Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

MilliporeSigma Improves Packaging Sustainability with SMASH Packaging


The Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada, faces a complex challenge in optimizing product packaging. The company has to consider various factors, such as the number and diversity of products, the distribution network, and the shipping conditions.
To address this challenge, the company launched a global initiative called SMASH Packaging in 2019. This is a four-year plan that aims to improve packaging sustainability while meeting customer expectations. It has four pillars: SHRINK, SECURE, SWITCH, and SAVE. These pillars focus on reducing packaging resources, designing for a circular economy, and selecting more sustainable materials. The company has made significant progress in implementing SMASH Packaging since its inception. It has completed or initiated over 100 packaging improvement projects.
You can read more about the company’s achievements in its 2022 update.

Some of the key accomplishments under each pillar are:
  • SHRINK o Reducing more than 300 metric tons of packaging by various means, such as lowering product packaging weight, developing alternative packaging solutions like bulk packaging and enhancing its distribution practices.
  • SECURE o Sourcing 72.5% of the paper-based materials used directly for packing and shipping products from zero deforestation standards. This represents an increase of over 800 tons of sustainably sourced packaging over the last four years.
  • SWITCH o Cutting down 23% of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), also known as Styrofoam. This was achieved by replacing projects, such as using molded pulp inserts instead of EPS inserts for glass bottle protection and using paper and starch solutions instead of EPS coolers.
  • SAVE o Supporting a circular economy by advancing initiatives such as replacing specific fiber-based packaging that is not compatible with recycling, developing and applying processes for the reuse of packaging internally, refining the definition of packaging recycling guidance and improving communication to customers.
With its Design for Sustainability scorecard and framework, MilliporeSigma is able to measure sustainability characteristics of new product packaging holistically. The company expects to see transformational results due to the design-thinking approach it has adopted for new product design packaging. In the next few weeks, the company will announce the next phase of SMASH Packaging and will set new goals to continue to improve the sustainability of its packaging, while contributing to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s, global sustainability strategy and its 2030 goals to reduce resource consumption.
To know more about SMASH Packaging solutions and the company’s sustainability initiatives, click here.