The Sustainable Supply Chain – Forest Products (Part 2)

Welcome back! In part 1 of this series, we looked at how wood pallets are used and recycled in the supply chain. In this post, we will focus on the lifecycle of wood products in the supply chain and learn about a unique tool.

The Lifecycle of Wood Products in the Supply Chain

According to the most recent information available, 508 million new pallets were manufactured annually in the U.S in 2016., while 341 million were recycled (refurbished) for reuse. Meanwhile, the amount of wood pallets entering landfills continues to shrink with every successive survey over time. Pallets are reused, refurbished, and dismantled to recover components to build re-manufactured pallets. Unrecoverable pallet material is reduced to fiber for other applications, as mentioned above. Approximately 25 million wood pallets entered landfills in 2016 – only about 5% of new pallet production.

The use of wood pallets sequesters carbon and also provides a market for low-grade lumber, thus increasing the overall value of forest products. This demand helps stimulate investment in forest management, contributing to America’s increasing forest cover. From a lifecycle perspective, the attractiveness of wood pallets comes from the fact that wood is a renewable resource, and that they are reusable, with a very high recycling rate. In fact, a recent independent lifecycle analysis from Penn State University determined that wood pallets are more eco-friendly than plastic pallets.

CO2 Emissions and Recycled Wood Pallets

The reuse, refurbishment, and recycling of wood pallets and packaging are critical to reducing CO2 emissions. To get an idea of how your company can help reduce its CO2 emissions, visit the Nature’s Packaging Wood Waste Carbon Calculator. You can enter the number of wood pallets or the weight of wood material reused or recycled to find out how many metric tons of CO2 emissions your company avoided through your reuse and recycling efforts.

If you currently do not have a reuse or recycling program in place, why not reach out to a pallet industry provider? CO2 emission reduction and better sustainability performance for your company might only be a phone call away.



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