Through a focus on circular design and performance, DS Smith has recently announced its innovative design methodology has removed 20,000 tons of raw material from the manufacturing process, despite increasing overall production. This has effectively taken the equivalent of 238 million boxes out of circulation over the past year.

These savings will result in a reduction of around 32,000 tons of CO2e, the equivalent of eliminating approximately 2 million deliveries from the roads in cities globally at a time when air quality, carbon emissions and congestion are under the spotlight.

With the peak Christmas period for e-commerce approaching and recent research showing that 85 percent of U.S. adults will continue to shop online at the same level or more post lockdown, there is huge benefit to DS Smith’s customers: increased adoption of this technology will support their work to reduce emissions in their supply chains.

“DS Smith is committed to delivering on the circular economy, using our expertise in packaging innovation to drive progress,” said Alex Manisty, group head of strategy at DS Smith. “Our ability to deliver the highest levels of performance through better design has resulted in tangible environmental impact. Whether it’s taking carbon out of supply chains or providing closed-loop recycling processes, we will continue to develop circular solutions fit for the changing world in which we operate.”

The process begins with the application of DS Smith’s Circular Design Principles, developed in conjunction with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, to ensure that the product is optimized from the outset, while also increasing production and the number of value-added solutions for its customers across sectors, including e-commerce, fast moving consumer goods and industrials. Meanwhile, the enhanced manufacturing processes ensures the efficiency of material to create performance-optimized boxes across its total packaging production of 17 billion boxes.

With up to 50 touchpoints in the traditional e-commerce supply chain, performance remains a critical consideration. Through DS Smith’s patented DISCS technology—which replicates the drops, impacts, shocks, crushes and shakes of a journey—the optimized boxes provide the same or improved levels of protection.

As part of its recently launched “Now and Next Sustainability Strategy,” DS Smith has committed to protecting natural resources by making the most of every fiber and reducing waste and pollution through circular solutions, including taking an additional 250,000 deliveries off the road. More details on its wider sustainability strategy can be found here.