Sustainability gains for Delhaize with new Direct Box

Retailer to save 160 tons of packaging material and to reduce CO2 by 30% on inbound transport thanks to a new design coupled with a mechanization project.

Delhaize Belgium, the leading supermarket chain, has optimized its packaging process to meet the increased demand for home deliveries in partnership with DS Smith, the leading sustainable packaging provider.

By creating its new Direct Box, the retailer could reduce the CO2 emissions with more than 87 tons.

In recent months, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for home deliveries has increased significantly. In order to continue to meet its ambitious sustainability targets, Delhaize worked in collaboration with DS Smith’s team of circular design experts to reimagine its e-commerce packaging and cut delivery volumes. To respond to increasing demand, an automated box erecting machine was introduced to ensure efficient delivery to homes and shops across Belgium.

Nico Buelens, Project Manager Ecommerce Operations of Delhaize explains: "The new Direct Box is an innovative reusable corrugated tray. It incorporates built-in reinforcement on the handles, thisensures an extra strong Direct Box.

The newly designed Direct Box is made from 100% recycled cardboard, which is also fully recyclable after use. As a result of the redesign, a total of 160 tons of packaging material will be saved on an annual basis. This also means there will be 32 fewer trucks required in the supply chain and the need for storage space will be reduced by over 1,000 pallets. A global cut of no less than 87,2 tons of CO2.

Filip van Impe, DS Smith Packaging Machine Expert said: "In order to achieve the best possible results in terms of sustainability and efficiency, the packaging and machines at customers’ sites must be aligned from the design phase onwards. Through the application of our Circular Design Principles, we were able to support Delhaize to create a new system that had sustainability and recyclability at its heart. It is a rewarding challenge to provide solutions that contribute to our customers' sustainability goals."

Both companies have ambitious environmental targets and the project is part of their individual strategies to reduce the impact of packaging materials on climate change and reduce CO2 emissions throughout the supply chain.