What is COMPASS?
COMPASS (Comparative Packaging Assessment) is online design software that allows packaging designers and engineers to assess the human and environmental impacts of their package designs using a life cycle approach. COMPASS helps packaging designers make more informed material selections and design decisions by providing quick visual guidance on a common set of environmental indicators.
COMPASS provides consistently modeled data sets for USA, Canada and Europe tailored for materials and processes used for packaging to allow reliable apples to apples comparisons of multiple scenarios. In addition, regionalized solid waste modeling provides a waste profile of each scenario to help understand the end of life (EoL) implications of packaging designs.
COMPASS provides information on:
Life Cycle MetricsCONSUMPTION METRICS
- Fossil Fuel
- Biotic Resource
- Greenhouse Gas
- Clean Production: Human Impacts
- Clean Production: Aquatic Toxicity
- Recycled vs. Virgin Content
- Percent of Source Certified Material
- Solid Waste
- Material Health
Life Cycle Phases
- Material Manufacture
- End of Life
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Why Choose COMPASS?
COMPASS was developed via a collaborative process that was informed by industry needs assessment, input from packaging experts, LCA experts, academia, and the U.S. EPA. COMPASS data are verified by third party and by prominent brand owner companies. See testimonials
from some of the companies that use COMPASS.
The COMPASS development team led by Minal Mistry has worked on enhancing the web application since early winter and is finalizing the website and tool for release within two weeks. Version 2.0 of the application will have the current feature set plus a few additions. Additions include:
- Easy to learn user interface,
- Compare up to four scenarios side-by-side,
- Industry accepted metrics and attributes,
- Consistently modeled data for apples-to-apples comparisons,
- Ability to compare single use scenarios with refill options,
- Assess environmental profile of multi-pack scenarios,
- Track distribution impacts based on mode of transport and vehicle,
- Consider the production volume,
- Understand solid waste profile of the proposed designs,
- A detailed project report export file,
COMPASS data are updates as new life cycle inventory (LCI) data become available. Most recent additions include rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) and rHDPE (recycled high density polyethylene).
The annual COMPASS license fee is as follows:
- SPC Member companies - $1000/yr for five seats.
- General - $2000/year for five seats
Visit the SPC Membership information page.
COMPASS was developed by the SPC with support from the U.S. EPA and input from packaging industry and life cycle assessment experts. Its development was inspired by MERGE™, a software tool created by Environmental Defense Fund in the 1990s. The COMPASS life cycle metrics were developed through a stakeholder process, using the SPC Definition of Sustainable Packaging and ISO 14044 to guide the process. The software uses production-weighted, industry average data. COMPASS currently houses data sets for Europe, Canada and the United States.
Visit the COMPASS website for details.
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