Returnable vs. one-way packaging – variables affecting supply chain cost and CO2 emissions
Paper in proceedings, 2014

The design and choice of packaging is important in achieving an efficient materials supply, and a central choice is between returnable and one-way packaging. This paper seeks to identify contextual variables governing the choice, from a cost and CO2 footprint perspective. Data are analysed in a case of an automotive company, covering approx. 900 components. Results show how much five cost/CO2 variables and three contextual variables (cubic utilisation, transport distance, packaging size) contribute to the cost and CO2 difference between the packaging options, and that both types of packaging systems should be utilized to minimize costs and CO2 emissions.

Environmental efficiency

Supply chain cost



Henrik Pålsson

Henrik Wallström

Mats Johansson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation

proceedings of the 21st EurOMA conference, Palermo, June 20-25, 2014

Subject Categories

Other Mechanical Engineering

Areas of Advance



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