The Royal Mint partners with the University of Hull to implement sustainable packaging of the future research project

The Royal Mint has partnered with the University of Hull to conduct research into sustainable packaging alternatives for acrylic capsules used to display and protect coins.

Maximising the expertise of the project team, the initiative aims to provide more sustainable packaging options for the UK’s oldest company by using research methods aided by a new AI platform that can predict the properties of new materials and optimise their composition more accurately and efficiently than current platforms.

Dr Sarah Shaw, Reader in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the University of Hull, said:“We are delighted to be supporting The Royal Mint with such an exciting sustainability project. We will leverage our world-class expertise in logistics and supply chain management to enable The Royal Mint to develop and create sustainable packaging for the future.

“The project has been made possible with a fund match from The Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF), which supports knowledge exchange between higher education providers and the wider world that benefits society and the economy.

“Here on campus, we have made an ambitious commitment to be carbon neutral by 2027, which sets our centenary as a target date and reaffirms our commitment to contribute towards the urgent action needed to reverse global heating and the climate crisis. To demonstrate our commitment, we have signed the Global Universities and Colleges Climate Letter, which is recognised as part of the United Nations Climate Change Race to Zero campaign.

“This is another great brand and strategic business partner for the University of Hull, with clear shared values similar to ours – signalling a strong confidence, that we are here to support businesses and knowledge exchange.”

This partnership marks just one of The Royal Mint’s sustainability initiatives including its commitment to become net zero joining a roadmap of planned activity to help achieve its near (2030) and long term (2050) Science Based decarbonisation Targets (SBT’s).

To aid improvements in packaging sustainability, The Royal Mint has developed a net zero packaging working group. The group reviews existing packaging solutions to identify opportunities for minimising material use, or using lower carbon, circular materials while maintaining product integrity and performance. Insights are also obtained from market research and engaging with suppliers and customers.

Menna Hughes, Head of Product Concepts and Propositions and the Net Zero packaging working group lead, said: “This partnership signifies our commitment into investigating opportunities to improve the sustainability of our packaging, while maintaining its premium quality. We’re excited to work with the University of Hull to research new packaging materials we can use to replace our acrylic capsules, to be as sustainable as we can be while maintaining or improving the display and protection features, they provide.”

Inga Doak, Head of Sustainability at The Royal Mint and Net-Zero Business Lead, said: “This exciting venture marks one of several endeavours The Royal Mint is embarking on as part of our business transformation.  A focus on sustainability sits at the heart of our business, and this includes investing in our product packaging solutions.”

The University of Hull has previously collaborated with companies such as Birds Eye, Wren Kitchens, and Hull City Council to optimise existing processes, to provide cost benefits and reduce the carbon footprint in their operations. Their expertise led to the University’s selection to deliver the Packaging of the Future project, supported by a £25,000 investment by The Royal Mint and fund match of £49,000 from the Higher Education Innovation Fund.

For more information, please visit The Royal Mint’s website.