Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable packaging

Applying principles of Design for Environment (DfE) to reduce the environmental footprint of our products and packaging

Sustainable packaging warehouse and employees


By integrating DfE elements, our focus is on both optimizing packaging for materials currently on the market and incorporating sustainable packaging design into our new product development process. Many Illumina products are temperature-sensitive, creating unique requirements in packaging, shipment, and storage. We recognize there are opportunities in our packaging footprint and have established targets to support our commitment to reducing our impact in this area.

sustainable forest

Our Commitment

Illumina has a CSR commitment to lead with sustainable, responsible, and proactive corporate citizenship, which extends to the products we develop, how we produce them, and how we move materials through our value chain.

2030 Packaging Targets

Reduction in packaging


Recyclable primary packaging


Recyclable or reusable secondary and tertiary packaging


Reduction in use of dry ice

Our Approach

Creating sustainable packaging follows the hierarchy of waste management and the precautionary principle: Avoid, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Disposal. We incorporate renewable materials, seek to eliminate unfavorable materials, increase recycling, increase material efficiency, design for recovery, use recycled content, source responsibly, and look for volumetric efficiencies.

NextSeq Cartridge packaging
Returnable Insulated Containers
Returnable Insulated Containers

Insulated containers used for refrigerated and frozen IVD product shipments can be returned for reuse

  • Launched a container reuse program where returned containers are inspected, sterilized, reworked, and used again
  • At full implementation, these containers reduce 1.43 metric tons of CO2 emission each month
  • Every container returned diverts 34kg of waste from landfill
Recyclable Insulated Containers
Recyclable Insulated Containers

A move to plant-based paper insulated containers results in a solution which is recyclable.

  • 100% curbside recyclable and compostable using standard paper recycling streams
  • The insulated containers for frozen and refrigerated shipping are made with plant-based renewable materials, which requires less energy and diverts from landfill
  • Insulated plant based container diverts 250,000 ft3 from landfill / 100,000 containers
Reusable Bulk Sustainable Solutions
Reusable Bulk Sustainable Solutions

New insulated pallet shippers are validated for multiple uses and then returnable for refurbishment and reuse.

  • Supplier return facilities inspect and refurbish for return shipment to Illumina
  • Pallets are modular and break down flat for easy return of multiple units via land or ocean
  • Supports internal movement network and customer bulk orders
Other Highlights
  • 100% paper packaging made of recycled and recyclable material
  • Elimination of bubble wrap – replaced with dunnage paper
  • NextSeq 1000/2000 reagent cartridge disassembly for recycling optimization
  • Corrugated ambient shipping boxes transition to 100% recycled content
  • Replaced outer double barrier bags in NextSeq 1000/2000 with single easy-open pouch
  • Refrigerated shipment gel packs consist of biodegradable gel and recyclable wrapper
  • Dry ice elimination for key internal product transfers
  • Flow cell ambient ship
  • Expanded distribution network to reduce transit times, reduce air travel, and reduce packaging
  • Optimized shipping coolant quantity based on customer destination