Evan Matzen, Manager, Sustainability

It’s time for an update on the box reuse program we discussed on this blog last January. In that article, titled “Thinking Outside the Box – Sustainability Through a Reuse Program,” we talked about our pilot program in Phoenix and how to participate if you are in that territory.

I am pleased to announce that in the six or so months since Box Reuse Programthe launch of the box reuse program in Phoenix, we have reused approximately 3,000 boxes! That is a small amount of the total boxes we ship with, but it is enough to make a difference! We considered the pilot a success and believed it warranted another pilot in a completely different market.

Based on the results of the survey Jason Smith, the project manager for this initiative, and his team conducted to find markets that would be most amenable to a box reuse program, we decided to try the program in the San Antonio, Texas, area.

San Antonio really hit the ground running! For the past seven weeks we have been averaging a 31% return rate, which means that for every 10 boxes we deliver that are eligible to be returned for reuse, 3 boxes are returned. There is always room for improvement, and customer engagement should help us with that, but we think a 31% return rate is really great.

The success of these two pilots allowed us to fund the reprogramming of handheld computers that our drivers use for deliveries, so they can now document which customers return boxes and how many they return. Soon we will have enough data to help our customers in those markets that have multiple properties understand their own participation rate. Greystar, one of our largest customers in these two markets, has agreed to hold a contest to see which of their properties can return the greatest percentage of eligible boxes for reuse.

Because this program has been so successful, we are beginning to scout out other areas like San Diego, Austin, and Las Vegas to roll it out to. I will keep you informed.

 

Have you participated in our box reuse pilot? If you’re outside the Phoenix and San Antonio areas, would you like a box reuse program in your market?

 

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