COMPASS® (Comparative Packaging Assessment) is an online software tool for packaging designers and engineers to assess the human and environmental impacts of up to four package designs side-by-side. COMPASS was developed by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), a project of sustainability nonprofit GreenBlue.
Designers and engineers are key decision makers in the way resources are allocated in the world. COMPASS is intended as a design phase tool that helps designers consider the environmental impact of a package's entire life cycle - from manufacture to end of life. COMPASS generates comparative profiles of packaging design options, based on metrics such as fossil fuel consumption, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and human and aquatic toxicity. Visit the FAQ page for more information.
COMPASS was developed at the request of SPC member companies to create a modeling tool that would allow comparisons of packaging designs based on environmental metrics. Its development was inspired by MERGE™, a software tool created by Environmental Defense Fund in the 1990s. Learn more about the project's history.
COMPASS uses production-weighted, industry average data in its calculations. For this reason, it is best used as a guidance tool or industry benchmark to ask "what if" questions - not to calculate definitive answers or substantiate marketing claims.
The reporting metrics within COMPASS include both life cycle metrics and packaging attributes. The set of metrics was developed through a stakeholder process, using the SPC Definition of Sustainable Packaging and ISO 14044 to guide the process.