The Reuseabox Environmental Calculator Tool

What is the tool?

The Reuseabox Environmental Tool is an Excel-based calculator used to assess the environmental savings achievable through the reuse of cardboard boxes compared to purchasing new boxes.

The tool was developed for Reuseabox by Circular Economy and Carbon Measurement specialist consultancy Eco3 Design and Dr Lan Qie of the University of Lincoln.

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How the tool works

The tool measures the environmental savings that can be achieved by reusing cardboard boxes instead of disposing of them. The tool includes the impacts of the collection, storage, and delivery of reused boxes.

The savings are presented as 4 specific measures:

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Trees saved

a measure of the equivalent number of trees needed to make the raw material used in the carboard boxes

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a measure of global warming potential measured by weight of equivalent CO2 (tonnes)

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a measure of the total primary energy input for the generation of a product measured in kWh equivalent

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a measure of the total water resources used during the manufacture of a product measured in litres

Using the tool, we’re able to provide our suppliers and customers with a report detailing their reuse impact savings. This demonstrates the environmental savings that can be achieved when companies choose to reuse.

The reports present results in the four measures mentioned above. Trees saved, carbon saved, energy saved and water saved. The last three results are also presented in terms of ‘equivalents.’ These equivalents take the impact results and presents them in terms of equivalent measures that might be more understandable to non-experts. These are:

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CO2e as equivalent miles driven in an average family car. The saving is presented as the equivalent number of cars taken off the roads for the defined period of time.

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CO2e as equivalent HGVs taken off the road for a year.

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CO2e as equivalent standard class seats on return flights from London to New York.

Energy as the number of average UK households that would use the same amount of energy in a year (gas and electricity).

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Water as the number of 80 litres bathtubs that could be filled with the same amount of water.

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Water as the equivalent number of Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Tool calculation principles


The calculations in the tool follow a ‘life-cycle’ principle and include the impact of materials, transport, storage (at Reuseabox’s facility) and final disposal (recycling). The tool has been developed in line with standards such as the GHG Protocol and PAS2050.

The environmental impact data in the tool comes from independent, third-party, peer-reviewed commercial databases and the information relating to the number of trees that was developed in collaboration with the University of Lincoln in 2019.

The third-party environmental impact data is updated every 12 months and therefore the results generated by the tool may change over time to reflect these updates.

reuse impact report example

Quality assurance of the tool

To ensure the tool continues to provide accurate environmental data, it was reviewed in January 2024 by ‘Britain’s leading eco-design consultancy’ Giraffe Innovation. The third-party review concluded the following:

“[Giraffe Innovation] can confirm it is a comprehensive, robust and credible method for assessing the reuse of packaging. This methodological approach and output of the tool provide Reuseabox customers confidence in the environmental claims of the service reinforcing a transition to a more sustainable future”.

Professor Robert Holdway FRSA FIEMA – Managing Director at Giraffe Innovation

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Eco Reuseabox

Make a difference by choosing to reuse

Our Environmental Calculator Tool plays a crucial role in helping businesses quantify their environmental impact, providing valuable insights into the benefits of reusing boxes and guiding them towards a more sustainable way of doing business.

For further information about our Environmental Calculator Tool and how it can benefit your business, get in touch today.

Get in touch!

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