Our team for sustainable packaging
When developing safety and security systems for sustainable buildings, you should ensure that the packaging is environmentally friendly. Our packaging team in Ovar, Portugal, has been managing more than 500 projects all over the world. With innovative packaging concepts, they make a large positive impact on efficiency, the environment, and people. We talked to the team members about what drives them, what they have already achieved, and what they are currently working on.
Rethinking packaging to reduce CO2 emissions
Raquel Torres reaches for building blocks when she talks about her job. She uses the toys particularly well to explain how her team has been reducing CO2 emissions through clever packaging. „We rely on tailor-made boxes that can be stacked like Lego bricks in a container during transportation,” says the packaging engineer. „This means that no space is wasted and fewer containers are needed.“ This in turn translates into fewer vehicles being needed for transport and also fewer CO2 emissions.
This is a decisive advantage because the team develops packaging solutions for the complete Building Technologies business area and cooperates with five sites worldwide that are supplied with products such as loudspeakers or cameras.
Small changes to the size of packaging can make a big difference.
In one year alone,130 tons of CO2 were saved during transport, thanks to tailor-made packaging. For example, Torres and her colleagues reduced the size of the packaging for deliveries from overseas by three centimeters, and this in turn meant they needed 12 fewer containers to transport.
-130 tons of CO2
saved in one year
Sharing packaging know-how with suppliers
The packaging team also shares its expertise in sustainable solutions and designs with suppliers. „We developed a new packaging concept for our supplier that does not require so much plastic and foam,” explains packaging designer João Araújo. „The new boxes are more compact, lighter, and can fit more raw components inside the same loading unit.”
This resulted in less repackaging time, fewer sea containers and lower CO2 emissions. At the same time it also helped to improve the working conditions for the warehouse workers – because sustainability is not only about the environment, but also about the well-being of people.
Working on eco-friendly materials
Sometimes the question of environmentally friendly packaging cannot only be answered with the material. But the Bosch packaging team, supported by researchers from the nearby University of Porto, is working on the materials, too. The colleagues are currently testing packaging with components of fungus, for example. Material made from leftover corn is already in use, securely enclosing a controller for the smart home, for example. Only the outer cover of the packaging with the Bosch logo and description is made of cardboard. Other materials being tested include honeycomb and vegetables.
Packaging should disappear completely on the compost heap at home, for example. This is material that comes from agriculture or the food sector and is no longer used there. One example is the remains of corncobs. The packaging material that is produced from this dissolves entirely in water, as one of the packaging experts impressively demonstrates in a cup. All these materials have to be tested, he says. They are organic, so their behavior cannot simply be simulated on a computer.
The team is now working to implement 100% non-petrol-based packaging solutions, using mainly carton, molded pulp, paper tape, and paper seals – all coming from sustainable sources and with FSC certification whenever it's possible, and using plastic only when absolutely needed.
Combining sustainability and safety
A short time later, a video camera falls to the ground from a height of almost one meter with a resounding thump. Pedro Batista remains completely calm at this sight because the fall was only a test to check the stability of the packaging. It has already proven itself in other tests. The camera is wrapped in nothing but cardboard for shipping and is no longer secured by means of foam products like it was before. The challenge is to ensure the same level of safety with new materials,“ says a packaging engineer of the team. „That is hard. But so far, we have been successful.“