Implementing environmentally-friendly policies and procedures is more than good Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), it’s the right thing to do for lots of reasons.
Customers are more conscious of their environmental footprint than ever before and are receptive to messaging that addresses these concerns. Surveys consistently show strong majorities of consumers not only look for green options when possible, but say that there are not enough choices that satisfy their desire to contribute to solutions to environmental issues.
This is not just a trend — what started as a rather small movement has led to a fundamental shift in public attitudes towards the impact that our buying habits have. Today, being a successful retailer means providing information about your own green activities.
This extends to logistics operations that stand behind the customer-facing elements of any retailer.
In short, incorporating eco-friendly elements into any operation is not just good for the planet, it’s a smart business decision as well.
Here are some of the materials, practices and processes used at Omnipack that demonstrate our commitment to creating the most environmentally-friendly service possible.
Omnipack packaging materials
This is the obvious place to start since this is the primary material we use to pack and deliver products across the continent. All of our boxes are 100% produced from recycled material and are themselves recyclable. Flap boxes are available in 6 sizes and shaped cardboard boxes are available in 3 sizes in order to optimize the number of boxes we need to order and reduce waste. Of course, we can pack items in any materials provided by the client and can use whatever sizes are necessary to ensure everything is packed properly and securely.
All of our flap cartons have creases that allow the boxes to be cut to the correct size, meaning we can use less filler material inside. Also, each flap carton has a minimum of 2 creases, which means that one carton size replaces 3 different sizes.
Die-cut cartons (used in the fashion industry) are adapted to be used for returns. They have a second adhesive strip, so any customer who returns products can use the same carton in which the order came and does not need to have adhesive tape to seal them. Examples of our clients for whom we use these cartons include Olsen, Nago and Cardio Bunny.
Filler material is often needed to fill empty spaces in boxes to keep items secure and safe from damage during the shipping process. Still, there are options available that allow our clients to extend their eco-policies to what’s inside the box.
We recommend that our clients use FSC-certified (issued by international forest management organization) crumpled paper inside the package to minimize product movement. Also, instead of plastic tape, we offer a more ecological paper-based version as an option.
Monitoring the use of packing materials
Despite the high volume of packages we process and the amount of packing materials involved, monitoring the amount of those materials is always a priority.
The number of boxes and amount of fillers is carefully tracked to ensure their efficient use and avoid waste. We scan each product that is packed, which helps us to use the appropriate amount of packing materials and ensure that everything gets exactly what it needs to provide full protection and the best customer experience without ordering and using too much of it.
Recycling of plastic bags
Plastic bags are an essential part of our storage procedures because they protect certain items, especially clothes, from dust and other damage. This use of plastic also presents us with another opportunity to recycle and reuse, thus reducing overall consumption, and that’s why we’re happy to comply with client requests to recycle them.
When we pack orders into a box, we take products out of the bags and send them back to our client for use in covering other products. It’s a service that our clients like Nago and MyBasic take advantage of.
Here’s one that’s on our ‘to do’ list but it’s coming soon. We’re going to introduce compostable courier labels, which means the entire box something is shipped in is not only recyclable but biodegradable as well.
We’re developing this in response to multiple customer requests and we think it’s a great idea. Soon, instead of having to go through the expense and trouble of making your own, you’ll soon be able to trust Omnipack to supply completely biodegradable packaging!
No poly mailers from couriers
We do not use poly mailers from couriers. Instead, we only pack products in cardboard boxes, meaning we reduce waste even more.
A client of ours, Sugarfree, packed their product in branded boxes which were then wrapped in poly mailers from couriers. This produced more waste and blocked their logo so we helped them find the optimal packaging method. Now, the price is the same, and they have better boxes, their logo is displayed and they produce less waste. That’s what we call a real win-win situation!
We don’t split orders into two boxes
This just makes sense, doesn’t it? Items ordered together ship together in one package. Some logistics operations make a habit of this because they keep products stocked in multiple warehouses, resulting in multiple shipments.
All stock we hold for a particular client is consolidated in one location, meaning we can be more efficient in our use of packing materials, reduce waste and further minimize our carbon footprint.
A green first mile
Long before you get to the famous last mile, you have to travel the first mile.
At Omnipack, we schedule our shipping and resupply deliveries to minimize the necessary trips, thus reducing CO2 emissions by concentrating on delivering larger volumes. This arrangement means less congestion and a smaller environmental impact with no compromise in the quality of our services.
As you can see, there are lots of small ways we can help the cause while still delivering outstanding logistical support. Taking steps to reduce waste, use materials more efficiently and optimize the process of delivering your products to your customers from an environmental perspective is the least we can do to meet our obligations as a good corporate citizen and a logistics partner you can be proud of.
Want to know more? Reach out to us to learn all about how we can add an eco-friendly touch to your logistics needs.