In line with our sustainable sourcing commitments, we work closely with our suppliers to identify opportunities to minimize unnecessary packaging, while reducing the risk of damage to the products we offer. Our Supplier Packaging Guidelines include best practices for our U.S. and Grainger Global Sourcing (GGS) suppliers to help reduce damage and waste, while maximizing recyclable materials, thereby encouraging our partners to choose sustainable packaging options.
We have a number of initiatives in place to help us meet our sustainable packaging goals.
• Through Grainger.com, we offer customers an array of products made from 100 percent recycled content.
• Our iconic Grainger boxes are fully recyclable, are made from significant post-consumer content and are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
• In select distribution centers (DCs), we employ a customized fulfillment solution using automated technology to right-size packaging for parcels, reducing the overall size of a package and thus increasing the number of packages that fit in a shipment. This technology in turn reduces freight costs, enables labor savings, minimizes unnecessary void fill, and reduces damage.
Ship Complete/Carton to Order
Grainger’s DCs are dedicated to reducing packaging and freight usage. In a process called “ship complete,” we strive to ship all items in the fewest number of cartons, on the same day, from the same shipping point. In doing so, Grainger can maintain a lower usage of corrugate and produce fewer transportation emissions. This results in resource savings that our customers value as much as we do. We also measure our carton-to-order ratio by tracking the number of boxes we ship compared to the number of orders we receive. We continue to monitor this ratio in order to drive improvement and efficiencies in packaging and corrugate use.
We evaluate Grainger private label products not only to ensure expected quality and performance, but also to confirm they meet our responsible sourcing guidelines. Suppliers who provide Grainger private label products through GGS complete an annual social responsibility survey, which indicates the suppliers’ compliance with social responsibility elements. Grainger reviews responses and contacts suppliers directly for additional clarification or information. We also assess the dependability, durability and performance of our private label products to maintain high quality standards.