CVS has introduced a new packing machine at its Animed online retail fulfilment centre to reduce the amount of packaging it uses when mailing food, supplements and accessories to its customers.

It is expected to save nearly 160,000 single use plastic bags a year - as up to 40% of orders had previously been mailed using plastic packaging, along with approximately four tonnes of cardboard packaging.

The move will also result in a reduction of approximately two tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum, due to a reduction in deliveries.

The new 800,000 machine performs a 3D scan of each product that is about to be packed. It then creates an individual box, tailored to each product’s size. This way the machine only uses a minimum amount of card, no excess cardboard is wasted, and there is no need to fill a packaging void with additional material. Any excess cardboard cut offs from the machine will be recycled with Animed’s existing cardboard waste – to make new paper and packaging materials.

The new machine has been planned for over one year. It has taken three months to install and it is expected to package up to 300,000 parcels a year. Approximately 40% of Animed orders will go through the machine.

John Hitchmough, Group Logistics Director at CVS, said: “Caring for animals goes hand-in-hand with caring for the natural environment. We care about doing our job in a way that is sustainable and that does not compromise the natural environment.

“Excess and plastic packaging at Animed was a key source of CVS’ use of raw materials. So we wanted to find an alternative solution where we could package orders using more environmentally cardboard and cut excess packaging. Taking this step is going to significantly reduce the amount of materials we use and will help minimise our impact on the planet.”

CVS has set stretching targets to significantly reduce the company’s environmental impact, with the aim of becoming a more sustainable company. The group has committed to reducing both its business energy use and its operational carbon footprint by 5%, and to cutting medical waste and waste disposed of by incineration by 5% in the year to July 2024. CVS progress and targets are outlined in the company’s 2023 Sustainability Report 2023 here[i].

CVS Group operates across small animal, farm animal, equine, laboratories and crematoria, with over 500 veterinary practices and referral centres in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands and Australia. In the last five years the company has invested nearly 80 million in its sites, facilities and equipment, in addition to industry leading training and support, to give the best possible care to animals. For further information on CVS visit www.cvsukltd.co.uk .