Egersund, Norway – Navico, parent company to the Lowrance®, Simrad Yachting, B&G® and C-MAP® brands recently announced its renewed focus on becoming a more sustainable company, dedicated to preserving the joy of being on the water for current and future generations.
The first step was a transition to feature 100% recyclable and sustainable packaging in new product offerings, and last month the company announced the appointment of its first-ever Chief Sustainability Officer, Tara Norton.
“Sustainability is one of Navico’s core pillars and a key part of the company’s global strategy,” said Knut Frostad, CEO of Navico Group. “We are pleased to have made some initial strides with our sustainable packaging initiative over the past year, and we know there is a lot of work ahead of us, as well.”
In 2019, Navico created its first-ever global team to design and produce new packaging that featured a premium finish, offered a great customer experience, and most importantly, was fully sustainable while remaining cost effective. This cross-functional team featured specialists from different departments including R&D, supply chain, product management, marketing and design.
The team initially focused on high-volume accessories such as display cables and sun covers, transitioning those products from plastic clamshell systems to 100-percent recyclable packaging such as cardboard and paper. Other changes introduced for new products this year include Styrofoam being replaced by Mushroom® Packaging, which is custom-molded material created by combining hemp and mycelium – it’s completely home compostable. Plastic bags will be eliminated by using Aquapak’s Hydropol bags made from polymers that are specially engineered to be non-toxic, marine-safe and totally soluble in warm or hot water.
After more than a year of research, planning and development, sustainable packaging was featured with the company’s recent navigation and fishfinder releases — including B&G’s Nemesis and Lowrance’s Elite FS displays. as well as ActiveTarget Live Sonar.
Elite FS includes a Hydropol bag that replaces the plastic bag to protect the display screen. Estimates indicate that Elite FS alone will save more than 3,300 pounds of plastic every year as nearly 300,000 plastic bags have been replaced. In addition, 45,000 Styrofoam inserts will be replaced with Mushroom nests, and Instapak replaced with molded pulp.
B&G’s Nemesis packaging took a slightly different path because the product did not require such a retail-friendly presentation. The design is made of an E kraft box with an eco-friendly label on top, as well as biodegradable ink and paper. The projected environmental savings for Nemesis include 70 pounds of plastic every year and 4,000 single-use plastic bags removed from hardware kits and documents.
While this is only a first phase toward Navico’s total sustainable packaging program, the move has been recognized as an important initial step; existing product inventory will be transitioned to sustainable packaging as the stock is replenished.
“We’re proud to be working with Lowrance and its partner brands – B&G and Simrad,” said noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris, “as they’ve a taken a great first step in the past year by re-designing and re-inventing their packaging to feature materials and designs that are more sustainable and earth-friendly. In keeping with our steadfast commitment to conservation, taking actions that ensure clean waters for generations to come should be a driving focus for us all.”
“We’re really proud of the work that the cross-functional design team has done in such a short time,” said Jordi Neves, Chief Marketing Officer at Navico. “The group had to work through a detailed flow diagram that categorizes our products, then designates the most suitable type of sustainable packaging to go with each. Their analysis ultimately took into account a lot of factors like where the product retails and whether it is part of a kit or is sold individually. In the end, our plan is for all Navico packaging to be sustainable, and that is an important goal to set for our company, our customers and, most importantly, the environment.”