Svenska Retursystem Reduces CO2 Emissions for Its RPCs

SRS RPCs in automation at Everfresh


 In the last year, CO2e emissions have decreased by 15% per round trip as RPCs repeatedly cycle in the return system.

“Our driving force is to develop as simple, efficient and sustainable solutions as possible for the grocery industry,” says Anna Elgh, CEO of Svenska Retursystem. “Every day, we send out more than 500,000 return boxes in the system, so a 15% reduction in emissions per round trip and box will reduce the industry by over 1500 tonnes CO2e in one year.”

Thanks to an increased share of renewable energy in manufacturing and an extended service life of its reusable containers, the climate impact per return trip for an RPC has decreased from 72 to 61 grams CO2e.

  • Manufacturing : Return boxes are manufactured in Great Britain. Svenska Retursystem has had an ongoing dialogue with its suppliers about the importance of increasing the share of renewable energy. During the past year, their plastic crate supplier has achieved a dramatic improvement, increasing usage of renewable energy from 30 to 84%.
  • Lifespan:  Extending the life of its reusable containers to avoid creating new boxes is crucial to the system’s sustainability performance. Through physical checks of the stock of RPCs, Svenska Retursystem has found that life expectancy is at least 15 years on average. This has been achieved through efficient storage methods and good handling practices throughout the entire supply chain.

The basic idea of the return system is that the distribution of the grocery trade is to be done on its reusable plastic pallets, which can also be used over and over again. Svenska Retursystems crates are made of durable, recyclable plastic. When a return box is broken and no longer ready to be painted, the plastic is recycled and reused for the production of new RPCs in a closed circular business model.