Switching from white to brown boxes to reduce CO2

Changing the box was one piece of the puzzle in a successful sustainability project for Camfil.

In 2022, Camfil started a sustainability project to save energy and cut down CO2 emissions


The project looked across their entire business and supply chain to reduce climate impacts, save energy, and save money. Including the corrugated boxes used as transport packaging.

Camfil is a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions

Markus Koch
Markus Koch

Project Manager Camfil

"Historically, our white boxes were a
 marketing tool. White is clean, and our filters make the air clean. That’s
the message the white box was sending."

"Recently, our customers have started to ask for brown boxes and we a
sked ourselves: would a brown box be better for the environment?”

The questions:

Camfil came to Stora Enso to answer the question as part of their sustainability project: "Will switching from white to brown boxes reduce CO2? If yes, can you help us switch to brown boxes?"
The ideal packaging box is the one that provides excellent protection to the product, has a low carbon footprint, is made of recycled fibers, and can be recycled at the end-of-life.
The ideal packaging box is the one that provides excellent protection to the product, has a low carbon footprint, is made of recycled fibers, and can be recycled at the end-of-life.

Life cycle assessment

Ivan Deviatkin
Ivan Deviatkin
Sustainability Manager Stora Enso
“The first question never has a simple answer since a change in the top liner affects the entire board. So, Stora Enso did a holistic investigation of climate impacts of the entire board structure and compiled a customer report (Life cycle assessment).”

The life cycle assessment (LCA) looked at the entire corrugated board structure, focusing on swapping a white top liner with brown:

  • The carbon footprint of different materials
  • Production location of the liners
  • Fiber sources and the difference in their impacts
  • The recycled content of those materials
  • The strength performance of different board grades

There are many ways to measure and reduce the environmental impacts of products. Our LCA reports can be used when designing a new product, evaluating an existing one, or even comparing it to a fossil-based alternative.

Life cycle assessments for packaging

The answer
Yes! By switching from bleached white boxes to unbleached brown boxes, the CO2 emissions could be reduced.
tonnes of CO2 per year

That's the amount of CO2 Camfil can reduce when switching from white boxes to brown.

Camfil decided to make the switch

The switch was completed in three months and was done for the boxes transporting HiFlo air filters sold in Europe. Camfil will now expand the project to include more products and markets. Their brown boxes, produced by Stora Enso, now reduce 13% of CO2 per box compared to their old white solution.

Markus Koch
Markus Koch

Project Manager Camfil

"The box now gives a good brand perception, and not only that, it also generates real value and in terms of tonnes of CO2 saved."
Kent Liljesson
Kent Liljesson

Sales Manager Stora Enso

We have the know-how to help customers become more sustainable. When a customer is as engaged and curious as Camfil, it’s a perfect match. This could not have been done without Camfil’s commitment and expertise regarding their business and products."

When starting the sustainability project, Camfil looked at every single parameter of their business. The boxes were one part, but nothing was left behind. On a yearly basis Camfil reduced the CO2 emissions by 25 620 tonnes and are saving more than 105 million kWh energy, which in turn saves a total of 31 million Euro for their customers.

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