Third-Party Study Validates Environmental Sustainability Benefits of CHEP USA Pallet Pool

CHEP has released a study validating the company’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and confirming the sustainability credentials of its equipment pooling solution. In coordination with the release of the report, CHEP has launched a new website – www.chep.com/knowthefacts <http://www.chep.com/knowthefacts> — to help companies better understand how the use of CHEP pallets reduces their carbon footprint.

The 2009 life cycle inventory analysis demonstrates how the CHEP system creates significantly less solid waste, requires less total energy and reduces more greenhouse gas emissions than other common shipping platform solutions, including pooled plastic pallets and limited use white wood pallets. The report was produced by Franklin Associates, a leading consultancy specializing in life cycle inventory analysis and solid waste management. It was peer reviewed by an academic expert in the area of life cycle inventory analysis.

According to the study, the CHEP system generates 48% less solid waste, consumes 23% less total energy and generates 14% less greenhouse gas than pooled plastic pallets. Compared with limited use white wood pallets, the CHEP system generates 50% less solid waste, consumes 19% less total energy and generates 5% less greenhouse gas.

CHEP Americas Group President, Jim Ritchie, said: “The entire CHEP business model was founded on the principles of reuse and recycling more than 50 years ago. We continue to place a heavy emphasis on being a responsible corporate citizen and business partner. We are pleased with the independent third party validation that our business is effectively managing resources and that the report from Franklin Associates confirms the positive impact CHEP’s customers continue to make on the environment. CHEP is committed to proper stewardship of all natural resources, and this study proves our efforts continue to reap positive results for users throughout the supply chain.”

CHEP USA has been using the life cycle inventory analysis methodology to quantify and reduce the environmental footprint of its products and services since 1999. CHEP uses life cycle inventory data to identify and prioritize continuous improvement initiatives across the organization and in the evaluation and design of new product and service offerings. The unique feature of life cycle inventory analysis is its focus on the entire life cycle of a product, from raw material acquisition to final disposition, rather than on a single manufacturing step, process or environmental emission. It quantifies resource use, energy consumption and environmental emissions to the air, water and land for a given product system, using a comprehensive and standardized methodology outlined by ISO14000 (section 14040), an international environmental management standard.

The 2009 life cycle inventory analysis examines CHEP pooled wooden block pallets, pooled plastic pallets and non-pooled, limited use white wood pallets. The life cycle impacts evaluated for each pallet system include:
• Extraction, processing and transportation of raw materials;
• Platform processing and manufacturing;
• Transportation of the platform to the customer;
• Use of the platform by the customer (including transportation cycles); and
• Recovery, reuse, recycling or disposal of each platform at the end of its useful life.

After Franklin Associates conducted the life cycle inventory analysis, Dr. David Allen, Director of the Center for Energy & Environmental Resources at the University of Texas, performed a peer review to further analyze and validate the methodology, assumptions and conclusions. Allen has an extensive record of participation on national advisory boards and councils, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board.

CHEP USA Director of Environment & Regulatory Affairs, Candice Herndon, said: “CHEP’s pallet pooling system helps to maximize the inherent benefits of wood, a renewable, biodegradable, 100% recyclable and repairable material. Since CHEP maintains ownership of the pallet at all times in the supply chain, greater accountability and opportunity for control exists throughout the life cycle of the pallet.”

“CHEP builds higher quality platforms designed for extensive reuse and provides systems for controlled inspection, repair and maintenance that greatly extend the useful life of the pallets. This results in less need for raw materials and energy, and a reduction in solid waste over time. CHEP’s commitment to environmental sustainability, social accountability and continuous improvement, combined with its global reach, national service base and more than 50 years of proven pooling experience all help ensure CHEP is a responsible, long-term supply chain partner.”

CHEP has earned the respect of industry groups, leading media outlets and government bodies for its work in the area of environmental sustainability. The company was named one of Inbound Logistics magazine’s 25 Green Supply Chain Partners and received the Supply & Demand Chain Executive “Green Supply Chain Award”.

KnowTheFacts site helps users determine sustainability progress
A new CHEP website – www.chep.com/knowthefacts <http://www.chep.com/knowthefacts> – features applications that enable manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and other supply chain participant to calculate the environmental benefits of their use of the CHEP program. The new website provides users tools to depict graphically the reductions in solid waste, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions compared with other shipping platform systems.

About Franklin Associates, a division of Eastern Research Group.
Franklin Associates, Ltd. was founded in late 1974 by William E. Franklin and Marjorie A. Franklin to provide consulting services in life cycle analysis and solid waste management. It has provided these services to clients in the public and private sectors ever since. Franklin Associates’ professional staff is made up of engineers and physical scientists. In 2003, Franklin Associates became a division Eastern Research Group. Franklin Associates takes pride in providing objective, well-documented results and advice to clients. The many clients that have used Franklin Associates’ services repeatedly over the years give testimony to the company’s integrity.

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