British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) is set to assess the environmental impact of its food packaging, using the packaging impact quick evaluation tool (PIQET) from the Australian Sustainable Packaging Alliance (SPA).

The software uses data sets particular to each region of the world to evaluate the packaging’s total impact, considering materials, water, electricity use, manufacturing, product origin, transportation methods and end of life.

According to the SPA, companies can assess their packaging within 20-25mins using PIQET and can be useful in the design phase, allowing them to model impacts before committing to one design.

M&S said the software is in line with its Plan A environmental and ethical programme, which aims to make the company the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015.

M&S has already taken previous measures to reduce the environmental impact of its packaging, saving the company a net £11m in 2010-2011.