El envase y el embalaje como soporte de la eficiencia y la sostenibilidad en la cadena de suministro. Un enfoque aplicado

Jesús García-Arca, A. Trinidad González-Portela Garrido, J. Carlos Prado-Prado


En mercados cada vez más competitivos, la adecuada gestión de la cadena de suministro y la adopción de políticas de sostenibilidad constituyen aspectos estratégicos. Así, pocas empresas prestan importancia al potencial impacto que un adecuado diseño de los envases y embalajes presenta sobre la eficiencia logística y la sostenibilidad global de las cadenas. El objetivo de este artículo es ilustrar cómo la aplicación del enfoque «packaging logistics» en IKEA, da soporte a su estrategia de sostenibilidad y eficiencia logística. La experiencia de IKEA puede motivar a empresas de otros sectores y tamaños al desarrollo y consolidación de nuevas ventajas competitivas.

Palabras claves: Envase, Embalaje, Logística, Cadena de Suministro, Sostenibilidad

Packaging as support of efficiency and sustainability in supply chain. An applied approach

Abstract: In higher competitive markets, the suitable supply chain management (particularly, in logistic processes) and the adoption of sustainability programs are strategic points in companies. In this context, no many companies have devoted special attention to the impact of packaging design on logistic efficiency and sustainability. Thus, the integration of logistics and the packaging design has been conceptualized in the term «packaging logistics», particularly emphasizing the operational and organizational repercussions. The core of the concept of packaging logistics is a packaging-focused view, which seeks to integrate the multidisciplinary aspects of packaging (marketing, logistics and environmental) and coordinate the three levels of the packaging system (primary, secondary and tertiary). Authors consider that a greater emphasis should be given to the important strategic connotations to do with packaging design, in many cases this being one of the supports of competitive advantages in the supply chain management from an overall perspective of efficiency and sustainability. With this approach in mind, the design and development of packaging would be structured on four basic cornerstones: the definition of the design requirements, the definition of an appropriate organizational structure for packaging design (internally in the company and externally in the supply chain), the application of «best practices» (in aspects such as palletization, modularity, resizing, standardization of formats and qualities, re-use, recycling …) and, finally, the definition of a system to measure and compare the different packaging alternatives (in terms of materials, dimensions, number of units/pack and «aesthetic» presentation). In this context, the main objective of this paper is to illustrate the application of the «Packaging Logistics» approach at IKEA through the deployment of its four cornerstones. This implementation is one of the pillars of its strategy of sustainability and logistic efficiency. Likewise, the article makes a special emphasis on the impact of the implementation of «best practices» in packaging design, such as the SRPs (Shelf Ready Packaging), the cardboard pallets, the «loading ledge» or the «High Cube» containers. In this line, the paper also illustrates the redesigning and improving of packaging with the description of seven changes implemented in products. With measures such as those outlined throughout this paper the company has improved its occupancy level of transport, in a context of increasing complexity in their supply chain and increased fuel costs. Simultaneously, the company has reduced, not only its CO2 emissions per m3 and km., but also the amount of materials and waste generated by its packaging. The path taken by IKEA in implementing the «packaging logistics» approach, combining logistics efficiency and sustainability («Lean and Green»), could be assimilated and adapted by other companies, regardless of sector or size, as it would contribute to improving their competitiveness through innovation of products and processes within the supply chain.

Keywords: Packaging, Sustainability, Logistics, Supply Chain

Palabras clave

Envase; Embalaje; Logística; Cadena de Suministro; Sostenibilidad

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.37610/dyo.v0i51.436

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