Protective product packaging

IBM developed its Packaging Guidelines back in 1990 and they are updated periodically. The Guidelines called for the banning of ozone-depleting chemicals and heavy metals from IBM's packaging and the elimination of polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated biphenyl oxides from all its packaging, all of which were accomplished a number of years ago. The Guidelines also provide direction on minimizing toxic elements in packaging materials, identifying methods, process and designs to reduce packaging volume, and promoting the use of packaging materials that are reusable, recyclable and/or contain recycled content.

For specific requirements and details, see "Packaging requirements" on the Information for suppliers web page.

The key elements of IBM's Packaging Guidelines have been embedded into various Engineering Specifications, which extends their reach beyond IBM to include its supply chain and other business partners.

In 2012, our integrated worldwide packaging engineering team saved an estimated 1,400 metric tons of packaging materials through the implementation of 50 packaging redesign projects for parts and assemblies shipped from suppliers to manufacturing operations, and for packaged finished products supplied to clients worldwide. These projects delivered an annual materials and transport cost savings of nearly $17.3 million. The following are highlights of a few of the key projects implemented:

When suppliers apply the design improvements achieved through collaboration with IBM to packaging designs for other customers, the environmental benefits and cost savings can be far-reaching.

In addition to the above, IBM has gone well beyond the legal requirements in packaging. The following are some examples of the company's accomplishments:

Moreover, IBM has freely shared its environmental packaging specifications with anyone, including competitors.