The Future is Now
Effective and responsible stewardship of environmental challenges and accountabilities is a necessary component of today’s corporate citizenship. Identifying the best product at the lowest overall cost and environmental impact requires a commitment to ask the right questions and seek the right information.
The Pallet Alliance will assess unit-load platforms built from wood, plastic, wood composite, cardboard, steel, or other components to give our partners the best solution for their unit-load applications. For example, if there is a closed loop system that requires food grade sterilization, a plastic or steel pallet could provide the most cost effective and environmentally low impact solution.
The Pallet Alliance has Wood Science experts trained and credentialed at Virginia Tech on staff that can help you assess your company’s current status, and identify possible alternative options to meet your company’s Green Initiatives … including Green Scorecards.
The Pallet Alliance can help your company intelligently discuss the facts about carbon capture, renewable resources, as well as develop Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) to measure carbon footprints; as well as answer questions based on extensive real-world experience about recycling opportunities/challenges.
However … there continue to be essential reasons why wooden pallets remain the unchallenged standard for unit-loads throughout the world, aside from lower-cost … these reasons are especially relevant in regards to today’s essential GREEN initiatives and goals:
WOODEN PALLETS - 100% Renewable, 100% Recyclable
Wood uses less energy to process into pallets than alternative materials. As designs are modified and improved, changes in manufacturing have minimal additional impact to the environment.
The Pallet Alliance can assist your company to meet its Green Initiatives by providing the facts: 47% of the raw materials used in the US come from wood, yet manufacturing products from wood consumes only 4% of all energy used in manufacturing.
Wood has the potential to be 100% renewable, and in fact the number of acres of forest land in the US has remained stable for over 100 years. Actively managed forests are renewable and sustainable.
Pallets have the potential to go thru multiple phases of recycling. New pallets are usually recycled and used again. When they can no longer be repaired, they are broken down into component boards, and used for repairing other recycled pallets. At the end of their useful life, they are ground into mulch, along with the other by-products of pallet manufacturing. Sawdust and wood chips are also recycled for animal bedding and wood pellets for fuel.
Trees are not harvested for wooden pallet manufacture; they are harvested to make furniture.
The sawmill industry processes the best material to sell to furniture manufacturers at premium prices, and then sells the remainder of the tree to industrial users such as pallet or railroad-tie manufacturers for whatever the market will bear. It is only when the premium components of the tree are exhausted that the remaining parts of the tree, their waste stream, are marketed to these industrial users.
- Wooden pallets enjoy an established and robust infrastructure to collect and recycle them. Also, they are easy to repair, so even if the pallet gets damaged, it can be easily fixed and returned to service.
- When they can no longer be repaired, wooden pallets are broken down into component parts, and used for repairing other recycled pallets.
- At the end of their unit-load-bearing useful life, wooden pallets are ground into mulch. Other by-products of pallet manufacturing such as sawdust and wood chips are also recycled for animal bedding and wood pellets for fuel.
- Trees capture carbon and deposit some of it into the ground through the root structure. When the tree is harvested, the carbon trapped below ground stays there resulting in a net positive carbon capture for each life cycle.
Actively managed forests are renewable and sustainable; the number of acres of forest land in the US has remained stable for over 100 years.