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Sustainable Packaging Design & Innovation

General objectives

Sustainable Packaging stands for the integration of environmental aspects in the design of a product/packaging combinations. This means that, in addition to marketing, economic and technical criteria also take into account environmental criteria. Sustainable packaging improves the quality perception of products, leads to cost savings, helps to meet legislation and provides environmental benefits. In this minor attention is given to developments in the field of sustainability in relation to packaging development. Sustainability should be understood in most broad sense: both technically and economically.


Summary of contents

Subject of this minor is redesign of an existing packaging concept centered around sustainability as explained in the text above. The actual assignment, the design project, will be formulated in cooperation with a company. Examples of design projects are industrial packaging, consumer packaging or  last-minute-packaging (packaging which is applied at the very last moment of sale).

Research skills are being trained by so-called student lectures. Students prepare these lectures by doing research about a selected theme and writing a detailed report. Eventually the students present the outcome in a lecture to be concluded by a question and debating round. Examples of selected themes are environmental management systems, recycling, sustainability, biomimicry, ecodesign, globalization, corporate social responsibility (CSR), CSR of small and medium enterprises and CSR of emerging economies.



Competency levels


- Obtaining insight of the role of a packaging designer at the packaging development process.

- Learning the design method of Industrial Product Design (IPO).

- Capable to analyze context and environment of product and packaging.

- Obtaining knowledge of packaging materials and processes.

- Obtaining knowledge of relevant marketing trends.

- Learning to make a process tree for packaging.

- Obtaining research skills (including desk research, use of library, internet and patent database).

- Learning about aspects of sustainability like Cradle-to-cradle, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).

- Obtaining knowledge about business economic aspects.

- Training of writing process and design assignment reports.

Aanvullende informatie

Indication of target group

Students of Industrial Design Engineering wanting to specialize on packaging design.

Students of other programmes wanting to learn more about packaging and its design methods focused upon their educational backgrounds. Examples of these backgrounds are retail, food & beverage, specific user groups (elderly, disabled) or commerce and management.


Werkvormen + verdeling van de studielast

Design training and instruction (workshop): 32 hours

Lectures: 48 hours

Excursions and company visits: 16 hours

Selftuition: 228 hours

Resit/re-examination (if applicable): 76 hours



The cooperation with a company or NGO is included in this minor. These organizations supply the design assignment, an excursion and lectures and attend presentations. Examples of cooperating organizations of the recent minors are Paperfoam, Kennisinstituut Duurzaam Verpakken (KIDV), Easyfairs, Oerlemans Plastics, Cloetta en GoBio.


Minimum- en maximumdeelname

Minimum- and maximum participation

Maximum number of students: 35


This minor is obligatory for students of the programme Industrial Product Design (IPO/IDE, The Hague) to obtain the certificate of Packaging Design.

Minorkrant De Haagse Hogeschool

Bekijk onze minorkrant om alle HHs-minoren op een rijtje te zien.


The minor Packaging Design & Innovation (PDI) in block 1 or 3 has to be succesfully completed.


The final assessment of the minor consists out of three parts:

  1. Review of all submitted home assignments related to the lecture material (*)
  2. Project Assessment (**)
  3. Final test (written exam)

The final result will be the weight average of all the above parts where each individual result should be 5,5 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10. A presence of 80% during the programme is mandatory.

(*) The assessment of the design project is based upon grades of report, prototype/dummy/mock-up and presentation. The assignment is carried out individually or in groups of two students.

Results to be handed in (hard copy) at week 9 (of blockperiod 2), resit/re-exam takes place at week 9 (of blockperiod 3).


BlackBoard is used as an online tool for this minor. All relevant information and documentation is provided on its pages. A comprehensive list of literature is provided additionally. The following books are obligatory:

- Rob Thompson: The Manufacturing Guides - Sustainable Materials, Processes and Production (Thames & Hudson)

- Rob Thompson: The Manufacturing Guides - Graphics and Packaging Production (Thames & Hudson)


Ten days before the start of the minor, an email with scheduling information will be sent to you.