Not excessive, fit-to-size, with minimum impact on the environment throughout the lifecycle, yet durable to ensure damage-free delivery. These are the characteristics of packaging that guide our operational decisions. We invest in research to have definitive, validated evidence that packaging options we choose are the best available alternatives. We also commit to engaging with our partners, including merchants and food manufacturers, as well as users to jointly drive sustainable change.
Packaging & Recycling Data
Yandex Market packaging
The increase in packaging materials is the result of business growth. In 2021, Yandex Market’s GMV grew 2.9x and the number of orders grew 3x vs 1.7x increase in the amount of packaging materials used. This suggests a decrease in the amount of per order packaging due to optimization measures.
From recycled or reused materials
1,600+ metric tons
of cardboard and paper filler was avoided thanks to the packaging diversification measures: we started introducing courier envelopes composed of recyclable materials as an alternative to carton boxes
of all Yandex Market delivery packaging is recyclable, and 70% is made from reused or recycled materials; e.g., 100% of shipping boxes are made from recycled cardboard while courier envelopes contain 30% recycled plastic.
of food packaging units produced under the Yandex Lavka brand were made from sustainable (recycled or recyclable) materials
487 metric tons
of non-returnable packaging and pallets was avoided by Yandex Lavka in 2022 by adopting circular solutions for delivering ready-to-eat food from production to distribution centers
Choosing the Right Packaging
When evaluating packaging alternatives, we employ material testing as well as science-based approach to measuring impacts.
Optimizing packaging in Y.Market
Before reaching the buyer, goods pass through logistics centers, where they are stored, assembled into an order, packaged and sent for delivery. While packaging is often necessary to ensure damage-free storage and shipment, we want to make sure that the use of materials is optimized.
For that, we have introduced a set of measures to cut on excess packaging: improved the accuracy of choosing its right size, added more packaging alternatives, revised our guidelines for wrapping and cushioning. We have assessed our first results and revealed a reduction in packaging costs.
LCA of Yandex Lavka delivery bags
Life cycles of packaging highly contribute to their overall environmental footprint. Tracing environmental impacts of packaging to the stages of extraction and processing of raw materials provides an important perspective on what can be regarded as sustainable in different contexts.
Yandex became the first Russia-based company to apply lifecycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate delivery packaging alternatives. In 2020, we assessed life cycles modeled for the use of HDPE, LDPE and raw-pulp paper bags by Yandex Lavka, all being common types of delivery bags.
Engaging with Partners and Users
Guidelines for supplier
Yandex Lavka makes shopping for groceries easier than ever – the goods that are picked online get delivered to the doorstep. However, to make that happen, the service needs to preserve ordered items from being damaged as well as to comply with food safety requirements, which involves using wrapping and packaging.
Acknowledging environmental impacts associated with the use of packaging, we have developed guidelines for our private label manufacturers, ready meals producers, and fruit & vegetable suppliers. Based on insights of environmental experts and inputs from our suppliers, the guidelines aim to facilitate the transition to more sustainable materials and help design products that demonstrate improved environmental performance.
Recycling tips for users
By building awareness about different types of materials and available recycling options, we hope to encourage our users to divert as much waste from disposal as possible. To make it easier for users to understand whether packaging is recyclable, Yandex Lavka has added recycling codes to the cards of private label goods and ready-to-eat food supplied by vendors. We have developed a dedicated portal with useful information on preparing packaging for recycling.
Recyclable waste collection points can be found on Yandex Maps, where we have added a dedicated layer with more than 24,000 collection points that have been verified by our external partners.
Plastic utensils are nearly impossible to recycle due to their size and inconsistent materials. As a step to reduce plastic waste, Yandex Eats app offers users to opt-out from supplementary plastic utensils by default, and we instruct restaurant partners not to include single-use items like plastic cutlery and napkins with food delivery orders unless the user specifically asks for it.
In 2022, 79% of restaurant and café orders were delivered without utensils, resulting in saving over 200 metric tons of plastic.
Keeping Materials in Use
In order to ensure high level of productivity, Yandex regularly upgrades electronic devices used by employees. Regular replacement, however, results in many laptops, monitors, cellphones and other gadgets reaching their end-of-life while they are still fully operational. To keep old electronics in use for as long as possible, Yandex sells it to employees for a small price.
Between 2018 and 2022, 7,446 devices found new owners. Electronics that cannot be reused is handed over to recycling partners for reprocessing.
In 2022, we also raised RUB 160,000 from selling company-owned cellphones in the Discounted Goods department on Yandex Market, which were allocated to support Yandex's ongoing charitable initiatives. Starting from 2023, we are to commit 10% of the revenue from e-waste recycling program to community support efforts.
In 2022, we expanded the program to include personal devices previously owned by employees, which we now help collect and send for recycling or proper treatment. Twice a year, we organize three types of collection points at our offices: for consumer electronics, power adapters, and data storage devices. In 2022, we collected and sent for recycling over 500 kg of personal electronics, achieving a recovery rate of valuable materials exceeding 96%.
Office Waste Recycling
In 2021, we launched the green office Initiative to cultivate eco-friendly habits among employees, an important stakeholder of our environmental effort. This initiative not only promotes environmentally responsible behavior but also aims to maximize the benefits derived from it.
In 2022, we revamped the waste collection system in Moscow, which is now fully transparent and efficient in terms of logistics. In previous years, we sent waste separately from each office to regional operators. Now, we transport and store office waste at our logistics facility in the Moscow Region before sending it for recycling. We maintain precise knowledge of the route and destination of the recyclables through our collaboration with reliable partners who provide regular reports.
The new waste collection system is aligned it with Yandex’s environmental and social responsibility principles. Within six months of launching the separate waste collection (from July to December 2022), we earned RUB 354,000 from recycling cardboard and plastic. These funds were donated to the Helping Hand Foundation (RU) to support ongoing charitable programs.