Reducing waste, emissions and water use with IFCO RPCs


Less waste out, fewer natural resources in: how switching to IFCO RPCs reduces your supply chain’s impact on the environment.

Producing up to 60% less CO2

IFCO RPCs are reusable and fully recyclable

Using 64% less energy

IFCO RPCs fold when empty, using less truck space and saving fuel

Reducing waste to landfill

IFCO RPCs cut solid waste by 86%

Using 80% less water

Water-recycling technology helps us use less water than cardboard-box systems


Cutting waste through collaboration

IFCO RPCs are an important part of leading grocery retailers’ sustainability programs. For example, US retailer Kroger has calculated that its total use of RPCs in 2015 eliminated the use of more than 73,500 tons of waxed and corrugated boxes.



*Fraunhofer IBP study, Carbon Footprint of Food packaging, Commissioned by Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg (SIM) Feb 2018; The Sustainability of Packaging Systems for Fruit and Vegetable Transport in Europe based on Life-Cycle-Analysis, Update 2009", published in February 2009 by Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg

We minimize our impact on the environment through continuous improvement of our products, our operations, and our supply chain.

By partnering with our equipment suppliers, we have developed resource-efficient washing and drying equipment which help minimize our energy and water consumption. Our RPC engineers continuously seek ways to make our RPCs stack more efficiently to optimize the number of RPCs which can be stacked per pallet, lowering transportation requirements with each improvement.

IFCO has installed water recycling equipment which lowers the amount of water used during our wash process. In addition, we employ energy saving technologies in our wash centers through combined heat and power generation.

IFCO supports the communities in which we operate

IFCO supports food banks in our markets around the world through our Worldwide Responsibility initiative.

Our Solutions help reduce food loss in the supply chain

IFCO RPCs reduce food loss due to mechanical damage (crushing, cuts, bruises) and improper temperature. The smooth interior and sturdy construction of our RPCs protects perishable items from damage during packing, stacking, and transport, resulting in significantly lower rates of damage and therefore food loss from producer to retailer. A 2013 study [link to study PDF] conducted by Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics and the Cold-Chain Management Working Group at the University of Bonn evaluated potential links between product damage and packaging type (specifically RPCs and one-way cardboard boxes). Through the supply chain, the following packaging damage rates were observed:

Lower Package Damage Rates

RPC Damage Rate: .12%

Disposable Packageing Damage Rate: 4.2%

Lower Product Damage Rates

Product Damage in RPCs: 0%

Product Damage in Disposable Packaging: 20%

Package Damage Rates at the Central Warehouse

RPC Damage Rate at the Central Warehouse

Disposable Packaging Damage Rates at the Central Warehouse

In addition to reducing mechanical damage, our RPCs are highly ventilated, allowing for faster cooling after harvesting of perishable products. This ventilation also allows for closer temperature control of products during storage and transport. Faster cooling and better control of temperature post-harvest promote a longer shelf life for fresh products, reducing unsaleable product and waste at retail. These benefits have been confirmed in studies on strawberries, mangoes, squash, and other products. [links to studies].


We believe an engaging, safe, tolerant and diverse workplace brings out the best in our people. We think first of ‘Zero Harm’.

As a member of the Brambles family of companies, IFCO supports and upholds the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through our employment policies, Brambles companies are committed to:

  • Providing a safe working environment with an objective of achieving Zero Harm through industry best practice in health and safety management;
  • Being an equal opportunities employer, committed to developing a diverse workforce where everyone is treated fairly irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, race or religion;
  • Creating an environment where everyone is encouraged to give their best and realize their full potential, by providing learning and development opportunities for individuals and groups, and 
  • Ensuring employees can discuss any problem connected with their work confident that they will receive a fair, impartial and confidential review of the issue.

Brambles' sustainability strategy underlines its commitment to achieving Zero Harm in each of its businesses. This means zero injuries, zero environmental damage and zero detrimental impact on human rights.


Find more information on our strategy and policies here







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