Sustainability Drives the Future of Supply Chains

The best time for companies across the globe to focus on environmental sustainability was about 20 years ago, but the second best time is now. For the past decade or so, many companies’ sustainability efforts have gone from being an afterthought to a priority. “Going green” is no longer a bonus for businesses but an expectation.
With mounting pressure from climate-conscious consumers, government regulations and investors, businesses have little choice but to address their environmental impact and sustainability. This can be difficult in the short term, but businesses that take their environmental initiatives seriously are better positioned to be more adaptable and resilient in the future. They will be more likely to be able to be compliant with government regulations and customer and investor expectations.
Many of these sustainability choices start with the supply chain. According to the EPA, greenhouse gas emissions from the supply chain of the average organization outpaces that of its operations by 11.4 times, accounting for more than 90 percent of their emissions. Though emissions are currently at lower levels than they were in 2019, they are climbing.
When addressing environmental concerns, companies are increasingly looking to their suppliers and logistics partners to step up their sustainability efforts as well, with many considering cutting ties with suppliers who don’t meet sustainability targets over the next handful of years. Specific targets or requirements might vary by company, but the trends remain the same: environmental friendliness is more important than ever.
One of the factors businesses may be considering as they assess their supply chain is their pallet supplier and type of pallets they use. Plastic pallets are an enticing option because they can be used many more times than a wood pallet, and no trees are cut down to make them. However, trees are not cut down to make wood pallets, either. 
Wood pallets are made from the part of a tree that can’t be used for essential products like flooring, building materials or furniture. Trees are not cut down expressly to build pallets, and in fact, reduce waste by utilizing lumber that would otherwise be nothing but scrap.
Additionally, wood pallets can be reused, repaired and recycled into useful materials, which means that they have the potential to have a net positive carbon impact. Close to 95 percent of pallets are recycled and repurposed, and the few that do end up in landfills are often recovered and used as biodegradable material. This makes wood pallets an excellent option for businesses who are looking to improve sustainability across their supply chains. 
Author: Jessica Chizmar