Sometimes our advocacy leads to great things. Other times, it falls on deaf ears. Such is the life of an environmental nonprofit. But out of our efforts to reduce emissions massively have grown some pretty amazing partnerships for which we are immensely grateful.
At Change the Pallet, we have always advocated on behalf of corrugated shipping pallets for their ability to reduce traffic, carbon emissions, and worker injuries. But it is this last item, we have noticed, which most commonly tends to raise eyebrows. After all, many have wondered, how significant can wood pallet-related injuries really be? As it turns out, they are quite significant.
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.
Walmart recently made headline news with its major Project Gigaton initiative. The initiative aims to eliminate a billion tons (one gigaton) of emissions by 2030. Kudos to the world's largest retailer for making a commitment that sets a high bar for America's corporations. So what does this have to do with shipping pallets?
Change the Pallet is honored to be a guest author for ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. Before we get into why this is so significant, a little background: ICLEI is a membership association of local governments worldwide that are committed to climate, sustainability, and energy actions. Their work is extremely important in connecting leaders to share solutions and accelerate game-changing sustainability and carbon-reduction programs. When ICLEI talks, local governments listen.
In our last post, we wrote about how Ford touts its U.S. facilities to be "zero waste" despite allowing suppliers to ship on wood pallets that cause added emissions and must be trucked away. We pointed out that if Ford used its purchasing power to direct suppliers to ship to their plants on recyclable, corrugated pallets, this would result in significant fuel savings and carbon emissions reductions.
Recently, Ford promoted a new video on Facebook touting one of its U.S. facilities as "zero waste." At Change the Pallet, we love seeing leading companies take meaningful steps to reduce waste and carbon footprints. But we can’t help but wonder: can any facility in the U.S. that allows its suppliers to deliver on wood pallets truly be "zero waste?"