Sustainable cardboard boxes
To reduce paper consumption further, we made significant improvements to our 2022 cardboard boxes. We reduced the amount of cardboard by a third and are packaging the reacha more efficiently in custom-made cartons. The new cartons in which the reacha is shipped now only weigh 2.2 kg instead of 3.5 kg and are 30 cm smaller. Despite the smaller packing size, the reacha fits more securely in the box thanks to our new packaging concept. At the same time, there is no need for plastic at all! We also cut down on the amount of ink printed on our cartons - this saves the environment and makes it easier to recycle the cardboard.
In the process of redesigning our cardboard boxes, we took a closer look at the sustainability of large-scale packaging. In our search for suppliers who can help us keep our footprint as small as possible, we have not only looked at alternative packaging materials. We also had a close look at various certifications, such as those from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
In the process, we learned that, as is so often the case, there is no such thing as a „jack of all trades" and due to the size of our packaging, we always have to weigh up the best possible sustainability against the best possible protection of our reachas. Innovative packaging materials, such as grass paper, which generates up to 95% less CO₂ compared to wood are still in their early days and have so far only been used for smaller packaging for lighter goods in transit. So for us, it's still down to the tried-and-tested cardboard. Unfortunately, if you look at sustainability and certifications in this area, you quickly realize that not everything that glitters is green. According to Greenpeace, most paper certificates are not worth the paper they are printed on. So we decided to find a producer that at least meets the “FSC Recycled” standard, meaning the cardboard is made from 100% recycled paper.
After we had contacted approximately 20 different German cardboard producers, we unfortunately found out that for large packages like ours, there seems to be no cardboard manufacturer that can offer more than an “FSC Mix” certificate. Unfortunately, the FSC Mix allows for up to 30% non-certified wood to be used. Instead of commissioning any large producer with FSC Mix certification, we decided to work with a small regional cardboard manufacturer, Bayerische Wellpappen GmbH in Lengries. This way we can keep the delivery routes as short as possible.
Our contact person also helped us to understand more about cardboard packaging. Interestingly, cardboard is mainly made from recycled material simply because of the price pressure. However, fresh wood for the production of cardboard paper also predominantly uses broken, thinned and waste wood from a wide variety of conifers and hardwoods, which cannot be used for other papers. As a result, we are not yet 100% perfect in this area either, but we took a big step in the right direction.
In addition, we have also managed to save 1.3kg and 39cm of tape per box through the redesign. The governing body of European cardboard corrugated associations FEFCO determines that the for one ton of corrugated cardboard was 531 kg CO₂-equivalents in 2018. For us, that would mean saving about 0.7 kg CO₂ on cardboard alone. By comparison, one liter of German organic milk has a footprint of around 1.7 kg CO₂-equivalents.
Organic adhesive tape
Personally, we are committed to shipping the reacha in the most climate-friendly way possible. After reducing the size, minimizing the ink-printed area and avoiding plastic in the interior of the parcels, we also looked for an alternative to classic parcel tape.
For this purpose, we started using ecological adhesive tape made of paper and natural rubber glue. The natural rubber adhesive is solvent-free and the adhesive remains are biodegradable. So the packaging of the reacha can be recycled cleanly and become part of the circular economy again.
In 2022, we also opted for a more sustainable production for our print products. We source the majority of our instructions, postcards, etc. from WIRmachenDRUCK GmbH. Wherever possible, we use FSC-certified and recycled paper. WIRmachenDRUCK offsets unavoidable emissions during printing and delivery for us.
or a long time, we considered shipping the reacha paperless. But for us, good packaging is not just about climate-friendly packages and not using plastic, but also about the experience of unpacking the reacha. We believe this includes things like instructions or greeting cards from our warehouse. Thanks to our cooperation with WIRmachenDRUCK, we can add these products in a climate-neutral way with a clear conscience and support sustainable projects at the same time.
Shipping goes green
After spending a lot of work and time to make our packaging design as climate-friendly as possible, the reacha should also be shipped environmentally friendly! The final assembly and shipping of the reacha takes place in Gmund at lake Tegernsee. We have also decided to a href="https://www.dhl.de/de/privatkunden/kampagnenseiten/gogreen.html" title="Informationen über DHL GoGreen">ship climate neutral with DHL GoGreen, to further minimize our carbon footprint.
DHL GoGreen is an initiative of Deutsche Post DHL Group to improve CO₂ efficiency in shipping. The goal of the sustainability program is to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero. Currently, every fourth DHL parcel is delivered CO₂-free. This includes every parcel that leaves our warehouse at Tegernsee.
DHL offsets the transport-related emissions based on the individual parcel volume. Climate protection projects around the world are supported in the process. Projects supported by DHL GoGreen are all Gold-Standard certified and help to prevent climate change!