Seeking to Reduce Carbon Emissions, Haverford College Switches to Recyclable Paper Shipping Pallets

Change is hard. Really hard.

When your goal is to modernize a national product transportation system that includes deeply entrenched business interests and operational systems in retail, grocery, the military industrial complex, trucking – and a national wood pallet lobby intent on protecting its $10 billion annual bounty – the phrase "change is hard" takes on different meaning.

Haverford College has asked companies that send pallets to campus to ship on lightweight, recyclable corrugated pallets instead of wood.

Enter Haverford College, which has asked companies that send pallets to campus to ship on lightweight, recyclable corrugated pallets instead of wood. You can read the letter here.

Change is hard, but it begins with a principled stand. With a woman, man, or institution standing up and saying: "This doesn't make sense. We can do better than this."

Each year millions upon millions of wood pallets are shipped to this country's hospitals, college campuses, government agencies and parks. When you ship a 50-pound hunk of wood that usually ends up in a landfill instead of a 10-pound piece of paper that is repurposed, it is literally the opposite of sustainability.

Colleges like Haverford take sustainability very seriously. They also write the checks and, therefore, make the rules. Change will be a lot easier when more of them tell suppliers to Change the Pallet.