In an effort to promote sustainability in the automotive industry, recommendations have been outlined to guide original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers in identifying opportunities for sustainable packaging designs.

This initiative primarily targets expendable packaging used in service parts operations.

Expendable packaging takes centre stage in service parts operations within the automotive sector. These packaging solutions, essential for service part applications, are replacement parts adhering to OEM specifications.

The report suggests that expendable packaging could also play a crucial role in international shipping and act as a backup for returnable packaging when required.

Guidelines for sustainable packaging and waste reduction

The recently released guidelines build upon established sustainable packaging principles for automotive manufacturing operations. Emphasising the design phase, the recommendations primarily aim to minimise automotive packaging waste and address barriers to recyclability.

It’s important to note that while the document provides detailed guidance on sustainable design, the management of packaging waste at the site level is beyond its scope.

Implementing sustainable packaging: key steps and considerations

For OEMs and suppliers looking to embrace sustainable packaging, the report suggests incorporating specifications into sourcing packages and product sourcing documents, often referred to as Statement of Requirements (SORs) or Terms and Conditions.

To ensure adherence to sustainable packaging systems, an internal monitoring program is recommended. This programme should track, measure and formally approve package design conformance, typically overseen by environmental or sustainability team personnel.