The protection of the climate and the responsible use of resources are now more important than ever. For technotrans, sustainability has always been more than just a buzzword. In line with our sustainability strategy, we are currently optimising our logistics sector and, in particular, our packaging solutions. From now on, we will use an environmentally friendly packaging solution at our Sassenberg and Baden-Baden sites.
Our primary business goal is to ensure growth which is oriented towards achieving long-term results. This goal is directly linked to a high level of responsibility for our communities and the environment which we are fully aware of and to which we align our actions. This is why we have set high standards at technotrans to protect the climate and environment: This includes the further optimisation of energy-efficient technologies and the use of refrigerants with a low global warming potential. In addition, our plan is to source 100% of our electricity from renewable sources and to only use packaging material that can be recycled by type. These goals were stipulated in our Future Ready 2025 company strategy at the end of 2020 alongside other global sustainability targets.
These are the keywords of our guidelines concerning the packaging of our products to ensure a considerable reduction of the amount of waste. Most of the time, packaging is essential for protecting our products during transport. This is why it cannot always be avoided. However, it can be improved and optimised. In addition to using more sustainable packaging that is easier to recycle and to using less packaging in general, we also strive to reduce the transport costs as well as the associated carbon footprint.
Our Baden-Baden site uses ECO PE foam boards instead of standard PE foam boards. This ECO version is made from recycled material. As a result, we were able to reduce the original emissions of approximately 2.51 kg of CO2/kg by 95% to approximately 0.13 kg CO2/kg. "The costs are the same, but the environmental impact is considerably smaller," explains Adrian Butaru, head of logistics at technotrans systems.
Up to 2021, a two-component foam packaging system had been used for the shipment of products and spare parts. However, the polyester packaging material was of the "single use only" type and had to be disposed of as special waste. "Some of our customers were not happy about the ever-increasing disposal costs, which is why they returned the packaging material to technotrans," says Butaruu. As a result, for product shipments, the outdated foam packaging material was replaced with a more environmentally friendly packaging system that can be disposed of as plastic waste. The new system benefits both our customers and the climate.
As far as the shipment of spare parts is concerned, technotrans takes a different approach: The company now uses packaging material made of recycled paper. As a result, the carbon footprint of approximately 125 kg CO2/kg in this sector could be reduced by nearly 100% to approximately 0.2 kg CO2/kg, although the material offers the same level of protection.
Thanks to these measures, technotrans systems was able to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions from approximately 99,430 kg (2019) to approximately 43,620 kg in 2020. For 2021, we expect carbon dioxide emissions of only approximately 37,975 kg. "And in 2022, we want to continue to stay on course. To improve the carbon footprint even further, we plan to switch from self-adhesive plastic tape to self-adhesive paper tape," says Butaru. This will reduce the annual carbon dioxide emissions by another 3,000 kg.
The packaging logistics adjustments bring technotrans close to its goal of implementing fully closed-loop material cycles.
With ECO-PE foam boards, we were
able to reduce CO2 emissions by 95 %.
Recycled paper avoids CO2 emissions
almost completely: minus 99.4 %!
As small as possible: 11 carton sizes save
material and avoid unnecessary
Previously// Until the changeover, spare parts were packed as follows:
1. Cardboard packaging
2. Self-adhesive plastic tape applied with a taper dispenser
3. Filling material: either packaging foam in bags or polystyrene chips
4. Self adhesive plastic tape
5. Shipping envelope
6. Plastic string (if necessary)
This type of packaging has several disadvantages: Foam bags are very expensive, the disposal of the chemical components is complicated and the packaging process is time-consuming and tedious.
Our solutions// The packaged goods are fixed to an insert tray with recyclable stretch film. This means that the cavities of the packaging no longer need to be filled with material. The other components were also replaced by more sustainable alternatives such as paper tape and recyclable shipping bags.
Of eleven different packaging cartons, eight could be converted to the new wrapping technique - including the heavy-duty carton. The new technology is not applicable for the smallest shipping carton; compostable organic chips are used to fill the carton here. For the two smallest cartons, the automatic bottom additionally simplifies the packing process.
The result// The conversion of the packaging technology pays off in many respects, knows Sven Pannhorst, Logistics Director technotrans SE: „The packaging material is simpler, environmentally friendly and it can be recycled. We now ship less air as we are able to make better use of the box volume. In addition, the packaging process is considerably easier and faster so that new staff can be trained very quickly.“
Safety is not neglected either: tests have shown that the protective effect of the new packaging solutions is as strong as that of foam packaging. Furthermore, the switch to the new packaging system was cost-neutral. The reduction in packaging foam per year saves 841,500 kg of CO2.
Stretch wrapping station
Save space and protect the environment:
Less packaging for more
safety in shipping
Employee at the new facility
Saves large quantities of filling material:
Recyclable stretch film plus
insert tray made of recycled cardboard
Peter Hirsch (Board of Management) and Sven Pannhorst (Logistics Director)