KONICA MINOLTA

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Reduction of Use of Packaging Materials

Konica Minolta is reducing packaging material usage by optimizing shapes and recycling.

Major Initiatives

Reduction of Use of Packaging Materials

Konica Minolta has developed new buffer materials, in addition to techniques to optimize conventional buffer materials, for its multi-function peripherals (MFPs) for offices and production printing machines, thereby substantially reducing the use of packaging materials. In order to confirm the actual transportation environment, the development, production and sales departments worked together to conduct an experiment in 2016. Products were sent from production sites in China on various routes by ship, truck and railway to sales companies worldwide. After arrival, they were checked to see what impact they underwent during shipment. Using these measurements as a reference, the company reexamined its packaging design concept and succeeded in streamlining the cushioning material while maintaining the equivalent shock resistance. This greatly reduced the amount of styrene foam used.
In 2019, Konica Minolta developed a new air cushioning material* that converts the various impact energies produced during transport into heat energy and succeeded in increasing the cushioning efficiency. Compared to conventional packaging from 2005, new packaging that includes this cushioning material uses 83% less styrene foam by weight ratio.
In addition to developing its own technologies, the company has also worked to reduce the use of styrene foam with packaging designs that replace styrene foam with cardboard using TOTO LTD. cardboard cushioning technology (PAT P6362025).
This improvement resulted in smaller packing boxes and a substantial reduction in the use of styrene foam, contributing to greater transportation efficiency, which in turn helped to substantially reduce CO2 emissions during distribution.
The various initiatives undertaken in 2019 reduce the environmental impact of the company’s packaging throughout the entire supply chain from procurement, assembly, distribution, recovery and recycling by the equivalent of approximately 1,200 tons in CO2 emissions per year.
In order to expand the effects, in addition to increasing the types of office MFPs and production printing machines covered by these initiatives, the company also expanded it to peripheral equipment and consumables.

*The new air cushioning material won the President’s Award of the Japan Productivity Center, one of the top-ranked Japan Star awards at the Japan Packaging Contest 2019 sponsored by the Japan Packaging institute.

Example of downsized packaging for office MFPs and the application of new air cushioning material

Example of downsized packaging for consumables

Recycling Used Packaging Materials

Konica Minolta’s sales companies worldwide are also working hard to recycle used packaging materials. Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd., a sales company in the UK, established the “Greenhub” recycling center inside its logistics warehouse. It separates used packaging materials for MFPs and production printing machines into cardboard, styrene foam, film, and wood, and then sells them to a local recycling operator as material for recycling. In the Greenhub, it pulverizes and compresses styrene foam, which has poor transportation efficiency due to its large volume relative to weight, in an effort to reduce environmental impact associated with its transportation. The Group is carrying out similar initiatives at sales companies in France, Belgium, Germany, Japan and China.


Foamed polystyrene crusher

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