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Meet Candace Hodder, Sustainable Packaging Expert

by Diane Lindquist on 11/20/2013 | 3 Minute Read

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Candace Hodder, Director of Clean Agency, will be hosting a workshop on Designing Sustainable Packaging Step-by-Step at The Dieline Conference on Monday May 12th, 2014 from 1-4 pm.

As a corporate sustainability consultant, Candace develops and manages sustainability initiatives for major brands including Nestlé, Disney, Liz Claiborne, Asics and Mattel. She helps her clients to understand the environmental impacts of their products and packaging, and recommends solutions that enable stronger integration of sustainability into day-to-day practices. Ultimately, she aims to inspire businesses to redefine their value proposition to include sustainability. Candace has deep expertise in sustainable packaging strategies, specializing in recyclability research, life cycle assessment, and green design practices.

We asked Candace a few questions about her career and inspiration:





1. How did you begin your career?

I started out as an environmental educator, teaching nature appreciation programs at different conservation areas. From there, I recruited volunteers for a national shoreline cleanup program in Canada. My drive to protect the environment eventually led me to Clean Agency, where I work with major brands to measure, improve and communicate on their sustainability performance.

2. What was one of the proudest moments in your career?

A couple of years ago I spoke at a packaging conference with one of my clients from Nestlé. We presented a sustainability initiative we had developed and implemented, and shared the environmental and cost savings we had achieved. Celebrating that project in a room of our peers was a really satisfying moment for me.

3. Where do you feel the future of the package design industry is headed?

In terms of sustainability, where my expertise lies, I see a rise of sustainable packaging ideas that help to close the loop on material use. Method really set the bar high by extracting plastic debris from the pacific ocean to incorporate in its packaging. I expect to see more examples of creative reintegration of waste materials in packaging, including waste-based bioplastics.

4. How do you see the role of designers changing?

Designers really have a huge role to play when it comes to sustainability. We want our packages to be more environmentally friendly, but we don't want to sacrifice form or function. Designers bring a creativity to problem solving that will be essential for tackling our environmental challenges. I expect designers to be called upon more and more to lend their skills to design lower impact products and packaging.

5. What's your favorite quote?

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." - Mother Teresa

Please visit Candace Hodder's recent opinion series contribution: What makes a package “sustainable”?

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In this fun and interactive session, Candace Hodder will take a step-by-step approach to designing a more sustainable package. Through case studies and interactive exercises, you’ll gain a holistic understanding of the key sustainability considerations that apply to packaging. You will emerge with your own sustainable packaging toolkit to apply to future design projects.

Candace will cover definitions of sustainable packaging; applying life cycle assessment to identify environmental impacts; strategies for responsible materials sourcing; optimizing packaging throughout the supply chain; design choices that facilitate recycling; making substantiated environmental claims; finding a place for sustainability in your package design process; and tools and resources for designers and marketers.

3 Main Take-Aways:

  • Identifying the key sustainability considerations that apply to packaging 
  • Understanding the environmental impacts of packaging systems 
  • Strategies for designing and marketing more sustainable packages


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