Strategies & Insights

This Time Around, Green Is Here to Stay

Posted: September 26, 2009 by
Ron Romanik

"Sustainability" is five more syllables than "Green." Maybe that's one reason why the concept is a little harder to grasp. Of course, sustainability means a great deal more than green did some decades ago, and the concept has more facets, so it can take a little longer to explain.

That's why Package Design Magazine has devoted an entire issue to explaining all the different ways designers can think about sustainability and package design. Greener materials are a first step, but deep systems thinking can lead to unique solutions for unique challenges, and starting over from scratch is never a bad idea. As a designer, you should welcome the constant challenge of doing more with less on every project.

This is a pivotal time for the package design industry. This is an opportunity to become leaders in a global sea change that is introducing new ways of thinking about our roles as citizens and consumers. Packaging has the capacity to spread a message faster more convincingly than most other types of traditional media, communicating directly to the end-user. Many consumers want to believe that they are buying and using products and packages responsibly—and from companies that are also behaving responsibly.

We hope you enjoy the light we are shining on all the different perspectives of the sustainability movement and how it will shape the future of package design. If there's a perspective we missed, don't hesitate to let us know so we can cover it in a future issue in our monthly column, Sustainable Packaging Update, coordinated by Wendy Jedlicka. If we don't cover it there, there's a good chance we'll be able to fit it into our December 2008 Sustainable Packaging issue. We rely on you, our readers, to keep us up to speed.

Ron Romanik

SPECIAL THANKS: Our Sustainable Packaging Update editor, Wendy Jedlicka, CPP, coordinated the editorial content of this issue to cover a broad range of sustainable packaging topics. Wendy has been fighting the good fight for years—designing, speaking, and writing about sustainability issues to whomever would listen. Wendy is president of Jedlicka Design Ltd. (, chapter chair for o2-USA/Upper Midwest and liaison for the o2 Global Green Design Network ( and, and packaging and economics faculty for Minneapolis College of Art and Design's groundbreaking Sustainable Design Certificate Program (