DS Smith and Signify made packaging sustainable in support their circular economy ambitions

World leader in lighting demonstrates the critical role of packaging innovation to meet its sustainability goals.

Signify, a world leader in lighting technology, recently achieved CO2 neutrality supported by its partnership with sustainable packaging manufacturer, DS Smith. The companies streamlined the packaging process and made shipping of LED luminaires more sustainable to help drive the transition to the circular economy.

Signify actively strives to reduce the environmental impact of its products, reducing emissions by over 70 percent since 2010. It recently presented a new five-year plan, in which the company aims to double the positive impact of its operations on the environment and society.

Johan Damkot, Senior Buyer at Signify, underlines the role that shipping packaging plays in the  process towards sustainability: “The DS Smith packaging specialists have built up a strong reputation within Signify and by working with our engineers, designs are aligned from the start and never use more material than strictly necessary. This process tackles everything from bespoke solutions for complex LED fixtures to modifying product design to reduce empty space in the transport of goods.

This approach led to innovative and practical solutions such as the ‘end caps’ for LED packaging, which only need to be placed on either side of the products and require 76 percent less packaging material. In addition, the packing process of the products is ergonomically better and the packaging itself is more stable when stacked, which reduces the risk of damage. In terms of circularity, the percentage of recycled raw materials was an important part of the process and a solution that is 100 percent recyclable.

Finally, the ordering process and delivery performance were also streamlined. Johan Damkot explains: “Delivering on time is not simply a matter of delivering before the deadline. With packaging, just in time is the perfect time and ensures it is at peak performance for all our deliveries. You need partners who deliver the goods flawlessly, 100 percent in time, just in time. Not once, but year-in-year-out “.

The collaboration with DS Smith started in the late 1980s, when Signify –then Philips Lighting – began to increasingly specialize in custom-made lighting solutions. Both global players are leaders in their respective fields and have ambitious sustainability goals in the areas of circular economy, CO2 reduction and recycling. Signify introduced the Circular Lighting Principle with which lighting is no longer discarded but reused after use. DS Smith introduced the Circular Design Principles last year, supporting the transition to a circular economy for packaging users and the packaging sector.

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