You can’t use the internet, switch on the tv or tune into the radio these days without hearing about the impact we’re having on our environment.
One of the most talked about topics is our carbon footprint. If you don’t know already, your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of your activities. Carbon footprints also apply to your company or community.
What role can packaging play in reducing your company’s carbon footprint?
The answer is – a big one!
It starts at the beginning of your supply chain – if you use certain packaging materials, more CO2 could be produced when they’re manufactured.
Plus, the size and weight of your packaging materials will impact your transport emissions , as well as your costs. How effective your packaging is plays a role in your carbon footprint too.
So, here’s some ideas for you to consider when it comes to cutting your carbon footprint with packaging…
1. Aim for first time delivery
If you’re shipping direct to the end consumer, you should consider “letterboxable” packaging. If your parcel will fit through a customer’s letterbox, consequently there’s less impact on the environment. First time delivery means fewer emissions as there’s no repeat delivery attempts or customer collecting goods from courier depots.
If your packaging is effective and fit for purpose too, you’ll be able to reduce damages and returns. Fewer returns means less transport being used, which will directly impact your CO2 emissions.
2. Review your pallet planning & transport
You’d be amazed at the massive impact your pallet planning can have on your carbon footprint.
You can slash your emissions through effective pallet loading, as it will reduce the amount of transport you need to use/
Simple changes, like re-calibrating your packaging materials can help with effective pallet planning. For example, we recently recommended that a customer re-shape their transit boxes to enable more efficient stacking. This in turn meant our customer could reduce the number of shipping containers they required each year, saving them £22,000 as well as minimising their carbon footprint. Could you do something similar?
3. Use innovative and re-engineered packaging materials
Packaging manufacturing is advancing all the time. Due to this, you’ll find that many companies can now offer materials that have been re-engineered. These re-engineered materials can help you minimise CO2 emissions throughout your supply chain.
An example of this is the Sealed Air’s AirCap® Bubble Wrap, which we mentioned recently in a blog about saving space in your warehouse. AirCap® is specially manufactured using a thinner film, which means it has less impact on raw material sources. It’s also more compact compared to other bubble films so its lighter and takes up less space in your warehouse and transport, all contributing to reducing your emissions.
4. Change to renewable packaging materials
Using sustainable packaging materials is a terrific way to lower your carbon footprint. Paper based products are sustainable, as trees can be re-planted as materials are used. So this negates the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere.
You should choose to work with businesses that can supply paper packaging made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials (like us!).
By choosing FSC certified materials you can be confident your packaging is responsibly sourced. Plus you’ll have the reassurance your packaging is environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial too. In turn, this will help cut your carbon footprint and contribute to your corporate social responsibility goals.
Use packaging to cut your carbon footprint
Book a packaging review with us by calling 01902 496 666. You can also fill in our contact form. Our team can help you get on the right track with sustainable products.