EnerSys Innovates Packaging, Reducing Waste in Tijuana

At our EnerSys site in Tijuana, Mexico, a team of engineers, quality managers, and warehouse employees assembled with the common goal of developing sustainable solutions. The efforts of the Tijuana team resulted in an innovative reusable packaging project, implemented in July 2023, which reduces packaging waste by about 90%, saving over 100 metric tons of material per year.

“Everyone at the Tijuana plant is excited,” said Project Manager, Jose Luis Solano, “we invested a lot of time in this project and are all thrilled to see the cost and waste reductions as a result of our teamwork.”

Tijuana’s reusable packaging initiative replaces the traditional packaging for the 12HX540/505 DataSafe® HX battery, consisting of a wooden pallet and 23 kg of corrugated cardboard and with a reusable plastic container while maintaining strict standards for safety, quality, and function. The reusable packaging eliminates the need for wooden pallets and reduces nearly all the need for cardboard.

Pictured: (Left) Traditional corrugated carboard and wooden pallet packaging for our 12HX540/505 DataSafe® HX battery, (middle) Foldable plastic reusable container, (right) new packaging in the reusable container  

Not only is there a waste reduction from replacing the type of packaging, but waste is further reduced in this project with the improved functionality of the reusable plastic container. Historically, when the containers needed to be stacked in the warehouse, additional cardboard was added to reinforce the containers. With the new reusable plastic, multiple levels of containers can be stacked without the need for additional materials, saving space, money, and cardboard at the plant. Within a month of implementation, the plant saw significant cost savings on product packaging, estimated at $125,000 per year. Moreover, reducing material use also reduces greenhouse gas emissions throughout the entire value chain.

“While sustainability was the inspiration for the project, safety was the main priority of the initiative,” said Luis Sainz, Tijuana’s Engineering Manager. “It was critical for us and we established a clear process to make sure safety was prioritized at every step.” The Tijuana team created a comprehensive workflow for the reusable plastic container, including designated areas for lead inspection and multi-step precautionary measures.

Plans to replicate the success of this project are already underway. The dedicated Tijuana team is in the process of finalizing the specifications for reusable packaging for an additional product at the plant. “Given the economic and environmental benefits we have seen in the first few months from this project we want to continue to explore how we can expand the initiative,” said Javier Franco, Engineering designer at EnerSys Tijuana.