A survey has been conducted by Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and Packaging Digest magazine in a 2007. 73% of 1,255 respondents reported that their companies had increased the emphasis on sustainable packaging. Most of the attention has been focused on minimizing the carbon footprint through creative transportation, alternative fuels, and sustainable packaging efforts. ModusLink takes a good approach to its supply chain solutions, and has applied that same methodology to its sustainability efforts by developing solutions that reduce all GHGs rather than dominant element of carbon. This methodology also enables clients to see the positive impact sustainability can have on the bottom line.

“A common misconception that plagues sustainability programs today is that implementing more sustainable processes translates to an increase in cost, when in fact it can significantly reduce the total landed cost of a product,” said Ryan Humphrey, director of professional services for ModusLink. “ModusLink is working with many clients to look at the entire supply chain network and identify offsets at every step. By considering things such as GHG emissions during manufacturing and logistics, along with package design, material costs and recycling of returned products or parts, many companies can achieve a cost savings.”

The company has the necessary tools, expertise and connections to identify the right solutions for clients, including leading assessment and design software, existing relationships with sustainable materials suppliers and an in-house team of sustainability experts. The Company is at the forefront of the sustainability movement, working with industry leaders to develop better tools and technology. ModusLink is currently beta testing the SPC’s Comparative Packaging Assessment (COMPASS), an online software tool that allows packaging designers and engineers to compare the human and environmental impacts of their designs and is a member of the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Packaging Sustainable Value Network.

ModusLink’s Suite of Sustainable Solutions includes:

Sustainable Packaging: Using the Wal-Mart Sustainable Packaging tool and the soon to be released SPC COMPASS, in conjunction with other industry standard tools, ModusLink measures and analyzes the amount of carbon emissions of various packaging types and provides customers with feedback as to whether or not their traditional packaging is eco-friendly. ModusLink also uses a 4D methodology to model current packaging design along with multiple new variations for the client to consider that compare labor, material pallet density and carbon emissions.

Optimized Configuration: Reviewing an organization’s end-to-end supply chain helps customers understand how each part of the supply chain affects GHG emissions. By integrating the Network Optimization and Simulation service into the sustainability program helps optimize for GHG/carbon emissions and understand how it impacts all other costs in the supply chain.

GHG Optimization: Offering expertise and tools to measure and analyze each trade-off, including carbon emissions for logistics and all GHG emissions for operational activities – as well as the capability to assign value to carbon credits – ModusLink is able to provide customers with recommendations on a sustainability program that fits their specific needs and geography.

ModusLink’s Aftermarket Solutions complement the Sustainable Solutions Suite by offering services such as recycling and refurbishment of returned or excess inventory and value recovery programs to maximize the use of all products that is manufactured.

All of the Sustainable Solutions have a critical impact on GHG emissions, either by lowering the overall output or identifying when, where and how to execute a reduction in GHGs. For example, Torrent, Inc., a company’s client that develops high-performance, eco-friendly HDMI and component cables for the consumer electronics market, leveraged the company’s Sustainable Packaging Solution to redesign its product packaging to employ recyclable materials and non-hazardous inks. Torrent also will be able to reduce GHGs emitted during transportation with a smaller package to fit more units in the warehouse and on a pallet.

“Sustainability is one of the foundations of our business,” said Craig Palli, chief executive officer and co-founder of Torrent. “Our products are designed to be eco-friendly and free of harmful substances. It would be unthinkable to deliver them in a package that was not. Due to ModusLink’s unmatched in-house expertise, we are able to reduce the size of our packaging and use recyclable materials we previously believed were not an option, while still meeting retailers’ requirements. ModusLink’s knowledge and continuous, open communication during the design process enabled us to exceed our own very high sustainability standards, and as a result, they have become a trusted and valued partner in our go-to-market strategy.”