Every box has a history. Before your package arrives at your front step or in your local store, materials were sourced to make the product itself, the box it goes into, the packaging and heck, even the shipping label! As companies strive to be more environmentally-friendly, they are looking at not only the product but also the supply chain behind that product.
For this conversation, the product(s) in question are Dell smartphones and laptops that are now sent off to excited new owners tucked safely in their box of bamboo packaging.
There are several reasons that bamboo packaging is an ideal choice:
- It’s highly renewable – Bamboo is a fast-growing plant and grow up to 24 inches a day. As opposed to traditional hardwoods, bamboo grass can be harvested as early as 3 years into its growth.
- It’s durable – Bamboo is the grass of steel! It can withstand a great deal of stress and is used for everything from boats to scaffolding. This toughness translates into protective packaging for that delicate technology equipment you are eagerly awaiting!
- It’s an environmentally friendly product that also helps the environment – Bamboo promotes healthy soil and using bamboo also makes the packaging biodegradable and easily composted. In fact, the packaging is certified as compostable by the American Society for Testing and Materials meaning, among other things, that the compost resulting from the packaging is of good quality and can sustain plant growth for your garden!
Dell’s new packaging is also locally-sourced. In looking at the supply chain, Dell chose to use a product that was not only sustainable but also grown nearby to reduce the carbon footprint left by transporting of materials. And they take care of the forest that supplies their bamboo – the forest is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council who ensure that the best interests of indigenous people and species are respected and that the impact to the eco-system is minimized.
After it is harvested, the bamboo is mechanically pulped at a nearby facility. During the process, 70 percent of the water is reclaimed and used in the process with the other 30 percent going to vapor. No toxic chemicals are used and the pulp is dried by the abundant sun, reducing electricity use.
And it’s not just the Dell Corporation taking a closer look at its supply chain and how each link in the chain affects the environment.
PepsiCo, advised by the United Kingdom government-funded Carbon Trust, recently looked at new acquisition Walker’s Crisps and implemented a plan to assist the suppliers of the potatoes, sunflower oil and seasoning (necessary ingredients for crisps!) to become more energy-efficient. Dyson, the appliance maker best known for their vacuums, took an exhaustive look at their supplies even working out the carbon impact of the screws used in an Airblade hair dryer.
Green Sourcing and Responsible Sourcing is one more way that companies such as PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Nestle, Wal-Mart and Tesco are working to minimize their impact on the world around us.
And as bamboo is increasingly a green choice for companies to use, perhaps we will find the sturdy plant popping up in local farms worldwide!