Product Packaging - Slimming Down the Waste

During this time of year, we are surrounded by a lot of packaging waste -- shopping bags, boxes, food packaging, and other wrapping paper from holiday gifts fill our living rooms, hallways, closets, and hopefully recycle bins.  This got me thinking about how we can reduce the waste generated by construction products, and how these changes can become part of your marketing strategy.

Building products need to be shipped around the world to distributors and construction sites.  Shipping requires packaging, and that packaging has to protect its contents from rough handling, inclement weather, and other abuse over which a manufacturer has no control. The one thing you have control over is the type of packaging you use. By streamlining your packaging and ensuring that you have only the basic necessities for safely delivering your product to its destination, you will save the environment, money, and can better market your green message.

A video describing how a major shoe manufacturer has cut down on their company's ecological "paw print," is a good example about how your packaging can become part of your branding. The video, created by Puma, has gone viral.  People are sharing this video link with their friends over social networking sites, getting the brand name in front of millions of people.  As a building product manufacturer, once you streamline your packaging, why not create a video that shows how much time and effort you put into making your product packaging as eco-friendly as possible?

Share your video across social networking sites and others will spread your green story.  This viral effect will put your brand name in front of potential customers, along with your green story, making you highly desirable when it is time for them to re-supply or specify.

Specifiers and builders are increasingly concerned about packaging waste - due to increased waste disposal costs and incentives like earning the LEED credit for improved construction waste management.

Here are some steps our clients have taken to green their packaging:
  • Concrete admixtures are packaged in sacks that disintegrate when placed into a concrete mixer, eliminating a waste disposal problem.
  • Instead of single-use cartons, light fixtures are delivered in special racks that can be returned to the distributors.
  • Manufacturers pay customers to return plastic pails. This gives the customer an incentive, and provides the manufacturer a saving compared to buying new cartons.
  • Job-site production can eliminate the need for packaging altogether.
In each of these cases, the packaging has become part of the product offering.