Reusable Packaging Association Announces 3 Winners of Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award

Winners come from food service, automotive, and furniture industries

Linden, VA, August 4, 2015 – Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc., Herman Miller, Inc., and Boulder Valley School District each earned an Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award from the Reusable Packaging Association. Together, the three recipients achieved a cost savings of almost $16.5 million and eliminated more than 28,000 tons of corrugated waste from piling up in landfills.

“The diversity of markets shows the versatility of applications for reusable packaging,” said Jerry Welcome, President of the RPA. “All three winners, and many of the other applicants, clearly demonstrated the economic and environmental savings that can be achieved by implementing reusable packaging.”

Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. – The manufacturer took a fresh look at its existing reusable packaging program and uncovered new areas and ways to gain deeper process improvements as well as more cost and environmental savings. SIA achieved a cost savings of nearly $16 million by re-purposing existing reusable packaging from earlier production lines and by replacing additional corrugated containers with new reusable packaging. They also achieved a targeted goal of using reusable packaging for 95 percent of direct ship parts for the production of its 2015 Subaru Outback and Legacy models, keeping more than 28,000 tons of cardboard out of the waste stream. “Subaru of Indiana Automotive has always utilized reusable packaging to support our environmental goals. Recently there is greater realization and proof of the economic benefits as well,” said Steve Sorg, Manager of Logistics Manufacturing Engineering at SIA.

Herman Miller, Inc – The company applied reusable packaging for outgoing shipments of furniture for the first time. By using reusable packaging rather than corrugated, the company saved more than $400,000 in material and freight costs; and kept 100 tons of waste out of the landfill. The company believes it is the largest use of outbound reusable packaging in its industry. “This customer had safety and sustainability goals beyond others we had ever encountered, as well as requirements for successful delivery and on-time completion. We used these goals throughout our problem-solving process to design a unique application of reusable packaging and its return system,” said David Martin, packaging engineering manager at Herman Miller.

Subaru and Herman Miller won the RPA award for businesses with revenues over $25 million.

Boulder Valley School District – The large school district saved $4,581 and kept 4,587 pounds of cardboard out of the waste stream by switching to reusable packaging for the delivery of apples and beef patties from the field and meat supplier to production kitchens and then out to individual school cafeterias, serving up 12,000 meals daily. The district won the RPA award for businesses with revenues less than $25 million. “This innovative program helps BVSD advance our sustainability goals and will hopefully inspire other school districts to explore reusable packaging options for their operations,” said Ann Cooper, BVSD Food Services Director.

The winners will give presentations on their award-winning entries at the RPA’s Reusables Learning Center at PACK EXPO Las Vegas Sept. 28-29.

About the Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award

The RPA Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award recognizes companies that have developed, supported, or implemented measurable and innovative reusable solutions in a business-to-business supply chain. Two awards are given: one for businesses with revenues less than $25 million, and one for businesses with revenues more than $25 million. This is the fourth year for the annual award program.

Submissions are reviewed by an independent committee of judges who are not members of the RPA. The judges are: Diana Twede, Ph.D. Professor, Michigan State University; Justin Lehrer, Program Manager,; Ben Miyares, President, Packaging Management Institute; and Rick LeBlanc, Editor, Packaging Revolution. Companies are judged on the quantifiable environmental and economic benefits of their reusable packaging solutions and services.

About the RPA
The Reusable Packaging Association is a collaborative effort between manufacturers, poolers, distributors, retailers and educators to promote the environmental, safety, and economic benefits of reusable packaging. The RPA serves as the collective voice of the industry and uses its knowledge of the members’ products and services to advance the adoption of reusable packaging and systems throughout the supply chain.  The RPA is focused on promoting the expansion of reusables as the preferred packaging solution across supply chains in all industries. For more information, visit or call (703) 224-8284.