Avoid and Reduce

Our packaging not only needs to look attractive and meet individual product-specific safety requirements – it also needs to perform on the environmental aspects. This is why we work continuously to optimize our packaging in accordance with the sustainability principles of “avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle”. When developing our packaging, we take a systematic approach to finding optimization potentials at all levels. We specifically develop alternative packaging solutions that are environmentally and resource friendly, and which take into consideration ever more stringent environmental requirements.

Around 20 Tonnes of Materials Saved – Optimized Packaging for NIVEA In-Shower Products

Every gram counts. To minimize material use in our packaging, we improved our NIVEA In-Shower product packaging and rolled out new, lighter package types at the start of 2017. For instance, by reducing packaging wall thickness we reduced the weight of the 400ml pack by 2g; while this is a small change, it has a huge environmental impact as it resulted in saving around 20t of packaging materials in 2017.

Less Waste, Less Effort – Pre-cut Aluminum Sheets for NIVEA Tins

We previously used rectangular aluminum sheets to punch out our circular 400ml NIVEA Creme tins. To minimize tin production waste, we have been ordering pre-cut sheets from our supplier since the end of 2017. Thanks to the more customized cut, less waste is produced during punching – meaning we save 54g of aluminum per sheet. This reduces the total amount of materials used for our NIVEA tins by around 14t of aluminum per year. And as the sheets already come pre-cut from the supplier, this also reduces the weight and transport-related costs associated with the delivery of the sheets and the disposal of leftovers. Our supplier can directly feed any cutting waste back into the production process and therefore recycle it in a better way.

Environmentally Friendly Solution – Switch-over to Water-based Exterior Coatings

While there is no difference in quality, there is a decisive difference for the environment when it comes to our aerosol cans. In collaboration with one of our suppliers, we switched all of our NIVEA hairstyling product aerosol cans from a solvent-based to a water-based exterior coating in 2017, replacing the usual solvents used in conventional coating systems with water. Our new, eco-friendly exterior coating reduces the amount of solvent used in the production process by 40% to 45%. Since the switchover, between April and October 2017, we have produced around 21 million aerosol cans with the water-based exterior coating resulting in solvent savings of around 4t. At the same time, this significantly reduces the CO2 impact, as both the drying temperature and time are reduced. We are currently looking at switching over other cans and tins to water-based coatings to further reduce our use of solvents.

Guideline for Sustainable, Paper-based Packaging

Elements of our product packagings are made from paper and cardboard, so to improve the sustainability of our packaging we are always searching for optimization potentials when selecting materials or developing packaging. In 2017, we developed our “Sustainable Paper Packaging Guideline”, which applies to all paper-based products at Beiersdorf. Through this we plan to change to sustainable paper and cardboard around the world by 2020.

Sustainable Strategic Implementation and Focused Initiatives

The topic of sustainability is a high priority for us, and is deeply embedded in our packaging area. We aim to optimize our use of resources and materials at every level, regardless of whether this relates to packaging materials, energy consumption, or CO2 emissions. To achieve this, we have defined long-term strategic measures, which we are implementing consistently through our “Sustainability Roadmap”. This includes new, improved processes, optimizing our existing packaging solutions, and searching for more environmentally friendly packaging alternatives.