When Georgia-Pacific Corp., updated its packaging design and testing Innovation Institute, the makeover was designed to provide customers with new packaging options and improvements include a new “wet” laboratory for paper testing.

Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific improved the facility’s testing and development areas and completed the work to achieve LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification and the changes allow for fast prototyping and pre-test conditioning of packaging materials, according to a news release.

Work at the institute helps lower supply chain costs, improves shelf impact and boosts sustainability scores and the operation is poised to take packaging to a new level through center improvements, which include laboratories that evaluate the effectiveness of packaging through testing and evaluation, according to the release.

The laboratories include:

  • a paper science lab for testing and researching the effects of fiber, chemicals and advanced materials;
  • a materials testing lab for testing in standard temperature and humidity conditions;
  • a transportation testing lab that simulates different types of transportation to ensure packaging integrity throughout the supply chain;
  • environmental chambers that simulate environmental conditions; and
  • a retail simulation environment that recreates retail shelves to evaluate how packaging and display options influence shoppers.

“The Innovation Institute is a reflection of GP’s commitment to our customers in the areas of safety, sustainability, customer focus, innovation, quality and value creation — what we call our DNA,” Jim DiAndreth, Georgia-Pacific Packaging & Cellulose’s vice president of research and technology, said in the release.. “It’s about creating step-change innovation that creates real value for our customers.”

The operation was originally built in 1991 as the Technology and Development Center and is a creative and collaborative operation designed to give customers competitive advantages through next generation packaging design and testing, according to the release.