Going green with eco-friendly packaging solutions
Environmental aspects are key drivers in our business. We always aim to minimise our carbon footprint, reduce environmental impacts in all aspects of our operations, and ensure all our processes are environmentally safe. These cover logistics and manufacturing as well as our own energy consumption and our recycling operations.
Our customers also require us to ensure we are taking all steps to reduce waste and recycle wherever possible. We take this requirement very seriously and have various activities underway to deliver solutions that meet our customer’s needs.
An example of our work in this area is for a fibre wall outlet which we sell to a customer who has high demands for reducing waste and environmental impact. The product is an installation kit comprising of a fibre wall outlet, patch cord and fibre pigtail.
The fibre wall outlet was originally placed in a plastic bag, and then into a cardboard box. This box was then packed with the patch cord and pigtail into an outer plastic box for shipping to the customer. The customer wanted to reduce their environmental impact & waste, and so asked us to review the product and make changes to satisfy their aims.
To achieve the biggest impact possible, we proposed designing an environmentally friendly packaging solution based on recycled cardboard. Our idea was to create a unique cardboard box to hold all the required items, which specifically removed the need for the plastic bag and original inner cardboard box. We were able to design the new cardboard box to be smaller in size thus saving on material costs and shipping.
Another area we were able to improve upon was the product labelling on the box. By reducing the amount of printing on the outside of the box, and making it a simpler printing process, we were able to remove some of the surface treatment process usually needed. This again reduced cost and made the box more suitable for recycling. We also developed a cardboard bulk shipment box, allowing multiple products to be shipped in one cardboard container rather than multiples of smaller boxes.
The removal of the plastic packaging elements made a significant difference to the customer’s environmental requirements. As each empty plastic box weighed approximately 50g, by removing this we were able to save the customer over 5 tonnes of plastic waste per year. A very significant saving in waste material and cost!
It is not just the packaging of a product that we have enhanced, but we also work with customers to ensure their products and any associated accessories are necessary and of the correct quantity. This way, there is no waste generated when customers and installers use our products. Items such as fixing screws, wall plugs, washers and other consumables are reviewed to confirm they are still required, and where not, they are removed.
As well as saving waste from discarded items not needed, the procedure saves the cost. This is because all items must be sourced, then packaged into the sellable product and shipped to the customer. All the separate items add weight to the final package and this in turn affects the cost of shipment. On top of that also the cost of shipping the product components to us is reduced.
With all these initiatives, we were able to give the customer an environmentally efficient solution that they desired, which they are very pleased with.
I am leading the Passives & Indoors product management activities at Teleste. See my LinkedIn for more information.