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Sustainable Packaging Design

Sustainability in packaging design is being integrated as a business strategy in the consumer products arena with considerations in areas such as: 

  • Effective brand communication and sustainable messaging
  • Prevailing and new materials
  • Innovative structural design
  • Recycling and recovery
  • Supply chain logistics such as fuel use, energy costs, and shipping

Sustainable Packaging Design incorporates the “triple bottom line,” supporting practices that are environmentally, socially, and economically sound.

We prepare packaging design professionals to lead and oversee these initiatives in organizations including design firms, consumer packaged-goods companies, and developers of packaging materials and technologies for manufacturing.

The program is for professionals working in the industry who want to expand their expertise and employment opportunities. One year of packaging design industry experience is preferred, in areas such as design, design management, marketing, product development, materials sourcing, and manufacturing or packaging implementation.

Upon completion of the certificate, students will be able to:

  • Trace the history of the environmental movement.
  • Understand the definition of sustainability and other terminology, including environmental acronyms, in relation to the packaging design industry.
  • Master systems thinking—how each part relates to others within a whole—and its application to sustainability.
  • Apply the cradle-to-cradle concept and life cycle analysis (LCA) tools and techniques to the creative process.
  • Evaluate sustainable packaging criteria, based on government regulations and definitions and guidelines from nongovernment organizations (NGOs).
  • Assess existing and new packaging materials to maximize various levels of sustainability.
  • Evaluate the environmental impact of packaging production and print technologies.
  • Integrate sustainable best practices into design management processes.

The certificate program consists of five courses that can be completed within one year; courses run in the summer, fall, and spring terms in the evenings and on weekends.


PK 352: Foundation of Sustainable Packaging Design
PK 353: Systems Thinking in Sustainable Packaging Design
PK 432: Materials, Technologies and Production in Sustainable Packaging Design
PK 462: Case Studies in Sustainable Packaging Design
PK 494: Capstone Project in Sustainable Packaging Design

» View current course offerings

More Information

» Tuition & fees (multiply your tuition rate by the number of credits above)
» Request more information about this certificate program


Sandra Krasovec, Associate Professor, Packaging Design Department
212 217.5703