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Explain like I’m five: Sustainable packaging with elephants

Explain like I’m five: Sustainable packaging with elephants

Sustainability can be a seriously complicated topic. That is why it is more important than ever, not to make assumptions and ensure that everyone understands how much difference it makes exactly. Boris Grbavac, Communications Manager at Customer Service, decided to talk about this topic candidly – with elephants.

“When it comes to sustainable companies, there is this big elephant in the room called “greenwashing”. That is when a company tries to promote itself as being ecologically and socially responsible while it is not.

"It is like posting a picture on Tinder where you look cool wearing glasses but only because you have dark circles under your eyes” says Boris Grbavac, Communications Manager at Customer Service.

When it comes to BSH, there are real actions behind our sustainability pledge, though. Because all BSH locations worldwide operate carbon-neutral. “This is an awesome achievement by itself,” says Boris, “so let’s prove that our approach to being sustainable is credible.” The economical packaging of BSH’s appliances has been announced already. But not only appliances need packaging. The spare parts need it too. And we’re distributing more than 18 million parts a year to our consumers worldwide. That is plenty of packaging and padding material.


Green tag that comes with appliances and spare parts sustainably packaged and distributed by Fürth Logistics’ Center

More sustainable shipping

To make the packaging and shipping more sustainable, packaging engineer Franziska Lerke went on a mission to figure out how. Starting in Fürth, Germany, the largest of BSH’s six logistics centers worldwide she started re-thinking the packaging of spare parts and accessories. Pursuing a sustainable packaging strategy starts with three steps: First, producing less material, second, using recycled material for packaging you can’t avoid, and third, introducing re-usable packaging.  

The Fürth Logistics’ Center uses recycled plastic for packaging


The Fürth Logistics’ Center did all of the above and saved 54 tons of filling material and 11,6 tons of recycled packaging. Moreover, using recycled and sustainable material they saved 28,4 tons of CO2 in padding production, 172 tons of CO2 in reusable packaging, and 8,3 tons of CO2 in plastic bags.

Too many numbers? Let’s just visualize this by literally using the elephants that are standing in the room anyway to show the amount of avoided material within one year and the amount of saved CO2 emissions.

CO2 Saved visualized with "elefarts"

“It’s important to emphasize that the motivation for this project was not about saving money but to genuinely create an impact on the environment – and that’s what we did”, underlines Lerke proudly. Combined with remote diagnostics or self-help videos, which reduce technicians-trips to consumer homes, special care contracts that extend the life cycle of our appliances, and stockpiling spare parts for at least ten years, BSH’s customer service is a decisive factor for creating a more sustainable future.

PictureNew box made from old packaging


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BSH all over the world.

BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, with a total turnover of some EUR 13.9 billion and 60,000 employees in 2020, is a global leader in the home appliance industry. The company’s brand portfolio includes eleven well-known appliance brands like Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff as well as the ecosystem brand Home Connect and service brands like Kitchen Stories. BSH produces at 38 factories and is represented in some 50 countries. BSH is a Bosch Group company.