Reducing to the essen­tials

How to optimise a product’s packaging while minimising the resources used? We always ask this question when we review our existing packages or develop new ones – because our aspiration is to contin­ually reduce packaging materials. The idea is to identify and eliminate unnec­essary elements or materials.

Cardboard packaging: reducing materials

With this in mind, we are also working on reducing our use of cardboard in logistics. Our Climate Protection Roadmap stipu­lates a 30 % reduction in paper and cardboard consumption for B2B and B2C deliv­eries, per sales unit, by 2020. Accord­ingly, we are cutting down on printed delivery documents and shifting to digital wherever possible. This is already being done in B2B delivery to Tchibo shops and in B2C delivery, unless customers specif­i­cally ask for printed documents.

In 2015, a student thesis on the optimal filling of Tchibo online order boxes resulted in a materials saving potential of up to 15 %. Since then, we have contin­ually adapted the cardboard packaging to the results of the study, and have developed new box sizes on this basis.

One important innovation in this area is optimising the fill level for box sizes in the B2C sector, which we are currently inves­ti­gating. This would make it possible to automat­i­cally adapt boxes to the product to be packaged so that super­fluous materials can be avoided. Optimising box sizes for delivery saves both resources and CO₂ emissions.

In logistics, we are also planning to reduce the number of paper copies from four to three for the Eastern European Tchibo shops, and for admin­is­trative documents in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

In our Non Food products, we were able to save packaging material through open packaging that only partially encloses the products.