Sustainable Packaging Guidelines
Version: 1.0; Status: Final; Current version effective since January 2023
Table of Contents
- 1 Commitment and Approach
- 2 Summary of Guidelines
- 3 Minimum Requirements and Preferred Materials
- 4 Closing
1 Commitment and Approach
Room & Board is committed to sustainably designing and sourcing products through improved materials and practices. Sustainability is a thread woven through everything we do, from how we make our furniture to how we operate our business. Our goal is to be a sustainability leader that positively impacts society and the world. Using more sustainable packaging is a key part of our efforts.
Room & Board’s aim is to design recyclable packaging that is made with more sustainable materials. Therefore, we work closely with our vendor partners on packaging that is both more sustainable and protects products through the supply chain. Protecting the product throughout the supply chain remains a core responsibility as we continue to shift to more sustainable packaging1. We aspire to raise standards, influence our industry, and work with vendor partners who align with our ethical values and standards.
Our Sustainable Packaging Guidelines are applicable to all our vendor partners that manufacture products for Room & Board and complement our Vendor Code of Conduct and other sustainable guidelines and polices. The Sustainable Packaging Guidelines will be reviewed on a regular basis to incorporate updates. We are focused on continuous improvement, and we expect our vendor partners to demonstrate clear progress. Room & Board vendor partners are expected to take necessary corrective actions to promptly remediate any noncompliance. Room & Board reserves the right to terminate its business relationship with any vendor partners who are unwilling and/or unable to comply with the minimum requirements of the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines.
We have a three-pronged approach to shifting towards more sustainable packaging: (1) Design & Innovate, (2) Source Sustainably, and (3) Circulate Easily.
1. Design & Innovate
2. Source Sustainably
3. Circulate Easily
2 Summary of Guidelines
The following table summarizes the minimum requirements for vendor partners as well as guidance for continuous progress towards use of preferred materials and improved sourcing practices.
Bags, Films, Pouches
Foam Cushions, Dunnage3, Inserts
Corrugate / Corrugate Board
3 Minimum Requirements and Preferred Materials
3.1 Bags, Films, Pouches
These packaging formats are usually petroleum-based products and mainly used for hardware components, pillows, textiles, hooks, and small accessories. There are several challenges, including difficulty for consumers to separate multiple materials for recycling, as well as the fact that many materials (e.g., nylon, PET, PP, PVC, PVDC) are not accepted in curbside recycling or US store-drop off recycling programs. This can result in recycling contamination.
3.2 Foam Cushions, Dunnage, Inserts
These packaging formats are mainly used as padding and filler material to protect the product during transit. Many materials (e.g., nylon, PET, PP, PVC, PVDC) are not ideal, as they are not accepted in curbside recycling, community recycling programs, or US store-drop off recycling programs, which can result in recycling contamination.
3.3 Corrugate/Corrugate Board
This packaging type is used for the outer boxes and some internal cushioning. While the main material is usually recyclable at curbside, there is the opportunity to increase recycled and renewable material inputs. Also, there can be opportunities to improve the adhesives, coating, and graphics, etc.
We appreciate and thank our vendors for their partnership. These Sustainable Packaging Guidelines are intended to share expectations and give guidance for continuous improvement to our vendor partners. If vendor partners have additional questions, they can reach out to their primary Room & Board contact.
- 1 We expect product returns from damage to be less than 1%.
- 2 See https://www.plasticsrecycling.org/apr-design-guide/apr-design-guide-home.
- 3 This is the padding material used to protect goods during shipping.
- 4 See https://www.plasticsrecycling.org/apr-design-guide/apr-design-guide-home.