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Packaging for Eco-Efficient Supply Chains: Why Logistics Should Get Involved in the Packaging Development Process

Sustainable Logistics

ISBN: 978-1-78441-062-9, eISBN: 978-1-78441-061-2

ISSN: 2044-9941

Publication date: 4 December 2014



For packed products, packaging affects every logistical activity and thus the overall economic and ecological efficiency (eco-efficiency) of supply chains. The purpose of this research is to explore how integrated approaches are used in packaging development processes to increase eco-efficiency along supply chains and how a set of pre-selected factors influences the adoption of practically integrated approaches within companies.


The research approach is explorative and based on nine cases in the food and manufacturing industries in Sweden. In total, 26 semi-structured interviews were conducted.


The chapter describes the way in which companies work with ‘integrative’ packaging development process elements. It explores how four factors – product characteristics, packaging requirements, logistical conditions and environmental efforts – influence their approach.

Research limitations/implications

The study analyses the packaging development processes at a limited number of companies in Sweden.

Practical implications

The findings can help logistics managers to better understand how integrated approaches can be applied in packaging development processes to increase eco-efficiency of logistical processes along the supply chain. The study provides logistic managers also with information about which influencing factors can serve as facilitators or barriers to these approaches in their organisations.


Previous research has demonstrated the potential economic and environmental benefits of integrating a logistics perspective into the packaging development process. This study complements existing knowledge by presenting extensive empirical data on the practical application of integrated approaches in packaging development processes in industry.



Molina-Besch, K. and Pålsson, H. (2014), "Packaging for Eco-Efficient Supply Chains: Why Logistics Should Get Involved in the Packaging Development Process", Sustainable Logistics (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 137-163.



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