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With the mission of cutting production costs and reducing their carbon footprint, Domino’s turned to their pizza boxes with a solution. After many years of trial and error, they engineered a new pizza box design with the front two corners cut out, thus reducing their use of cardboard. In addition, Domino’s boxes are 80% recycled waste and 20% ethically sourced wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This innovation helps solve three of the UN SDG’s - (#8) Decent Work and Economic Growth as it saves the company money, which is then reinvested into employee wages and community initiatives; (#9) Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure because they are the first pizza company to adopt this design; and (#12) Responsible Production and Consumption as cardboard usage is reduced and responsible, ethically sourced materials are being used.
The unique boxes are an essential part of every Domino’s pizza delivery experience. They feature trimmed corners, thus reducing cardboard usage and are made from ethically sourced, responsible materials. Although the amount of material reduced on each box is small, this actually results in a huge decrease in their carbon footprint due to the millions of boxes used each day.
The pizza box innovation emerged naturally over the years, as sustainability and maximizing business efficiency are at the forefront of Domino’s strategies. “The boxes have been an ongoing process where they evolve from year to year. It started with management realizing there was not only money to save but also a [more] eco-friendly way to service customers”.
The Domino’s head office (located in Ann Arbor, Michigan) oversees innovation and sustainability initiatives and strategies. Once they are finalized, reviewed, and tested within a few locations, they are incorporated into all Domino’s franchises. “The innovation was primarily based out of head office, where they have a team of employees dedicated to improving the company’s sustainability. No specific worker was behind this initiative but instead a team is constantly working to evolve the product and better it over time. They have come at the pizza box from all angles, looking at lowering the heights, cutting the corners, different shapes, all while retaining as much heat as possible”.
Domino’s was looking for ways to lower costs while reducing their environmental impact when they recognized that pizza boxes are an inevitable aspect of their business, therefore improving the design would have long-term benefits. “Any small advantage Domino’s can create for themselves will bring in huge results because of the size of the company”.
Domino’s is committed to leading through action - everything they do is an attempt to evolve the pizza industry and provide the best customer service possible. “This [innovation] relates to Domino’s Canada's mission to inspire through our actions and give exceptional service all the time. The money they save helps give deals on pizzas and more money to workers which helps with the exceptional service”.
The pizza box innovation benefits not only the company but also the end consumer through lower product prices due to saved production and material costs. To ensure responsible materials are being used in the formulation of their pizza boxes, Domino’s enforces policies prohibiting suppliers from violating traditional or human rights in forestry operations. They are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and take part in educational programs and workshops with landowners to encourage ethical sustainability practices. Recycled waste is also used to construct the boxes and they are fully recyclable after use.
Furthermore, reducing the amount of cardboard used on each box allows Domino’s to save money on production costs and devote the excess profits to different community initiatives. Although not directly, the Domino’s Stone Road location donates money to University of Guelph women’s scholarships. This gives Domino’s an opportunity to connect with the community and garner even more customer loyalty.
With every innovation comes immediate effects in the workplace. The sustainable redesign of pizza boxes involved shifts in manufacturing as well as retraining employees on how to properly fold the newly shaped boxes. “Slight adjustments [needed] to be made but were definitely worth it for the benefit this innovation brings to society as a whole”. Long-term, the pizza box innovation saves Domino’s money that they can reinvest into the community and other aspects of the business as well as significantly reduces their carbon footprint.
The pizza box innovation benefits the Domino’s corporation because they are saving money through reduced cardboard usage. Most Domino’s products are packaged in corrugated boxes, which is a box design that meets the needs of the products being packaged through its strength and durability but controls costs throughout the process. This money is then used to improve other aspects of the business including employee wages and reduced product costs for consumers. This innovation proves Domino’s values of sustainability, opportunity, and embracing community. They are constantly looking for new ways to evolve their brand to benefit the environment, their employees, and their customers and the pizza box innovation is just a small part of that. This innovation was discovered because the dedicated teams at Domino’s recognized that there is always room for improvement in pre-existing processes. With more than 400,000 employees worldwide, Domino’s is passionate about providing opportunities for team members to grow in their careers. This is another reason that cost-saving innovations like the corner-cut pizza box design are so impactful.
The redesign of the Domino’s pizza boxes also ensures that products are served at the highest-quality as the corner-cut design keeps the pizza from sliding, and minimizes air space meaning it stays hot and fresh throughout the delivery process. This aligns with Domino’s goal of providing the best quality products and services to their customers.
This innovation benefits the environment because Domino’s ensures that they do not purchase from illegal loggers or anyone who violates their policies regarding ethical forestry operations. Domino’s uses responsible forestry suppliers and holds certifications in sustainable forestry around the world including but not limited to Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, the Forest Stewardship Council®, and the American Tree Farm System Group. Furthermore, Domino’s boxes are made from 80% recycled waste and 20% ethically sourced wood.
The corner-cut design that Domino’s has engineered reduces unnecessary cardboard that is found on traditional pizza boxes. With approximately 2 million Domino’s pizza’s sold per day, simply removing the corners of each box has a large impact on minimizing their carbon footprint.
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Gurinder Saini, President, Domino’s Stone Rd.
Domino’s is the second largest pizza chain in the world with 15,300 stores in over 85 countries. A leader in pizza innovation, Domino’s offers a wide range of traditional and custom pizzas, delivering over 2 million per day.