Antibodies are among the key tools used to detect protein targets involved in multiple diseases. These antibodies typically need to be kept in an uninterrupted cold chain from production to use in order to ensure their stability and performance. This is done by using temperature-controlled expanded polystyrene coolers. If the cold chain is interrupted, research results may be compromised.We take up the fight
Product packaging and shipping have a significant impact on the environmental footprint of our products. We are working to find new ways of making our products and packaging more environmentally sustainable, while still getting them to our customers in a safe and timely manner.
Our goal: SMASH packaging!
We supply more than 300,000 products in our Life Science portfolio ranging from biochemicals and lab chemicals to filtration systems and laboratory instruments. We want to optimize the sustainability of our packaging while ensuring that it remains safe and easy for customers to handle.
In 2019, we launched our “SMASH Packaging” sustainable packaging strategy for Life Science products, defining four ways in which we aim to improve our packaging.
SHRINK – REDUCE AMOUNT OF PACKAGING
Our aim is to eliminate the use of packaging that is excessive in size or weight, helping to reduce our use of natural resources, lower our energy use and decrease our transport emissions. Excess packaging is also undesirable for our customers since there are costs associated with the management and disposal of the packaging.
Our 2022 targets:
- New product packaging aligned with our standards for weight and volume
- 20 key improvement projects for existing packaging
- 20% reduction of air space in distribution boxes
SECURE – ACHIEVE ZERO DEFORESTATION
Deforestation contributes to global warming and is a major threat to biodiversity. We aim to ensure that the wood- and fiber-based packaging materials used in our packaging do not contribute to deforestation.
Our 2022 targets:
- New product packaging aligned with our zero deforestation standards
- 90% of existing packaging aligned with our zero deforestation standards
- 100% of packaging from deforestation-risk countries certified sustainably sourced
SWITCH – IMPROVE PLASTIC SUSTAINABILITY
Plastic pollution linked to unrecyclable and unrecycled plastic packaging poses a risk to our environment and oceans. Our aim is to improve the sustainability and recyclability of our plastic packaging, also by using healthier, more sustainable materials and more recycled content.
Our 2022 targets:
- New product packaging aligned with our plastic sustainability standards
- 20 improvement projects to replace existing plastic packaging with more sustainable solutions
- 20% reduction of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
SAVE – MAXIMIZE RECYCLING
Our aim is to maximize recycling of our packaging materials by eliminating the use of packaging materials that are not recyclable and by providing our customers with recycling guidance for all our packaging materials.
Our 2022 targets:
- New product packaging aligned with our standards for recyclability
- 100% of unrecyclable fiber-based packaging is replaced
- 100% of products with packaging recycling/disposal guidance
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Game changers: our ZooMAb® antibodies
Our new ZooMAb® antibodies challenge how research is traditionally conducted in multiple ways. For example, they reduce the environmental impact of research through sustainable design and practices. Most traditional antibody products need to be shipped at temperatures between 2°C and 8°C, using specific insulated shipping containers with wet ice bricks, which results in higher packaging material consumption and transportation emissions. This is especially true in hot and humid environments, where cold chain transport and storage requires more energy to perform effectively.
Our ZooMAb® antibodies were developed as a lyophilized or freeze-dried product, giving them improved ambient shipping capabilities and storage stability. Making these antibodies shippable at ambient temperature means that we can eliminate the use of polystyrene coolers and ice bricks, resulting in dramatic reduction of the weight of packaging for the shipment of the products. Instead of boxes with protective bubble-wrap plastic bags for one or two small vials of product, we have developed new, padded envelope-based packaging that further reduces the environmental footprint of the antibody packaging. Based on projections, we could reduce our climate impact by 75,000 kg of CO2 by 2025 – or the equivalent of taking 16 cars off the road for a full year. Just by reducing the packaging of our antibodies.
Our new ZooMAb® antibodies are also innovative in a number of other ways:
ZooMAb® antibodies offer the same superior performance as a monoclonal and polyclonal together with the flexibility of a recombinant product for a wider selection of targets, formats and species.
Each ZooMAb® antibody is manufactured using our proprietary recombinant expression system. Each antibody is purified to homogeneity and precisely dispensed to produce robust and highly reproducible lot-to-lot consistency. ZooMAb® antibodies are validated to perform reliably across multiple applications.
Every ZooMAb® antibody is produced without animals resulting in an animal-free final product. They are also free of biocides and preservatives. With ZooMAb® antibodies, complications arising from potentially hazardous materials or local safety restrictions are minimized. They can also be used in both in vivo and in vitro applications.
SMASH packaging in action with ZooMAb®
Our commitment to the SDGs
Decrease our environmental footprint
Through our SMASH Packaging program, we are contributing to achieving SDG Target 12.5: Substantially reducing waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse by 2030. Making our products and packaging more environmentally sustainable also contributes to SDG Target 7.3: Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.
We are continuously working to improve the environmental footprint of our products and packaging through programs such as Design for Sustainability and SMASH Packaging. ‘Shrink, secure, switch and save’ is our mantra.”