The Understanding Packaging (UP)


A free, easy-to-use web-based tool to assess the sustainability impacts
of common foodware and food packaging choices.


Thanks to everyone who joined the introduction event for the UP Scorecard on August 19th! The video recording of the event is now publicly available to watch!

The beta version of the UP Scorecard is now available for use. Learn more about the UP Scorecard and access the tool below on this page. There are big plans for further development of the UP Scorecard. Be sure to click the button below to subscribe to the newsletter to stay up to date with new features and announcements! And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

What is the UP Scorecard?

The UP Scorecard is a science-based online tool to help users select foodware and food packaging that is safe and environmentally sustainable.

The UP Scorecard measures commonly used foodware and food packaging materials with a single yardstick to offer the first-ever, free, and comprehensive tool for making sustainable purchasing decisions for these products based on the latest available science. Scores are provided for plastic pollution, chemicals of concern,  climate, water use, sustainable sourcing, and recoverability. Developed through an unprecedented collaboration of leading food service companies, NGOs and technical experts, the UP Scorecard provides an authoritative resource for businesses as well as for environmental and human health advocates.

Why is the UP Scorecard valuable?

With its huge purchasing power, the food service industry could provide a transformative market signal to foodware and packaging manufacturers for more sustainable products. This opportunity remains mostly unrealized today, because food service industry buyers often lack the technical expertise needed to evaluate the wide range of more sustainable solutions amid increasing green marketing claims, such as recyclable, compostable, non-toxic, and low carbon.

The UP Scorecard provides a comprehensive way to assess the sustainability impacts of foodware and food packaging. This free tool backed by sustainability and foodservice leaders brings consistency and transparency to the foodware and food packaging industry. The UP Scorecard was built using LCA science but positions the information in a conveniently consumable way so better choices are easy to make.

How does the UP Scorecard work?

Scores are based on both standardized life cycle assessment (LCA) methods and novel scoring approaches that measure impacts from production to disposal. The calculations were reviewed and programmed by a team of independent LCA professionals. Where possible, life cycle impact assessment calculations were carried out based on peer-reviewed inventory data managed within the internationally recognized Ecoinvent database. A wide range of the most recent and publicly available data sources from governments, industry, academia, and NGO research and reporting projects were reviewed to inform model inputs including to develop the life cycle inventory. Best professional judgement compiled from the multi-stakeholder experts involved in the tool’s development were applied to address data gaps and recognize uncertainties.

Produced by OmniGraffle 7.18.5n2021-06-29 18:40:03 +0000Canvas 1Layer 1Group_1622Path_1810Group_1621Path_1811Path_1812Group_1625Path_1819Path_1820Path_1821Group_1624Path_1813Group_1623Path_1814Path_1815Path_1816Path_1817Path_1818Group_1627Path_1822Group_1626Path_1823Path_1824Path_1825Group_1629Path_1826Group_1628Path_1827Path_1828Path_1829Path_1830Group_1631Path_1831Group_1630Path_1832Path_1833Path_1834Path_1835Path_1836

How do I get started?

Click the button below to launch the beta version of the UP Scorecard. It will open as a pop-up window in your browser, and you can follow the on-screen instructions to move step-by-step through the tool. It currently works when viewed on a laptop, desktop, or tablet (mobile phones are not supported). Currently only the “Cold Cups” and “Beverage Container” types are active, and the option to “Add New Container” is not yet fully accessible. In the next, full version of the tool, all container types will be available for comparison. Future versions of the tool will also allow users to add their own containers for scoring.

The UP Scorecard currently can only be viewed on a laptop, desktop, or tablet device. Mobile phones are not yet supported. Please switch to a different device to launch the UP Scorecard.

Questions? Feedback?

The UP Scorecard is currently available as a beta version. Your thoughts and suggestions for future updates of the tool are appreciated. Please fill out this survey.

For all other questions or inquiries, get in touch with us via email: info(-at-)

Produced by OmniGraffle 7.18.5n2021-06-29 18:56:37 +0000Canvas 1Layer 1Defaultpath6?

Stay tuned

There are big plans for further development of the UP Scorecard including scoring of more packaging products, new packaging product customization options, expanded geographical coverage, and improved user functionality.

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with new developments and the latest tool features.

And be sure to follow us on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook.

Want to help?

Are you or your organization interested in the further development and use of the UP Scorecard? Want to help us make the UP Scorecard better through your professional expertise or through a tax-deductible financial contribution? Then please get in touch with us directly: info(-at-)

Project Leader
Host Organization
Project Initiator
Participating Organizations
Scroll to Top