Pregis IQ: Powering a Sustainable Packaging Future Through Innovation
Learn how Pregis IQ works to solve packaging problems and shipping and fulfillment issues with sustainable materials and innovative systems.
High-flying delivery drones, package-pulling robots, and microscopic transmitters may set the standard for the future of shipping and logistics. But in the meantime, it’s important to think practically about what shippers and movers need to make their supply chain work better.
But make no mistake: Practical isn’t the same as simple. Offering shippers smart, eco-friendly packaging takes significant work, skill, and engineering to get right. That’s why we built Pregis IQ: a packing engineering lab tasked with protecting the packages of the future — whether they’re delivered by drones, cyborgs, or just your friendly local mailman.
In terms of sustainability, Pregis IQ’s goals are straightforward:
- Develop new, sustainable products and solutions that help protect our customers’ products and work towards building a circular economy.
- Design and test new approaches to packaging to cut down on waste and reships.
- Integrate cutting-edge solutions into fulfillment centers so everyone can take advantage of the latest, greatest, most earth-friendly packing processes.
- Determine exactly how sustainable these new approaches are and find better ways to communicate that to our customers and to their customers.
Sustainable Materials Development
We have a long way to go to reach a fully circular economy — one that replaces the “make, use, dispose” model with “make, use, recycle, reuse.” Not all materials are made from recycled sources, not all materials are recyclable (or at least not easily recyclable), and consumers are still often unsure what can and cannot be recycled.
For instance, products like the EverTec™ Mailer — the only all-paper mailer that offers the same level of protection as a non-paper alternative but is still eligible for curbside recycling — are a step in that direction. Some advanced materials go even further by doing a better job of protecting packages to ensure fewer reships and less waste.
Packaging Design and Testing
Ever wondered what happens to cardboard boxes if you forget to bring them inside before going on vacation and it rains? Or how to pack a ceramic vase so that it survives a trans-continental journey? Our packaging engineers think about these scenarios every day as they work toward creating better, more sustainable ways to package products.
Inside our Pregis IQ labs — which are certified by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) and Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network — engineers analyze and test packaging designs, crushing, soaking, dropping, kicking, and shaking thousands of packages to ensure our customers’ products get to where they need to go in one piece.
We work with our customers to correctly identify their specific challenges, and then let the engineers create packages tailored exactly to meet those needs — whether that be to fit new distribution and shipping methods, delight customers, improve sustainability, or just launch a new product. Once designs are in, we build, test, and validate those solutions to ensure that they work right every time.
Once an optimal protective solution has been designed with the appropriate sustainable materials, Pregis’s application engineers work to get it integrated into clients’ existing operations. Sometimes, that’s as simple as reconfiguring packing lines in an existing fulfillment center. Other times, it may require installing and testing new machinery. Whatever the challenge, the engineers of Pregis IQ work hard to get clients up and running with minimal disruption.
Going beyond just prescribing existing products, Pregis can help shippers optimize their entire operations: from better layouts for faster throughput to partial or full automation to help customers deal with increased shipping demands. Our engineers work hand in hand with sales and service teams to make sure that every one of our clients is as ready as they can be to join the circular economy.
Quantifying and Communicating
Environmental progress can be exceptionally difficult to track in complex supply chains. For example, packaging made from recycled sources holds obvious value. But, if it can’t properly protect the products inside, the environmental cost of product damage can be significantly higher than a more protective solution made from a less sustainable material. All of this is made more difficult when those sustainability efforts and instructions need to be communicated to the end user.
Pregis has developed tools, like the Pregis EcoGuage, that can help customers understand the totality of their resource use, leading them to make informed sustainability decisions. This helps shippers understand not just the obvious and immediate impact of their packaging choices but also the downstream and secondary impacts.
The Pregis team helps shippers understand where they are and then helps create communications so your customers can understand where you are, too — from recycling instructions on packing materials, to simple and straightforward ways to communicate sustainability wins.
Experience the advantages of Pregis IQ