to address the challenges raised by new users, such as getting used to interpreting the results.

We are now focusing on enlarging the scope of the data to cover agricultural raw materials more comprehensively, as they constitute a significant environmental impact of many products.

Related content


Locations comprises R&D Centres and Product Technology Centres.

A project is a detailed description of all the different scenarios that a product can be packaged in. A scenario is a packaging system format (e.g. aluminium can in corrugated board, glass bottle in shrink film, etc.).