Sustainable packaging solutions with GreenCalc tool
Transportation and packaging are enormous industries, and there seems to be no end in sight for their growth. To enhance sustainability in packaging design, it is crucial to consider the appropriate packaging for each mode of transportation and make intelligent choices regarding weight, material type, and volume. Nefab’s GreenCalc tool aids packaging engineers in making these decisions by considering both financial and environmental impacts.
Nefab is a leading global provider of industrial packaging and logistics services. With extensive engineering expertise and worldwide reach, Nefab offers complete packaging solutions, logistics services, and optimization programs that minimize the financial and environmental footprint of customers’ supply chains.
Transportation causes nearly 20% of global CO2 emissions. In addition, Nefab experiences an increase in supply chain disruptions due to the growing global and local demand for shipping. This surge in demand not only increases the volume of transported goods but also places additional strain on transportation systems. Nefab wants to keep up with this growing demand, but do so robustly and responsibly, with sustainable packaging and streamlined supply chains.
Nefab is a packaging solutions and logistics services company that spans the globe and serves diverse industries. That means they have large opportunities in supply chain optimization to save financial and environmental resources. They can make the most impact by helping customers minimize waste and maximize resource efficiency. By reducing material usage and optimizing freight filling rates, companies can reduce waste in their entire supply chain.
For years, Nefab has taken steps to make environmental information accessible and actionable for different internal and external stakeholders. This information has helped them move towards their sustainability goals:
- Empowering their internal packaging engineers to choose the most sustainable packaging option
- Showing their customers the CO2 reduction they achieved compared to earlier years
- Making CO2 reduction an integrated and measurable aspect of their customers’ target setting and individual performance evaluation
Over the years, Nefab has been able to achieve these goals in a step-by-step approach. They started with investigating the CO2 emissions of different packaging materials and distribution solutions. For this, a team of sustainability consultants at PRé used SimaPro to develop an LCA model of one of Nefab’s materials. After this first model was finished, PRé trained internal Nefab LCA experts to develop their own models using SimaPro Flow and SimaPro Collect.
Since then, Nefab has developed their own parameterized model and linked it to their GreenCalc tool. This makes the environmental footprint information accessible to their packaging engineers. In GreenCalc, packaging engineers can easily develop and test the financial and CO2 impact of different packaging solutions. Nefab’s IT development team connected the outputs of the SimaPro model with Nefab’s customized GreenCalc interface using the SimaPro API (Application Programming Interface).
The model considers the distance of shipping, the mode of shipping, the weight of the packaging material, and the volume of the packaging material – which can all be specified by the packaging engineers.
The CO2 reductions that packaging engineers realize with their new designs are linked to a platform called Gaia, which can be accessed by Nefab’s customers. This tool allows customers to gain insight into their reduction over the years and for different products. This platform streamlines the incoming questions from customers regarding the footprint of Nefab’s products.
Finally, the reduction impact that is calculated using GreenCalc is linked to Nefab’s internal performance dashboard, which is used to manage and evaluate the company’s impact targets regarding CO2 reductions.
By using the SimaPro platform as the underlying modelling and calculation tool, Nefab has been able to make environmental footprint and economic information available about packaging solutions for both their internal and external stakeholders. The GreenCalc tool made it possible to optimize packaging solutions and save resources, which helps the company, and their customers reach their targets.
At Nefab, our purpose is to save resources in supply chains for a better tomorrow. To achieve this, we need accurate data on the environmental impact of our products, and we’ve found the SimaPro platform to be the perfect solution. With its easy-to-use interface and extensive library of existing processes, we’re able to model the LCA of multiple packaging materials and generate datasets for our own simplified LCA tool. And by connecting our LCA model results directly to our tool through API integration, we’re able to make updates quickly and securely.
Charles De Muizon
Sustainability Director, Nefab packaging