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Sustainable Manufacturing to Reduce Your Shipping & Handling Footprint

Posted by Don Glencross on Sep 28, 2015 4:04:18 PM

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Eco-Friendly Packaging and Your Environmental Impact

When doing business with a manufacturing partner, an often overlooked piece of the process regarding delivering your product is how it’s packaged. Unfortunately, the requirements for packaging are not considered until too late in the process, or when the product is ready to ship. We all know that the main function of packaging is to preserve and protect the product until ready for its intended use. And, if the packaging is insufficient, the risk of damage goes up significantly, and so does its impact on the vendor/customer relationship. Beyond that business relationship, many of us are concerned about our sustainable manufacturing practices and their impact on the global community.  


The best approach to avoid problems with packaging is to define the requirements early in the process. A reputable supplier will work with you to establish the best practices and to exceed expectations upon delivery. Among the various aspects of packaging that must always be considered are:

  • Weight
  • Sensitivity to physical damage
  • Susceptibility to  electrostatic discharge (ESD)
  • Potential water damage
  • Value of the shipment

These are vital considerations during preservation and delivery, but a less obvious one is the environmental impact that packaging materials have a role in. To keep your sustainable manufacturing practices in check, ask these questions when planning your packaging:

  • Are the materials biodegradable?
  • Can they be recycled?
  • Are they made from recycled materials?
  • Are they sourced from sustainable materials?
  • Do they impact the environment negatively?


Items like environmentally unfriendly Styrofoam are being replaced with other types of foams that are water soluble, compostable, and biodegradable, along with other sustainable materials like bamboo and corn plastics. The internet has made finding the right materials for diverse needs pretty easy. Along with searching for said packaging alternatives, you may be surprised to know there are some simple, efficient, and eco-friendly solution right under your nose. Take a look at your own processes and see if there might be a better way to pack your products with less impact on the earth. One easy fix: whenever possible, reuse packaging to ship the same product over again. 

As an environmentally conscious and responsible organization, Fourstar Connections recognizes the need for reducing the environmental footprint caused by the use of shipping materials. Eco-friendly packaging materials are considered a better alternative to those that are not, and are more often recognized by our customers as the best choice when shipping fragile harness or box-build assemblies.

Fourstar’s commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices runs deeper than just packaging. Fourstar President Phil Holman fosters a responsible corporate culture—from shipping packaging to socially-responsible retirement plan options. Of it he says, “It’s not just about manufacturing quality cable assemblies, electro-mechanical assemblies, and complex box-builds for us. It’s about how we improve and innovate, work with other companies to develop markets that value and encourage the creation of new sustainable manufacturing processes and products, and improve lives by leveraging sustainability along the way. Our commitment to advancing sustainability efforts are woven into the DNA of our material selection, product design, manufacturing, supply-chain, shipping and handling, and final disposal process. Through the use of transparent and seamless technology and collaborative efforts with our suppliers, we have made tremendous strides in not only creating sustainable solutions for our customers, but also for our employees.” Clearly these initiatives impact a scope far outside just the doors of our manufacturing facility.    

Contact Fourstar today to see how we can help you find a better way to reduce your company’s impact on the environment and broaden the scope of your reach in the world.

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Topics: Sustainable Manufacturing

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