Improving the sustainability of packaging through design – UPM sponsors Pentawards to emphasise the significance of sustainable design

Press Release 2.5.2024 13:00 EEST

UPM has extended its partnership with the leading global platform and community for packaging design Pentawards to highlight the role of designers in co-creating a future beyond fossils. In 2024, UPM is one of the main sponsors of Pentawards and sponsors the Sustainable Design category in the Pentawards competition.

Packaging designers’ work is essential in developing packaging solutions that are not only visually appealing and functional but also environmentally responsible.

"At Pentawards we aim to honour design excellence, inspire creativity, and foster connections within the global packaging design community. By embracing industry changes as opportunities, we forge strong partnerships to navigate challenges. Sustainability is a key focus, and our collaboration with UPM allows us to educate, highlight and prepare the future of design", said Head of Pentawards, Adam Ryan.

For UPM this partnership is an opportunity to emphasise the significance of sustainable design in the packaging value chain and to demonstrate the impact of its circular and recyclable materials for packaging solutions.

"Packaging designers have the power to be the true changemakers when it comes to improving the sustainability of products. Sustainable packaging design can be inspiring, but also demanding, due to changing regulations and pressure from consumers and brands", said UPM Brand Director Kristiina Jaaranen.

According to Ellen McArthur Foundation’s study*, rethinking packaging means innovating at the packaging design level to provide the same essential packaging function, while designing out waste. For example, moving from non-recyclable to recyclable packaging formats or using a completely different type of material. Packaging designers combine their creative skills with an understanding of environmental considerations, user needs, and brand objectives.

“Together with Pentawards, we are here to support the designers in creating packaging solutions beyond fossils”, Jaaranen concluded.

UPM and Pentawards are also looking into possibilities of further supporting packaging designers in their sustainability path in the coming years.

UPM’s packaging solutions

UPM produces a wide range of safe and renewable alternatives to fossil-based materials that help designers and brands reduce their carbon footprint and improve the recyclability of their packaging.

UPM Raflatac offers sustainable high-grade paper and film label materials that help packaging stand out on crowded shelves and continue to evolve according to customer needs.

UPM Biochemicals provides innovations such as UPM BioPura™, the first market-ready, renewable drop-in solution to replace fossil-based MEG, which can be used in the production of PET, polyesters, and industrial liquids.

UPM Biofuels provides a wood-residue-based, innovative raw material for plastic, UPM BioVerno™ naphtha, which reduces the CO₂ footprint of products and helps unlock true circularity.

UPM Specialty Papers’ packaging papers are recyclable in existing fibre streams and produced with responsibly sourced fibres. The versatile papers offering barrier protection are easily converted for numerous end-uses.

“We are continuously aiming higher in our commercial success with a broad range of versatile packaging materials and value-adding co-creation projects and appreciate the holistic partnerships we have built with our partner brands and designers”, Jaaranen said.

* Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Upstream Innovation: A guide to packaging solutions (2020)

For further information please contact:
Nina Enroth, Brand communications manager, UPM, tel. +358 50 364 7567,
Adam Ryan, Head of Pentawards, tel. +44 (0) 7868 100 366,

UPM, Media Relations
Mon-Fri 9:00–16:00 EEST
tel. +358 40 588 3284

We deliver renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils across six business areas: UPM Fibres, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. As the industry leader in responsibility, we are committed to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C and the science-based targets to mitigate climate change. We employ 16,600 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately EUR 10.5 billion. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. UPM Biofore – Beyond fossils.

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About Pentawards
Founded in 2007, Pentawards is the leading global platform and community for packaging design. We're committed to recognising excellence in design, providing a source of inspiration and connecting the global packaging community through our annual competition, international conferences, digital events, and more. The Pentawards annual competition recognises the best of the best in global packaging design, with entries judged by an incredible line-up of over 50 experts from brands and agencies like Estée Lauder, Microsoft, Pentagram and PUMA. Now in its 18th year, the Pentawards competition has received in excess of 32,000 entries from over 64 countries globally since launch. Winners are celebrated at an exclusive annual Gala Ceremony, and are featured in The Package Design Book, a staple for any packaging designer.

Visit or follow us @Pentawards for more information.