Re-Think Your Pallet Program to Meet Sustainability Goals

How does your company stack up when it comes to sustainability? Do you have recyclability and reusability goals for the...

warehouse full of stacked pallets

How does your company stack up when it comes to sustainability? Do you have recyclability and reusability goals for the New Year? It continues to be a hot topic in the supply chain as we start a new decade. In fact, many forums, trade shows, and other conferences have dedicated tracks concentrated on the subject.

While reusable packaging and containers get a lot of attention, pallets can be overlooked because reuse has been well established for pallets for decades. Yet, pallets deliver more than reusability; they also help reduction and recycling issues as well.

If you are looking to meet sustainability goals, start with your pallet management program. Optimizing unit load design, for example, can save on transportation costs and reduce fossil fuel emissions. With the right design, it’s possible to pack more onto your pallets, save space, and move products more efficiently. Of course, throughout the cycle, wooden pallets can be repaired, reused, and eventually recycled too.

At the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design at Virginia Tech, researchers have studied and shown that cycling products and materials back into the supply chain is not only beneficial to our environment, but also to our economy. The whole systems approach is known as a circular economy. In the Center’s recently published white paper entitled Pallets Make the World Go ‘Round, researchers note that pallets are one of the very few products in our global economy that have the opportunity to cycle in both technical and biological systems. This practice optimizes resources, reduces waste, and increases system efficiencies—all of which are key principles in lean manufacturing. To learn more, we encourage you to read the article in full.

Ultimately, the supply chain industry has a hefty challenge to solve when it comes to sustainability. Small things, like the pallet, can make a big difference. Rose Pallet would love to talk with you about your pallet management program and sustainability initiatives. Our people and our pallets can help your organization make a world of difference.

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