15 September 2023

Either Or: Sustainable or Green Design

Green or Sustainable

When it comes to designing ethical packaging for your brand, ensuring that you know the difference between green and sustainable design is essential. Despite the popular opinions of marketing within brands, they are not the same thing – in this article we’re going to outline what each one is and which one is best suited as an option for your brand.


First of all let’s begin with what sustainable design is. Sustainability in business features three main points that comprise whether a design, material or brand is ethically sustainable or not. These three points are:

  • The sustainable practices that are implemented by the company also produce economic development.
  • As well as being profitable, you also need to know how your sustainable choices impact the social aspects of your business. How does it affect your employees, your supply chain? 
  • Protecting the environment is – of course – a huge responsibility when it comes to sustainable design/material/brand. And it is the cornerstone of these three points.


So, when it comes to sustainability in business; ensuring that you know whether you are creating green or sustainable designs. 


Green Design

Green Designs are when the brand/material or design is created to be ‘green’ but not sustainable. In other words, they solve short term problems, such as materials that are classed as environmentally friendly. However, green designs are not sustainable because they do not include sustainable practices throughout the supply chain – how the materials are transported, how the individuals throughout the supply chain are treated.


Sustainable Design

On the other hand, sustainable designs are completely ethical and tick off all elements of the three points listed above. Everything about sustainable materials/brand/design is about longevity and building responsible scaffolding for the future generations who will inherit the Earth. Sustainable brands are brands who use practices that optimize positive impacts on the environment through every area.


Sustainable Greenwashing

There is of course the legislation that stops companies from giving their customers false information in regards to how environmentally friendly a product or piece of packaging is. If you would like to know more about greenwashing and how it might impact your business, you can read more about it on the BPAK blog in the article Is It Greenwashing: Sustainable Business


Greenwashing is something that – if you are in violation of the legislation, (find links to the legislation for America, Europe and United Nations here) it can really harm your brand. The best thing to do is to understand how your brand can work within the legislation and genuinely give your customers the best sustainable experience possible. Customers are getting more and more savvy with the information they have about the businesses available to them, if they like a brand they are more likely to make return purchases because they align with the brand’s morals. Not because the product is any better than a competitor’s. 


Being green is one thing, being sustainable is another thing entirely. And it is important to know which one you are aiming for as you take your business into this new ecological era. If you would like to know more about how to make your packaging sustainable or green, get in touch with the BPAK team today.