Thinking outside the box
At EnerSys, the products and services we provide are critical to the low carbon transition, but we also have a strong focus on reducing the impact of their manufacturing, transporting and distribution. In mid-2022, our São Paulo, Brazil team identified an opportunity to make our transportation and distribution process more sustainable – in more ways than one.
In order to protect our batteries throughout the shipping process, some of our batteries are typically shipped in a wooden box. However, these boxes are heavy, expensive, require considerable materials to make, and have little to no use after the shipping process. Venicius Dos Reis, Procurement Import and Export Manager, saw these boxes as an opportunity to reduce waste and increase savings.
After speaking with our wooden box suppliers, and speaking with our customers, Venicius and his team decided to transform the wooden box to a wooden crate. These new crates are made of 32% less wood than the boxes and are lighter, allowing for reduced shipping costs and a lower carbon footprint from both materials and shipping weight. The crates, which are made from reforested eucalyptus wood, are also thicker than the plywood boxes, offering increased protection and easier handling for loading and unloading batteries for customers.
Aside from these notable environmental benefits, the crates are also 26% less expensive to produce than the boxes they replace. Additionally, the crates have shorter production and delivery times, allowing for quicker processing times and shipping speeds, which helps us get customers what they need, faster.
“Once we consulted with our customers, it was an easy decision to make,” said Venicius. “We’re glad to be making a switch to a better option – one that’s more sustainable for both the environment and for our business.” As for next steps, Venicius and his team are working with other EnerSys locations to share lessons learned from this switch to help incorporate other, similar sustainability practices across the company.
Wooden box (left) vs wooden crate (right).