First-ever climate-neutral packaging from Gigaset21. October 2020 Published by Raphael Doerr
With what is now its fifth smartphone “Made in Germany,” Gigaset is rigorously sticking to its strategy of tapping the growth market for mobile devices, while acting with sustainability in mind: The new GS4 is the first device to go on sale in completely climate-neutral packaging. FSC certification, cooperation with ClimatePartner and the new, clearer design of the packaging will give consumers guidance in deciding what to buy.
“People trust the Gigaset brand,” says Klaus Weßing, CEO of Gigaset AG. “That means we have a great responsibility. We only apply the very highest standards in developing new communications solutions. And it goes without saying that we are committed to protecting the climate in Germany as a business location and beyond.” Gigaset has been working for many years to package its products optimally and in a way that conserves resources as much as possible. These efforts began, among other things, with reducing the size of the packaging: The lower the volume, the more products can be transported on a pallet. That cuts the product’s carbon footprint – in addition to the fact that less material is needed for smaller packaging.
Corrugated cardboard helps reduce use of plastics
The new smartphones Gigaset launched in 2019 came for the first time in grass packaging consisting to 30 percent of renewable grass fibers from the region. “That was a stage on our road toward the ideal packaging. We’re learning during the process and keep on adapting,” says Jörg Brühl, SVP Marketing at Gigaset. “Of course, we want our products to reach customers in an immaculate condition. That’s why we are continuing to put our trust in corrugated cardboard for our new generation of packaging. Thanks to its mechanical advantages, it provides perfect protection for sensitive devices like smartphones, yet meets good standards for recycling.” This kind of packaging conserves resources and can also be recycled and reused later. In the past, Gigaset has already used materials complying with the FSC standards for its packaging – and now it has gained enhanced certification under the “Recycled” label instead of “Mix.” This seal of approval, which is printed on the packaging along with the certification number, confirms that the box consists 100% of recycled fibers and gives customers even better guidance.
Protection of the climate – and forests
Gigaset’s packaging standards are generally very high. Polystyrene is eliminated completely and only as much plastic as required is used – cable ties and plastic bags have been replaced by paper sleeves, for instance. Only oil-free or low-migration inks are used for printing. In the future, the user guides will consist of recycled paper that is likewise FSC-certified and has been awarded the Blue Angel label. “But we intend to do even more to reduce our environmental impact,” states Jörg Brühl. “For the first time, we have calculated the carbon footprint for the packaging of the latest GS4 smartphone we make in Bocholt and compensated for it by means of climate protection projects under the auspices of ClimatePartner.” As a result, Gigaset is helping reforestation and transformation of forests in Germany – one new tree is planted for every ton of CO2 compensated. The partnership with ClimatePartner also helps protect 90,000 hectares of rainforest in Brazil – the Ecomapuá project bans commercial logging there. It creates jobs for local families and opens up alternative sources of income, such as through trade with the fruit of the Açaí palm or by selling honey.
Thinking globally, acting locally
“We sell our products internationally and hence also think internationally when it comes to climate protection,” says Klaus Weßing, CEO of Gigaset AG. 12 tons of CO2 were compensated for when the first batch of the Gigaset GS4 was produced – and there is huge potential to grow that figure given that Gigaset has 650 product variants in its worldwide portfolio. “The coronavirus pandemic has made people even more environmentally aware. They expect brands to act responsibly. And because we have always done that, we want to highlight that in a clearly visible way with our packaging’s FSC certification and our cooperation with ClimatePartner.” The repair services Gigaset offers are further testimony to its commitment to sustainability: Cordless fixed-line phones and smartphones are repaired in the company’s own workshops in Bocholt. Gigaset has also teamed up with certified partners to offer immediate repairs at nine locations in Germany. That means faulty devices can be refurbished instead of being thrown away.
Focus on the customer
Gigaset is taking the new packaging strategy as an opportunity to simplify the naming convention for its smartphones. As direct successors to the GS190 and GS195, the new models in the price class below €230 offer features such as wireless charging, replaceable batteries, NFC and a triple camera system. “Functions are important to us that deliver genuine added value to people. Our customers also want simple things like a notification LED, which is no longer commonplace with many smartphones. We listen closely and respond to what we hear. And that means we are now also testing simpler, more descriptive names for our products,” adds Jörg Brühl in conclusion. The two new smartphones are called simply the Gigaset GS3 and Gigaset GS4.
Jörg Brühl is SVP Marketing at Gigaset. In this capacity, he has been responsible in this for the company’s global marketing activities since April 2019. His key topics include successful management and modernization of the Gigaset brand in traditional retail and online across all the four product segments Phones, Smartphones, Smart Home and Professional.
ClimatePartner is a solutions provider in corporate climate protection. ClimatePartner combines individual consulting with cloud-based software that is unique on the market. Customers can use the software to calculate their carbon emissions and see from the results where they can cut emissions and compensate for unavoidable emissions. As a result, products and companies become climate-neutral, which is confirmed by the ClimatePartner label. ClimatePartner offers climate protection projects in various regions and with different technologies and standards. The additional social effects of the projects are especially important, and the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the standard in this regard. Founded in Munich in 2006, ClimatePartner now has 70 employees in Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Zürich and Yerevan and cooperates with 2,000 companies in 35 countries.
About the FSC
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent, non-profit organization that aims to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests. The FSC’s vision is that the world’s forests meet the social, ecological, and economic rights and needs of the present generation without compromising those of future generations. The FSC standard governs which materials qualify as reclaimed material and the conditions a system for proving that materials are reclaimed must meet. Companies that process reclaimed material or feed it into the FSC’s product chain are certified in accordance with the FSC’s recycling standard.