A transformative, not-for-profit packaging data-sharing platform (GING) has been launched this week to support efficient, consistent and secure capture, sharing and reporting of packaging data.
GING is a cloud-based software platform which enables users to store and share data on packaging along their supply chains in a quick, user-friendly and secure way. It is built around the free-to-use Open 3P data standard for the packaging sector, launched earlier this year, and both have been developed with a consortium of industry partners, input from over 100 packaging sector stakeholders, and funding from UK Research & Innovation’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK.
GING enables businesses to share accurate, up-to-date, granular packaging data with their supply chains, both domestic and international, allowing every organisation along the chain to access better quality data easily and quickly whenever necessary. It allows data to flow through the system, from packaging materials suppliers right through to the point where final pack formats are placed on the market. It also facilitates key data flowing back down the chain from retailers and brands and streamlines data sharing with compliance schemes for regulatory purposes.
The new platform comes online at a critical time for the packaging value chain, as legislative frameworks including Extended Producer Responsibility and the UK Plastic Packaging Tax impose greater data capture and reporting obligations. But according to the consortium partners involved, it has been designed to help with much more than just compliance.
“By replacing what are often inefficient, time consuming and ad hoc ways of collating and sharing packaging data – often in multiple different formats – GING offers direct commercial benefits, as well as wider industry benefits.”
“It supports more efficient and cost effective data collection and sharing, smarter internal reporting and decision making, and the opportunity to create a body of aggregated and anonymised data that can inform the drive for greater resource efficiency, circularity and net zero across the whole packaging supply chain.”Sophie Walker from Dsposal Ltd, lead partner in the development of GING
“Better data is an essential tool for every business in the packaging value chain looking to improve efficiency, streamline future compliance, and collaborate with suppliers to drive packaging sustainability,” says Jamie Riley, Divisional Sustainability Manager for Berry Superfos, one of the key industry names consulted in the development of the platform. “The GING data-sharing platform supports all of these business-critical activities and Berry Global is delighted to have been a major supporter and collaborator in this project.”
Recognising the importance of data security and integrity, users of the platform will be able to protect commercially sensitive or proprietary data and will have complete control over what data they share and with whom. GING will also enable integration with a variety of software and data services so that users can make the most of their existing software systems and new innovations without needing to manually transfer data, cutting down on double entry and associated errors and streamlining workflows.
A new not-for-profit entity to run GING has been incorporated. It is a company limited by guarantee with an asset and profit lock and a clearly defined and protected mission statement. Two high profile Mission Guardians – Paula Chin, Senior Policy Adviser at WWF-UK and Professor Michael Shaver, Director of Sustainable Futures at the University of Manchester, have also been appointed to safeguard GING’s Mission to “improve the quality and availability of packaging data for the entire packaging ecosystem for the benefit of people and planet…”
“We are delighted to have Paula and Mike on board, and the governance structure we have put in place will safeguard the platform, the data, and the mission to ensure it exists for the benefit of the entire packaging industry and the environment. Any profits generated in running the platform will be either reinvested in improving the platform or invested in projects or initiatives that make packaging more sustainable,” says Sophie Walker.
Professor Michael Shaver, Director of Sustainable Futures at the University of Manchester said: “Transparency is essential to ensuring the best fate for our packaging waste. It unlocks better economic, social and environmental outcomes and is thus the foundation for a sustainable future. I am excited to serve as a Mission Guardian on the GING project.”
Paula Chin, Senior Policy Adviser at WWF-UK, said: “Adopting a common approach to understanding the footprint of packaging material supply chains is critical if we want to reduce our global environmental and social impacts. Enabling more transparent and comprehensive reporting is an essential step towards this and platforms like Ging’s Open 3P are poised to drive improvements in this area. It is a privilege to be a Mission Guardian and I look forward to supporting this transformational work.”
The Open 3P data standard for packaging and the GING packaging platform have been developed as part of the Plastics Packaging Portals (PPP) Project, funded by UKRI’s SSPP Challenge. The consortium of partners involved are Dsposal, Ecosurety, Open Data Manchester, OPRL, and RECOUP.
“In a complex, dynamic and increasingly regulated sector like packaging, efficient data and data systems are essential. They have the potential to be transformational, not just at a company and supply chain level but also to enable the industry as whole to collaborate and deliver more sustainable packaging solutions in the future. This project is hugely exciting and it is encouraging to see the growing industry support for the Open 3P data standard for packaging and the launch of GING.”Dr Paul Davidson, Director of UKRI’s SSPP Challenge
Further information about the research and analysis that underpins the GING data sharing platform has also been published as a White Paper and can be accessed at: https://gingsystem.org/whitepaper.