Sustainable Development Goals


UCL student startup develops logistics solutions to reduce carbon footprint and plastic use

A student startup supported by the UCL Entrepreneurship Hub, has developed an innovative logistics solution that reduces the carbon footprint of companies.

Photo of the Boxxdocks product, the Nest Boxx

8 September 2022

BoxxDocks, a startup supported by UCL, is developing environmentally friendly shipping ‘smart boxes’ that use a patent-pending technology and recycled plastic to reduce the carbon footprint within the supply chain.

Co-founded by UCL Bartlett School student in 2021 James Della Valle and, in 2021, BoxxDocks addresses two of the main issues of the logistics sector: the shipment of ‘fresh air’, which increases last-mile delivery costs and compounds the already excessive fleet fuel consumption of delivery fleets; and the industry’s adoption of single-use and virgin-based plastics.

“The transport and logistics industry generates 21% of the world’s carbon emissions, and the sector is still 95% dependent on oil,” says James (UCL Bartlett School 2020), who co-founded BoxxDocks with industry experts Alessandro Attanzio and Amarjit Pall.

“Increasingly, we are seeing startups that are addressing the challenges set out by the SDGs.”

BoxxDocks manufactures its products from recycled End of Life Vehicle (ELV) plastics, such as car bumpers, generating an 80% carbon saving in comparison to boxes made with virgin plastics. Using artificial intelligence to optimise designs, they also use an average 20% less plastic. The weight savings and the optimised volumes will scale to reduce the fuel consumption of delivery fleets (up to one gallon of fuel per van a day) and extend the range of electric delivery vans.

The startup benefitted from initial support from The Hatchery, a dedicated space within UCL’s Entrepreneurship Hub for viable business startups founded by UCL students, researchers and recent graduates.

“We provide free, tailored support and dedicated office space designed to fast-track the success of startups and get them ready for further investment,” explains Jerry Allen, UCL Director for Entrepreneurship.

The Hatchery’s incubation and acceleration programmes have already supported a thriving growing community of 88 startups. “Increasingly, we are seeing startups that are addressing the challenges set out by the SDGs,” added Jerry.

In 2022 BoxxDocks received the UCL Hatchery United Nations SDG Award for progress towards one of the SDGs.

Image credit: Boxxdocks

Related links

> The UCL Hatchery 
> Boxxdocks