With its Next Generation Products Progroup has completely transformed the way we think about corrugated board. This new approach relates to the development of a new generation of corrugated board base papers and new corrugated board designs, with the aim of delivering improved technical performance levels with less use of raw materials. Progroup has always focused on providing the market with demonstrably "green products", and with its Next Generation products It has managed to do this. Progroup is the first supplier along with its customers using the range of brands Next Fibre - Next Board - Next Box, to be able to deliver products offering clear, in some cases dramatic CO2 savings and offer them to the market in the packaging sector.
The first step with this strategic concept was to invest in a new paper machine which is able to produce lightweight high-performance corrugated board base papers with reduced use of fibres and energy with maximum performance. Since 2010, the branded papers from Propapier PM2 GmbH in Eisenhüttenstadt have been available under the trade name Next Fibre. The corrugated boards of the Next Board series have been produced since the first quarter of 2012. The bridge to the packaging manufacturers, brand manufacturers and the wholesale and retail trade right, down to the consumer is made by the trademark Next Box. Only these types of packaging are manufactured from the Next Board corrugated boards and they are synonymous with performance and environmental conservation in equal measure.
Objective values for the green potential
Specific values for the CO2 footprint are important in ensuring that the sustainable action can be demonstrated in an objective way. The facts are provided at Progroup with internal laboratory data and independent certification by the Rhineland Association for Technical Inspection. The product-specific carbon footprint was assessed by way of example for eight corrugated board base papers and eight grades of corrugated board.
Next Fibre - over 57% less CO2 emissions
Progroup AG has two paper factories - PM1 GmbH in Burg and PM2 GmbH in Eisenhüttenstadt. Propapier PM1 is a comparatively new state-of-the-art paper machine belonging to the previous generation. Propapier PM2 uses the very latest technologies to produce in particular lightweight corrugated board base papers economically and in high quality. It is interesting to compare the two grades WS100 from PM1 and WS90 from PM2. WS100 is being replaced in the corrugated board production of Next Board without any quality losses by WS90 from Propapier PM2. The use of corrugating material from PM2 alone reduces the level of CO2 emissions from 400.34 kg / tonne of paper to 169.98 kg / tonne of paper. In percentage terms, this means a saving of 57.54% of CO2 emissions in relation to the value for the corrugated board base papers used previously.
An additional saving is also produced when it comes to transporting the papers. While offering the same level of performance, they are thinner and this means that more square metres of paper can be transported on a roll. If you make a comparison between WS100 and WS90, this reveals a saving of 13.83 kg / tonne of paper and per 100 km of transport (vehicle used is a 40 t lorry). In percentage terms: 10.87% of CO2 emissions are avoided by lorry journeys which are not required at regular intervals.
Next Board - over 15% less CO2 pollution
In the case of the corrugated boards, by comparison, the lightweight double corrugated boards 2.20 BC and Next Board 2.20 BC N2 offer the ideal solution. Here too a considerable CO2 saving can be seen. It is reduced from 363.41 to 307.74 kg of CO2 equivalents per tonne of corrugated board. This equates to a saving of 15.32% resulting from the use of the lightweight papers produced on the PM2.
At least 5% CO2 is also saved on each delivery when it comes to transporting the corrugated board. The corrugated board, which is optimised in terms of its calibre and weight, allows the level of CO2 emission for a consignment of 2.20 BC to be reduced compared with a consignment of Next Board 2.20 BC N2 from 502 kg of CO2 by 5.2% to 476 kg of CO2 per 107,000 m2 of corrugated board. In order to achieve the same or better ECT values despite using the lightweight papers, the structure of the corrugated board calibres was optimised, which in turn makes it possible to have 10 to 15% more loading capacity on the lorry. Every seventh to tenth lorry journey is therefore unnecessary. In addition to this, there are also further savings arising from transport from the packaging manufacturing to filling, from filling to the wholesale and retail trade and finally also to the consumer.
Next Box - a contribution to a better life-cycle assessment
The results speak for themselves: With the new range of brands Next Fibre - Next Board, Progroup is the first supplier that has successfully managed to develop a certified "green" corrugated board with largely improved performance parameters whose credentials are backed up by technical data, and to implement it in packaging in the form of Next Board.
There are number of good arguments favouring its use:
Companies which use packaging need to act "green" nowadays. Sustainably produced packaging helps to improve the life-cycle assessment.
The seal of quality Next Box on the packaging also sends out a message to consumers. This message is: "These people take a responsible approach to the environment." This message can also be firmly rooted in the corporate communication of the manufacturers of brand-name goods.
Waste paper as a commodity is becoming scarcer and more expensive due to the rising level of demand for it around the world. In light of this, a considerate approach to the use of fibres is the right strategy.
In the case of packaging made from corrugated board, it is not sufficient just to produce lighter material from fewer fibres. Performance levels and environmental figures must be right at the same time and also be documented. This is the case with the range of brands from Progroup.
Progroup AG is a young, innovative company. It specialises in the production of corrugated board base papers and corrugated board formats and is divided into five business units: Propapier with two paper factories, Prowell with seven corrugated sheetboard plants, Prologistik (a logistics company), Proservice offering marketing and IT services, and Profund (a financial services provider). With 12 locations in the heart of Europe and 850 employees, the company will generate sales of approx. 570 million euros in 2012. The unusually successful development of this company is based on technological leadership and consistent network management, on e-commerce and the supply chain strategy.