Reducing C0₂-emissions by 400 tonnes thanks to Boni Selection ecodesign nappies

From today, Colruyt, OKay and Spar are selling new nappies from house brand Boni Selection which will save a total of 400 tonnes in CO₂ emissions every year. Colruyt Group and its supplier are working together to apply the ecodesign principle for the very first time: they have calculated the environmental footprint for the entire product life cycle and addressed the factors with the greatest impact on CO₂. The result is that the nappies contain fewer raw materials, production is running on green electricity, and less transport is needed.

4,250 nappies per child

Products always have an impact on the climate, throughout the complete life cycle: sourcing raw materials, production, packing, transport, waste processing … That applies to nappies as well, because a baby needs on average five nappies a day, for a total of around 850 days (or 2.5 years). That adds up to 4,250 nappies per child. "At Colruyt Group, we want to gradually make our own-brand products more sustainable. For our nappies, we realised that the greatest CO₂ impact is felt during production, transport and waste processing phases", says Astrid Baeten, sustainable sourcing manager at Colruyt Group. "So, we contacted our supplier about working together to review the full chain."

Less wood pulp

Colruyt Group worked with its supplier to calculate the environmental footprint of the nappies and analysed the exact point in the chain where the greatest CO₂ impact is felt. "We ended up with three factors that we were able to control ourselves: the material composition, the energy consumption during production, and the transport", says Astrid Baeten. The new nappies contain far less wood pulp and a bit more superabsorbent polymer. That makes them thinner and lighter, but also even more absorbent - after all, that's ultimately their primary function. Quality remained the top priority", says Baeten.

As they are thinner, the nappies take up less space during transport, and they also produce 300 tonnes less household waste every year. In addition, they are made as close to home as possible, in Germany, which means 40 fewer lorries every year. Finally, the supplier's factory is now running on green electricity. Astrid Baeten: "Overall, our actions have reduced CO₂ emissions by 5% or 400 tonnes; the equivalent of the average annual emissions from 143 cars."

Pilot project supported by the EU

This is the first time that Colruyt Group has worked with one of its suppliers to apply the ecodesign principle to one of its own-brand products. That involves considering the impact on the climate when you develop the product, not just the economic, technical or human criteria. The complete life cycle of a product or process - whether new or existing - is mapped; from raw material to consumer. The pilot project by Colruyt Group is part of a wider project by the European Commission that is researching the environmental footprint of products and was also supported by the Flemish government.

More information

Silja Decock, Corporate Communication Officer at Colruyt Group
Tel.: +32 (0)473 92 45 10

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