- Why Wood?
More and more organizations, businesses and even individuals are pitching in when it comes to preserving, protecting and managing forests. The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) previously made headlines when they launched the UN’s first strategic plan for forests in January 2017. The drafted Strategic Plan for Forests includes six voluntary Global Forest Goals which forest organizations hope to reach by 2030.
The goals are to reverse the loss of forest cover across the globe, promote economic, social, and environmental incentives tied to forest growth, grow the percentage of sustainably managed forests worldwide, develop financial resources to attain these goals, promote frameworks that governments can use to implement these programs, and raise the efforts of cooperation of forest related issues among governments.
Nature’s Packaging is committed to the use of sustainably sourced lumber for wood packaging products. The rate of deforestation in North American forests has essentially been zero for decades, thus aiding in the goals set forth by the UNFF special session in January of 2017. Not only does using sustainably sourced lumber preserve forests but wood pallets are recyclable and recycling wood pallets helps fight climate change. Our carbon calculator estimations are based on the EPA Waste Reduction Model for dimensional lumber and it supports these facts. It shows that recycling 100 wood pallets saves 2.81 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each month. This is the equivalent of taking 10 cars off the road! For more information visit the link below to our carbon calculator.
Our world’s natural sources are limited and more big businesses seem to be taking the initiative to lower their environmental impact, preserving these limited, valuable resources. Mars Corp. recently launched their Sustainable in a Generation Plan that is intended to create a healthier planet by doing what’s right instead of what’s better.
The Mars Corporation was developed by Frank C. Mars more than 100 years ago. Their first products were in chocolate and the first brand they established was Milky Way. Over the years, the company has developed and grown tremendously and they have expanded to many other industries, including pet care, chewing gum, and beverages. The Mars Corporation distributes products worldwide with more than 80,000 associates, they impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
Mars Corp launched a huge plan of action called Sustainable in Generation. According to their website, their plan involves creating a better planet by using a planetary boundaries analysis to control the impact their business has on the world. Some of their goals are:
Wood pallets are commonly used in food transportation, food storage and for many more uses. This is a good thing because using sustainably sourced lumber helps the environment. As trees in sustainably managed forests grow, they absorb carbon from the atmosphere and wood continues to store carbon until it decomposes or burns. In fact, according to our Carbon Calculator that’s based on the EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM) for dimensional lumber, recycling just 100 wood pallets saves 2.81 carbon dioxide emissions per month (in metric tons). This is the equivalent of taking 10 cars off the road!
According to the Mars website, Barry Parkin, the Chief Sustainability and Health & Wellbeing Officer, believes there are four things that sets this approach apart from others:
The North American wood pallet industry started recycling pallets in the 1970’s by diverting them from landfills. Current figures estimate there are more than 4 billion wood pallets in circulation, more than any other type of pallet, because wood pallets are strong, durable, and 100% recyclable. In fact, about half of a wood pallet’s weight is carbon, which was sequestered from the atmosphere! The use of wood pallets is a win-win because it helps the environment and ensures products will arrive at their final destination safely.
As large companies like Citi, Shell, and Walmart commit to sustainability, it’s clear that big businesses will continue to invest in sustainability and renewable resources. Walmart recently announced its intention to reduce their company’s carbon footprint through Project Gigaton. Walmart’s pledge is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by one Gigaton of CO2 emissions between now and 2020 through its supply chain, which is the equivalent of taking more than 211 million passenger cars off the roads in the United States for one year.
According to the article Pallet Re-Use and Recycling Saves High Value Material from Landfills published in 2010, 357 million pallets are recycled each year. We designed this carbon calculator based off the EPA Waste Reduction Model to demonstrate. Simply put, every 10 wood pallets recycled is equivalent to taking 1 car off the road.
Recall that Walmart’s goal is to remove from its supply chain the equivalent of taking 121 million cars off the road. According to the aforementioned research, 357 million pallets are recycled each year. According to our EPA approved calculator, this is the equivalent of taking more than 34 million cars off the road. To put this in perspective, if 357 million pallets have been recycled every year between now and 2010, then the requirements for Walmart’s Project Gigaton will be fulfilled by January 1st, 2018.
Wood pallets are often overlooked by purchasing agents as an expensive shipping cost. However, fifty percent of the net weight of a wood pallet is carbon. That carbon was sequestered from the atmosphere during the tree’s growth phase and will remain in that product throughout its life. Without having a place to store that carbon, it would simply be re-released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Storing carbon in wood products and continuing to recycle wood products like pallets will continue to have a tremendous impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.