2020 Impact Report

2020 impacted all of us.

While the pandemic was the most important story of the past year, we will also remember 2020 as a year of unprecedented growth at TemperPack. As the world ground to a halt, we got to work, designing new products, manufacturing more SKUs than we've ever produced, and servicing the needs of our clients as they worked tirelessly to safely send food and medicine to people in their homes. We are grateful for all of our amazing partners. Below is a snapshot of the impact we made together last year.

2020 - Environment

With great less power, comes great responsibility.

With great less power, comes great responsibility.

We develop products to compete with traditional plastic insulation like expanded polystyrene. We design products with the goal to outperform those materials, but also to use less energy to produce and transport, and to be easily recycled instead of landfilled. This adds up to a better product, both for consumers and the Earth.

58MM+

Pounds of CO2
emissions avoided in 2020.

By choosing ClimaCell instead of EPS, our customers avoided the release of over 58 million pounds of CO2 equivalent emissions into the atmosphere.

97

Olympic swimming pools worth of plastic diverted from landfills in 2020.

By choosing ClimaCell instead of EPS, our customers replaced 97 Olympic swimming pools worth of unrecyclable plastic with material that could be easily recycled.

That all sounds great, but what does 58,753,193 lbs of CO2 actually represent?

1500

Cars

taken off the road for an entire year.

120K

Trees

planted and grown for 10 years.

2.5MM

Cell phones

charged for an entire year.

300K

Light bulbs

changed from incandescent to LED.

Water Reduction

compared to similar
performing EPS products.

Water Reduction

Manufacturing is a resource-dependent activity.
Water we doing about it?

Our ClimaCell products reduce water consumption on a unit of output basis by 38% compared to EPS.

2020 - Social

Taking some initiative.

Despite the pandemic, in 2020 we’ve increased the number of environmental and social initiatives at TemperPack to be a more inclusive company and better steward of our own environment. These efforts represent our leadership’s dedication to creating a world that’s better for those living in it.

Expanding Partnerships

Building expertise in environmental issues, especially recycling, is essential to our success. That means working with great partners who lead the industry. This year, TemperPack joined both SWANA and ISRI. We’re participating in ISRI’s working group to draft a new Protocol for the Recycling of Paper Packaging. We also continue to work with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Closed Loop Partners. We have also engaged with independent paper mills and MRFs to introduce them to ClimaCell.

Virginia Capital Trail Sponsorship

We’ve sponsored mile 16-15 headed East, near the Sherwood Forest Plantation on the Virginia Capital Trail as another way to give back on behalf of the Pack. Our team has made efforts to remove trash along that mile five times in the past year.

Eliminating Waste

We’ve launched Sustainability Education trainings for employees that includes partnering with NOPE and installing TerraCycle Zero Waste Boxes to reduce waste from our facilities.

Partnering with FeedMore

TemperPack became a member of Feed America and Meals on Wheels America — to collect, prepare, and distribute food to individuals in need. In Fall 2020, we volunteered 112 hours to support a program serving 20,000 meals each week.

Stepping Up for Diversity

In October, the TemperPack Women’s Network established the Leadership And Development In Executing Success (L.A.D.I.E.S.) initiative to support and empower women at TemperPack through community outreach, webinars, and workshops. The group is inclusive of people of all gender identities.

TemperPack has also launched a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force to address current culture in the workplace, increase accountability, and identify new goals for corporate diversity.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading this update. We’re on a journey to be the best packaging company in the world. We want to create the highest performing, most environmentally friendly products, in a place where people like to work, can be themselves, and do the best work of their careers. We’re not there yet. While we work to get there, we want to hold ourselves to high standards and be as transparent as we can be.

Shoot for the moon and land there.


Thermal Testing Standards for Cold Chain Shipments: A Primer

For the vast majority of life-saving drugs, therapies, and vaccines, efficacy is inextricably tied to temperature stability.

The most common acceptable temperature range for cold chain pharmaceuticals is between 2°C and 8°C. Ensuring temperature stability across thousands of shipments as they move throughout dozens of distribution points requires precise, reliable testing.

The following is a look into how that testing is performed.

Thermal Shipping Regulation: Who’s Who

Effective transport of temperature sensitive products through the small parcel distribution network depends on guidance provided by multiple industry organizations.

The primary organization that provides guidance on the proper qualification of Insulated Shipping Containers (ISC) used for the distribution of temperature sensitive products is the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA).

The International Safe Transit Association, is an industry organization that provides standardized testing methods to members and provides lab certifications for both physical and thermal testing of packaged products.

The American Society for Testing Materials, is another organization with test standards that are used in the lSTA. While we focus more on ITSA in this article, ASTM covers a wide range of test standards and its test methods can be used for shipments destined for either domestic or international transit.

The Food and Drug Administration is the governing body that sets regulations for the proper certification of ISCs for drug manufacturers and distributors.

The Utilization Review Accreditation Commission, described as a “nonprofit accreditation entity”, oversees the validation process and requirements of ISCs used by specialty pharmacies in its 4.0 recommendations.

ISC

ISC is a packaging system as shipped. It typically includes an outer box, thermal insulation, coolant of some kind, and a temperature sensitive payload.

The Guidebook for Thermal Testing:
ISTA Standard 20

Due to a lack of standardization in the verification process of ISCs, ISTA established the ISTA Standard 20 (STD-0020), a testing process that outlines the process of design, testing, and verification of an ISC.

Proper execution of the Standard 20 process will certify that an ISC performs to the specified user requirements in a manner that meets FDA regulations. The Standard 20 process relies on three stages of testing to fully qualify an ISC.

STAGE 1: DQ

The initial stage is the Design Qualification (DQ), which is done either through environmental chamber testing or thermal simulation and only requires a sample size of one.

STAGE 2: OQ

After an ISC passes DQ, the Operational Qualification (OQ) is completed. OQ testing requires a minimum sample size of three and requires thermal chamber data as well as distribution testing.

STAGE 3: PQ

Following the completion of the OQ testing, the ISC is subjected to a Performance Qualification (PQ). The PQ is performed through real world shipments and requires a sample size of three shipments in the most extreme temperatures the intended season.

Standard 20 outlines the proper data collection process for each qualification step, as well as what to include in the final documentation for a fully qualified ISC.

Recreating Real Life in a Thermal Chamber: ISTA 7E

Along with extensive guidance and requirements for the testing process, data collection, and documentation, Standard 20 also references the ISTA 7E thermal profiles for use in chamber testing. The ISTA 7E thermal profiles were developed through industry input to provide standardized methodology for the comparison of ISCs.

They include a standardized summer and winter profile that were built using an aggregation of data collected through an extensive study of shipping lanes spanning the United States. Each 7E profile contains up to 72 hours of data, which is repeatable for up to a total duration of 144 hours.

7E vs 7D

While the seasonal 7E profiles can be used to demonstrate performance for general domestic shipments, it may not reach the temperature extremes observed across specific regions. This is the reasoning for the PQ step in the Standard 20 process, but for many users a custom profile built using specific lane data may be more representative during chamber testing. Some end users address this discrepancy in temperature extremes by requiring ISTA 7D as the baseline for initial testing, with the intention of validating later down the road using real temperature data collected across specific temperature lanes to perform an OQ and following it up with a PQ.

A simple examination of 7E vs 7D will show the contrast between the two profiles. ISTA 7D was developed prior to 7E. It contains immediate temperature changes in the profile followed by hold/soak steps at a constant temperature, similar to what would be experienced when going from inside a warehouse to outside and vice versa. ISTA 7E was developed using an intensive data collection process, and generally represents the gradual temperature changes that can be experienced throughout the day.

Shake it Won’t Break It: ISTA 3A

The ISTA Standard 20 process also requires the ISTA 3A test, which is described as a “general simulation test for individual packaged-products shipped through a parcel delivery system”. The ISTA 3A involves a series of drops, dynamic compression sequences, and a loose load vibration portion that are meant to replicate the different forces that can be experienced by an ISC or other single shipment when sent through a service like UPS or FedEx.

Specialty Pharmacy:

When drug manufacturers and distributors make a submission to the FDA, both OQ and PQ documentation for an ISC are required to receive approval. However, specialty pharmacies that are subjected to URAC 4.0 requirements are only required to submit PQ data.

While not required by URAC, DQ and OQ testing is recommended to reduce the risk of failure during the PQ phase of the package development process.

Here to Help

When food or medicine requires temperature control distribution, the design and qualification of insulated shipping containers is an essential of new product development.

Through the ISTA Certified Thermal Lab at TemperPack, our team of engineers is able to carry out a standard or modified version of the ISTA Standard 20 process.


The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Upstream Innovation Guide Features ClimaCell®

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has published its Upstream Innovation Guide. We’re thrilled that ClimaCell is included as a solution to replace plastic foam as a way to protect fresh food and other perishable shipments.

The circular economy is about changing the way we design and make products and packaging, so we can move from managing waste, to preventing it – benefiting businesses, their customers and the environment.

Plant-based insulation for perishable shipments, with comparable temperature control performance to expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), as well as being made from a renewable material and fully compatible with paper recycling streams.

Businesses around the world are starting to do this, but it is time to move at even greater speed and scale. We’re honored that ClimaCell was selected for the Upstream Innovation Guide, alongside incredible innovations from around the world. The guide is a valuable resource that includes new technologies and practical improvements companies are making to bring about a better future.

We’re honored that ClimaCell was chosen, alongside incredible innovations from around the world. The guide is a valuable resource that includes new technologies and practical improvements companies are making to bring about a better future.

A link to the guide can be found here.


About TemperPack

TemperPack® makes packaging that works for businesses, people, and the planet. The company was borne out of a desire to reduce the amount of unsustainable packaging caused by the rise of e-commerce and perishable delivery. Incorporating environmental responsibility into product design, the company specializes in bringing the highest quality packaging solutions to scale. Operating an ISTA® certified Thermal Transport Lab and state-of-the-art production facilities in Richmond, VA and Las Vegas, NV, TemperPack is rapidly expanding its reach in the perishable food and life sciences industries with recyclable and compostable packaging solutions. Our mission is simple: protect products with packaging that protects the planet.

About the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a UK-based charity, committed to the creation of a circular economy that tackles some of the biggest challenges of our time, such waste, pollution and climate change. In a circular economy nothing becomes waste and everything has value, creating benefits for society, the environment and theeconomy.

The Foundation collaborates with its Strategic Partners (BlackRock, Danone, DS Smith, Google, H&M Group, Intesa Sanpaolo, IKEA, Philips, Renault, SC Johnson, Solvay, Unilever, The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation, SUN, MAVA, players of People’s Postcode Lottery (GB)) and its wider network of businesses; governments, institutions, and cities; universities; and emerging innovators, to drive collaboration, explore opportunities, and to develop circular business initiatives.

The current ‘take, make, waste’ extractive industrial model relies on the consumption of finite resources. The circular economy offers a positive way forward by redefining growth to focus on society-wide benefits. It entails redesigning material flows and production systems to build economic, natural and social capital. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular economy is built on three principles: design out waste and pollution; keep products and materials in use; and regenerate natural capital.


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TemperPack Raises $31MM From New and Existing Investors

As Home Deliveries Accelerate, TemperPack Expands Capacity

RICHMOND, Va., August 7, 2020 – TemperPack® Technologies, Inc., the lead manufacturer of sustainable thermal insulation for home deliveries of perishable foods and temperature-sensitive medicines, announces today that it has secured new investments totaling $31.3 million as part of a Series C financing led by Wheatsheaf Group, the UK-based food and agricultural investment arm of the Grosvenor Estate. This latest investment round also included follow on investments by existing shareholders Revolution Growth, Harbert Growth Partners, SJF Ventures, Arborview Capital, Tao Capital, Third Prime Capital, and Greenhouse Capital.

Learn more about our Series C in Crunchbase’s exclusive coverage.

TemperPack’s suite of thermal products includes POPBOX®, a lightweight curbside recyclable alternative to BubbleWrap® and our flagship curbside recyclable ClimaCell® box liners.

TemperPack has seen significant growth over the last 18 months, accelerated by stay-at-home orders which have made home deliveries of meal kits, produce, and prepared meals more mainstream. In addition to bringing on new customers such as Illumina and New England Biolabs, existing customers have increased their orders, and TemperPack has more than doubled the size of its workforce since the end of 2018.

At the same time, life sciences companies shipping insulin, diagnostic tests kits, and biologic medicines are moving away from expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), also known as Styrofoam®. EPS has been banned by dozens of localities in the US for its harmful effects on the environment.

The new funding will enable TemperPack to expand manufacturing of its patented ClimaCell® thermal liners. ClimaCell liners provide similar levels of thermal protection as EPS. Unlike EPS, ClimaCell® is plant-based, 100% curbside recyclable, and reduces carbon emissions. The additional manufacturing capacity will enable ClimaCell to increase market share in the food and life sciences markets and positions TemperPack for future growth in new regions and applications.

" We’ve been seeing increased demand from companies across a range of categories in the food space and from leading life sciences companies proactively breaking away from Styrofoam. The time was right for us to look for partners to allow us to build and accelerate our growth. "

— Brian Powers, TemperPack CEO

“TemperPack is perfectly positioned for long-term growth thanks to a product that delivers a comparable performance to established alternatives but with the added benefit of being sustainable. There is significant opportunity within its core food and life sciences markets in the US and globally, and we expect the ClimaCell® technology will allow it to compete in other markets where Styrofoam is the incumbent material,” said Katrin Burt, Executive Director at Wheatsheaf Group.

TemperPack is one of the only vertically integrated packaging companies to feature an in-house ISTA®-certified Thermal Transport Laboratory, available to all of our clients for qualified testing and solution design packaging.

With this round of funding, TemperPack has now raised over $78MM. The company has 200 employees and manufacturing facilities in Richmond, Virginia, and Las Vegas, Nevada. TemperPack estimates that, by choosing ClimaCell over EPS, its customers have avoided the creation of over 18 million kilograms of carbon missions and eliminated the need for over 220,000 cubic meters of plastic waste since 2018.

“The global pandemic swiftly accelerated the volume of home deliveries and will likely contribute to lasting changes in e-commerce behavior as well as increased interest in sustainability as trash bins overflow with non-recyclable shipping materials. We are proud to reinvest in TemperPack as they lead the movement from toxic, plastic packaging to sustainable alternatives,” said Todd Klein, Partner at Revolution Growth.

The company was founded in 2015 by CEO Brian Powers, Chief Product Officer James McGoff, and Chief Technology Officer Charles Vincent. TemperPack currently works with food delivery and healthcare companies including HelloFresh and Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy.


About TemperPack

TemperPack® makes packaging that works for businesses, people, and the planet. The company was borne out of a desire to reduce the amount of unsustainable packaging caused by the rise of e-commerce and perishable delivery. Incorporating environmental responsibility into product design, the company specializes in bringing the highest quality packaging solutions to scale. Operating an ISTA® certified Thermal Transport Lab and state-of-the-art production facilities in Richmond, VA and Las Vegas, NV, TemperPack is rapidly expanding its reach in the perishable food and life sciences industries with recyclable and compostable packaging solutions. Our mission is simple: protect products with packaging that protects the planet.

About Wheatsheaf Group

The Wheatsheaf Group invests in food and agriculture businesses using capital and expertise with a far-sighted perspective to deliver lasting commercial, social and environmental benefit.

With one of the largest and longest established investment teams in the sector, Wheatsheaf partners with its portfolio companies to create efficiencies in the production and distribution of food; developing innovative business models and technologies to deliver affordable, nutritious and safe food that sustains both human health and the health of the planet.

Working to deploy such business models and technologies commercially at scale, Wheatsheaf works to deliver enduring solutions to address one of modern society’s most pressing challenges – supplying healthy, nutritious food to the meet the demands of a changing global population.


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Fast Company's 2020
World Changing Ideas Finalist

At TemperPack, our mission is simple: Protect products with packaging that protects the planet.

For the last five years, that mission propelled us to work hard to find a replacement for expanded polystyrene (EPS), also known as Styrofoam. EPS has a lot of attributes that make it a great packaging material in many applications, but it is hugely problematic for the environment, from cradle to grave. With the rise of e-commerce, we saw a huge potential surge in the use of Styrofoam to protect perishable foods and temperature-sensitive medicines, and we also saw a huge opportunity to offer something better.

ClimaCell has been recognized as a “World Changing Idea 2020” by Fast Company.

Today that “something better” is ClimaCell.  It offers similar thermal protection as EPS at a similar cost, but uses renewable ingredients, requires significantly less energy to manufacture, and is curbside recyclable.  To date, Climacell has protected over 10 million shipments for companies including HelloFresh, Misfits Market, and Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy.

To us, replacing EPS is an important mission and real opportunity for growth. We learned last week that Fast Company thinks ClimaCell is a World Changing Idea. That’s pretty awesome.

Specifically, ClimaCell was named a Finalist in the Food Category, alongside awesome companies including AKUA, InFarm, AeroFarms, and our good friends and partners at Imperfect Foods.  The whole World Changing Ideas list is here. And this video showcases a few really inspiring ideas outside the food category, including a new innovation from Abbott Labs for babies with congenital heart defects, a new 3D printer that can build a house, and a new innovation giving people in developing countries access to eyeglasses.

It’s an inspiring list. We’re grateful to be a part of it, and ready to keep going.


A Call For Reduced Waste in the Era of Home Deliveries

In early March, states began issuing stay-at-home orders in response to COVID-19. Not surprisingly, home deliveries have gone through the roof, and recycling bins are overflowing with plastic packaging. Most people don’t realize when they toss a container with the chasing arrows in the recycling bin, it’s more than likely to end up in a landfill.

It’s a complex problem. And one that’s not high on our national priority list in the face of the pandemic. But the sharp increase in shipping and deliveries has made this issue more important now than ever. Non-recyclable plastics are contaminating our water and soil. The chemicals used to manufacture them are toxic. The world has been turned upside down by a virus, and this could be the world’s opportunity to turn climate change upside down, too.

This year, we’ve set a goal to eliminate 10 million pounds of plastic from entering US landfills.

Packaging manufacturers are challenged to find scalable technologies that provide a viable alternative to single-use plastics without compromising consumer preferences for affordability, brand appeal, and quality. Stuck with traditional technologies largely built around plastics, they promote recycling as the solution and increase their labeling efforts to communicate “proper disposal” to the consumer.

And yet there’s no point in collecting and sorting waste if you can’t find a buyer. Current viable markets in the U.S. only exist for typical water bottles and milk jugs. Consider all the other plastics that consumers use daily: coffee pods, fruit containers, plastic bags, wrappers, clamshell packaging, bubble wrap and air pillows, take-out containers, and the list goes on. According to National Geographic, 91 percent of plastic is not recycled and either becomes trash or litter. Recyclers are faced with outdated infrastructure and collapsing markets for the items that they are collecting, so they send it to the landfill. This information never reaches the mass consumer market so they continue to do what they think is best and throw plastics in the blue bin.

What if manufacturers weren’t allowed to use the “chasing arrows” symbol unless their products were truly recyclable? Going further, what if products that cause problems for recovery facilities had a "harmful if recycled" label?

— James McGoff, Co-Founder & CPO

Earlier this year, Greenpeace published a report detailing the state of U.S. recycling and concluded: “Companies must move beyond the outdated, failed approach of promoting recycling as the solution to excessive plastic waste and pollution. Furthermore, few U.S. cities have industrial composting facilities required to treat compostable plastics and many compost facility operators don’t want compostable plastics. We cannot recycle or compost our way out of the growing plastic pollution problem. Instead of pretending that the trillions of throwaway plastic items produced each year will be recycled or composted, we must stop producing so many of them in the first place.”

What if manufacturers weren’t allowed to use the “chasing arrows” symbol unless their products were truly recyclable? Going further, what if products that cause problems for recovery facilities had a “harmful if recycled” label? That won’t happen of course but I’d be curious to see how buying preferences would shift, and how big brands and retailers would react to this in terms of material selection. The question is not “how do we solve the challenges of recycling plastics?” or “when will the markets turn favorable?” It’s “how can we design products that are eco-friendly?”

Last year, we saved enough energy to charge 3.7 million cell phones for an entire year. This year we’re looking to double that.

Five years ago, we founded our company to offer a sustainable, plant-based alternative to Styrofoam, as only 3 percent of Material Recovery Facilities accept it and only 1.5 percent of the population has access to recycling it. The material itself is outdated, non-compostable, possibly carcinogenic, and is made from non-renewable resources in factories that produce heavy amounts of green-house gas equivalents. It’s also used all over the world in huge quantities.

The packaging and shipping materials we manufacture are one of several options available to companies who are truly committed to reducing waste. As businesses re-examine their environmental responsibilities, we must also increase public education so individuals understand the empty promise of the “chasing arrows” symbol. Until we decrease plastic production, local governments could create more industrial scale municipal composting sites and the federal government could explore stricter guidelines for when manufacturers can use the universal recycling symbol on their products.

Food and grocery deliveries will continue to increase as we shelter in place and it’s likely that many consumers will emerge from this period with an increased reliance on ordering online. The environmental consequence cannot be ignored. At the end of the day, we all want to fulfill our intention of recycling and contribute to a healthier planet.


How to Transition to Sustainable Thermal Packaging: A Primer

If your company makes or ships a product that needs to be kept cool, cold, frozen, or hot, thermal packaging plays a huge role in your future. This post contains the What, Why, and How of thermal packaging that sustains the planet and your business.

As our on-demand economy grows, whether you prepare fresh meal kits, frozen steaks, or ice cream, or develop cutting-edge biologic medicines, vaccines, reagents, there’s a good chance your customers want it delivered to their door, or will soon.

According to Nielsen, consumers will spend roughly $100 billion in online groceries by 2025.

Protecting those perishable shipments is the humble job of thermal packaging. This job used to be a dirty one, done by expanded polystyrene foam. If you don’t know what EPS is, it looks like this:

EPS does the job really well.

It’s inexpensive, but it’s plastic, cannot be recycled, and probably causes cancer, according to the World Health Organization. EPS also adds to landfills, where it might live forever.

This is a real problem.

According to the EPA, containers and packaging account for 23% of the 150 million tons of waste that goes into landfills every year. That’s like 1,100 Statues of Liberty worth of packaging going into landfills every year!

But the good news is, more sustainable packaging is available today. These more sustainable options protect as well, can save you money, and are within reach.

In the next few sections, we’ll be talking about principles of sustainable packaging, thermal packaging basics, and how you can bring them together for a winning solution for your customers, the planet, and your business.

Part 1

What is Sustainable Packaging?

Sustainable packaging solutions are materials that take into account the entire life cycle of their usage.

Most packaging serves a single-use function and rarely takes into account where it will end up. Sustainable packaging can be a combination of different elements that reduce the carbon footprint, utilize rapidly-renewable inputs, and improve the lifecycle or reusability of the overall packaging.

There are many characteristics that impact how sustainable a packaging solution is. Here are a few:

Recyclable

Can be remanufactured into another product after use, unlike single-use plastics or synthetic foams.

Non-toxic

Does not release harmful chemicals or poisons into the earth.

Degradable

Will break down using natural forces such as air, light, and water, or chemical additives.

Compostable

Can be reused as rich a planting material even after the product’s original purpose is completed.

Many more factors exist in the sustainable packaging field, although these four are perhaps the most sought-after by Fortune 500 companies in the world today. Be sure to choose a factor or combination of factors that make the biggest impact on your company.

Part 2

Basic Principles Of Sustainable Packaging

As a general rule, the creation of sustainable packaging must adhere to certain guidelines under the protection of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC). The goal of the SPC is to help educate brand and business managers in government regulations regarding the proper distribution and management of sustainable packaging materials.

According to the SPC, there are four traits that packaging products should exhibit to be truly sustainable in every sense. These are:

Effective

Optimized in all aspects of its objective, and ultimately capable of being recovered and repurposed within an industry.

Efficient

Produces the highest amount of value possible. This includes saving time, money, and energy in the packaging process.

Cyclic

Can be reused or repurposed multiple times within its life cycle, mitigating the need for waste.

Safe

It is not only safe for consumer consumption but even healthful and beneficial as well.

It’s not easy to achieve all of these goals, even for relatively simple packaging solutions. Given the low cost of conventional single-use plastic packaging, even companies with the best intentions rarely get an A+ on each of those four metrics.

Reaching these sustainability goals is much more complicated when we’re talking about the much more complex challenge of thermal packaging.

Part 3

What is Thermal Packaging?

Thermal packaging is packaging that insulates a product against temperature change.

It includes any packaging solutions whose primary goal is to preserve, maintain, and otherwise insulate a product against heat or cold that could harm its integrity. In most cases, the enemy is heat.

Thermal packaging is particularly important to industries that require safe transit with little to no changes in product temperature. These commonly include chemicals or medications, foodstuffs, and plants or seeds.

Typically, thermal packaging requires three core components:

Coolant

Coolants are components that actively create temperature change. The most common ones include ice, gel packs, dry ice.

  • Dry ice is extremely cold, frozen carbon and dissipates over time, leaving nothing behind to dispose of.
  • Gel packs are frozen liquid inside of a bag or container. Some are drain-safe, others need to be thrown away, some are even made of plant fertilizer and maybe once again returned to the earth.

Gel packs are good coolant, but they are traditionally wrapped in unrecyclable plastic. Dry ice is a great coolant that disappears after usage.


EPS is an old and effective insulator, but is extremely bad for the environment, both in its manufacturing process and end of life. New insulators like ClimaCell perform as well as EPS and are fully curbside recyclable.

Insulation

Insulation is material that doesn’t allow air (and therefore heat) to transfer. It keeps the cold in, even when it’s very hot outside.

  • Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), better known as Styrofoam, is the most widely-used insulation. It’s effective as an insulator, but it’s an oil based plastic and is considered a likely carcinogen by the World Health Organization.
  • Other materials have entered the market, including repurposed plant fiber, recycled PET, corn starch, and ClimaCell.


Shipping Container

Shipping Containers are the outermost barrier of an insulated shipper - typically a corrugated box.

  • These are typically the most sustainable part of the solution, since they are plant-based and curbside recyclable.
  • Corrugated boxes are the most widely-recycled material in the country. They are recycled correctly 92% of the time, according to the EPA.

There has been a lot of press about reusable packaging. While the benefits are great for these types of shipping containers, their practicality in real-life situations is bad. Many of these containers are built stronger than necessary and never see the lifespan they were originally intended for. 

The good news is, recent years have brought innovation to both coolants and insulation, to put more sustainable packaging within reach.

At TemperPack, we’ve focused on insulation, with ClimaCell being our latest innovation, and we believe the most complete thermal insulation on the market:

  • Delivers high thermal performance similar to that of EPS, with comparable R-Values at equal thicknesses.
  • Highly customizable material allows packouts to be designed to minimize DIM weights and shipping costs.
  • Ships in flat panels for more efficient warehouse and truck space use.
  • Semi-rigid, weight bearing material which can be easily folded and assembled in the fulfillment center.
  • Made using plant-based inputs.
  • Low-energy manufacturing process. Reduces CO2E emissions by 94% compared to manufacturing EPS.
  • 100% curbside recyclable. The first curbside recyclable, thermal insulator to receive the “Widely Recyclable” designation from How2Recycle®, a program from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

Part 4

A Guide To Transitioning To Sustainable Thermal Packaging

The process of transitioning to temperature-controlled sustainable packaging begins with CHANGE:


C - Consider The Impact

Take the time to assess the impact your choices will make on both your company and the future of your product. Will your eco-friendly packaging options maintain the three pillars of sustainability?

H - Handle The Details

Many minute details should be considered when switching to sustainable thermal packaging. Assess the temperature specifics, shipment climate, and time frame of your particular product or products. As always, TemperPack welcomes any conversations about sustainability details with our on-site innovation experts.

A - Assess End-Of-Life Options

One of the best parts of transitioning to temperature-controlled sustainable packaging is discovering the best possible end-of-life options for the material in question. Your packaging options are made further sustainable by including curbside recycling, composting, or biodegradable qualities that increase your impact on reducing the packaging footprint.

N - Note The Testing Process

Nothing about your decision to transfer to sustainable thermal packaging should be on a whim. TemperPack offers clients an innovative testing lab that can accurately predict the outcomes of your product paired with our packaging solutions, all without the sunk cost of valuable products.

This process has assisted dozens of industries during the initial planning stage, especially pharmaceutical companies, and related distributors.

G - Gather Your Results

Temperature-controlled sustainable packaging produces widespread and measurable results felt in every aspect of your business. Carefully measuring changes to your ROI, your consumer base, and the environment are great ways to visibly keep track of how your company may be combatting plastic pollution with sustainable bio-based packaging.

E - Evaluate Your Impact

Several industries are already benefiting from this type of packaging in major ways, especially pharmaceutical, life science, and food industry providers.

As companies begin to make the necessary changes and leap into the sustainable packaging industry, TemperPack is proud to offer comprehensive and affordable solutions within this growing industry of packaging and beyond.

Part 5

How Will You Benefit From Transitioning To Sustainable Thermal Packaging?

The benefits included with transitioning from single-use packaging to sustainable thermal solutions go far beyond reducing your carbon footprint. Making the switch to eco-friendly sources will affect your entire production system from development to manufacturing to shipment.

Consumers want it.

Many surveys show consumers want sustainability, and a new study shows they mean it: 50% of the growth in CPG products came from brands with sustainability claims.

Regulation is coming.

EPS has been banned in Maine and several major localities. Switching to plant-based, recyclable packaging now eliminates this risk to your business.

It's better for the planet.

Manufacturing ClimaCell reduces carbon emissions by 94% compared to EPS.

You can reduce costs.

Many renewable materials like ClimaCell are much more customizable for specific payloads and shipping requirements than EPS. This creates a real opportunity for a net gain in packaging and shipping spend.


We’re Here to Help.

Making the switch from traditional materials to sustainable and eco-friendly packaging is no longer a part of the distant future, but a current reality that companies must embrace to maintain a high ROI, nurture their stakeholder relevance and reduce their overall impact on our planet.

While it may not seem like an easy transition, sustainability in all aspects of your business begins with a commitment from you and all members of your company.


UPS Driver delivers reusable packaging to woman at home

Reusable Packaging: Great Potential, But Challenges Ahead

Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to throw so much packaging away? Reusable packaging feels like a huge step toward reducing what goes into landfills. We're excited to see great companies such as Nestle and UPS joining the TerraCycle Loop initiative. We also applaud Otter Products in exploring ways to make reusable packaging mainstream. All of this is not only exciting, but also imperative.

Unfortunately, the path to high-volume reusable packaging isn’t nearly as smooth as it may seem. Customer costs, logistics, and efficiency are just three of the main stumbling blocks for companies exploring reusable packaging.

Customer Costs

Although the meal-kit industry is likely to see strong double-digit growth year-over-year through 2023, customers switch services frequently. We can all agree the world needs less Styrofoam®, but customers may not be ready to pay for a deposit for a reusable package. Amazon and PeaPod have both struggled with this problem. These deposits increase customer acquisition costs and present a barrier to trial for companies that pass those costs on to their customers. In the future, if customer preferences have stabilized, companies might be able to charge for a reusable option. For now, this market segment is likely to remain volatile for the foreseeable future.

Logistics

The reverse logistics associated with collecting, sanitizing, and re-deploying packaging are costly and labor intensive. These reverse logistics tend to work only in closed-loop systems, such as blood banks. Meanwhile, people recycle corrugated paper properly 93% of the time. New forms of e-commerce packaging should be designed to leverage the existing efficient, nationally available, corrugated waste collection streams. Reusing a single package hundreds or thousands of times may be more environmentally sustainable than using responsibly-designed single-use packaging solutions. The question remains: "will people actually re-use these packages, and is the energy required to make this system work worth it?"

Efficiency

Right now, meal-kit services are focusing on fundamentally proving the viability of their business models. They are taking a hard look at their cost structures, with packaging and logistics front and center. It's much easier to continuously customize single-use packaging, using various pack-outs, sizes, and components to minimize footprint, cost, and weight. Reusable systems are less efficient because they are expensive and hard to change once the investment has been made. Reusable packaging is rigid in a market that still very much relies on a flexible supply chain. We're happy to see innovation in the space of e-commerce and subscription-based cold-chain packaging. At this point, however, the market cannot bear the costs or complexities of implementing reusable packaging.

As work remains to be done with reusable packaging we will continue to innovate and create more in the world of temperature stable, paper-based, curbside recyclable products. In the end, reusable or recyclable, we can all do well by creating better solutions for the planet.


Recycling in America. James McGoff on NPR's Full Disclosure.

TemperPack's James McGoff Featured on NPR's Full Disclosure

Last Thursday, TemperPack's James McGoff was a featured guest on Roben Farzad's NPR podcast Full Disclosure. In addition, Kate Daley, Executive Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, joined the discussion. During the podcast, they covered a full range of topics regarding recycling in America. Listen below:

https://soundcloud.com/robenfarzad/what-a-waste
TemperPack co-founder and co-CEO James McGoff featured on NPR's podcast Full Disclosure with Roben Farzad.