Saving the world - One truck at a time : A case study at Volvo Trucks on reducing the packaging waste through circular economy

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Fakulteten för hälsa, natur- och teknikvetenskap (from 2013); Karlstads universitet/Fakulteten för hälsa, natur- och teknikvetenskap (from 2013)

Abstract: The production and consumption of today generates huge amounts of waste, and due to the increasing living standards the amount will continue to increase. The waste leads to large environmental impacts due to pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as the depletion of raw materials. This study aimed to investigate how sustainability through circular economy can drive the development towards reducing the packaging waste in a company. The ambition was to identify possible actions that could be implemented in order to decrease the amount of combustible waste and the entailed environmental impact. A case study was performed at Volvo Group Trucks Operations assembly plant in Tuve in Gothenburg. The initial part of the study consisted of a literature review and was followed by the empirical study where interviews and observations were conducted in order to investigate what actions that could reduce the packaging waste. The data was analysed and one action was selected to be further investigated, and calculations of its environmental and economic aspects are performed. Three different types of inner packaging of LDPE (Low Density Polyethelen) plastics were selected, and the calculations showed that the reduction of CO2-emissions amounts to as much as 6.3 tonnes per year and cost savings of 11 000 SEK per year when reusing the inner packaging. These savings indicate that it is profitable to return the packaging to the supplier if it is located closer than 10 200 - 16 600 km to the site. The managerial implications of implementing a returnable packaging system are the cost savings and the reduction of environmental impacts.

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