By relaunching its national pallet recovery system, CEMEX is extending its commitment to waste reduction and the circular economy.
CEMEX states that the relaunch of its pallet recovery scheme is aimed at reducing timber waste in the supply chain and making greater environmental efficiencies, as part of its ‘Future in Action – Committed to Net Zero CO2’ Climate Action Strategy.
Rising timber costs, combined with pallet shortages, means there is a heightened need to conserve and maintain pallets throughout the supply chain. Recovery is considerably more cost-effective than buying new replacements.
Under the scheme, all re-usable wooden pallets are collected free of charge by “ELM”, CEMEX’s designated pallet collector, who refurbishes and returns the pallets to CEMEX UK Cement for re-use. Any pallets damaged beyond repair are recycled. Nationwide collections are available within 10 working days on average from request, with capacity for up to 250 pallets (550 pallets for an articulated vehicle) per load, but can be as few as 50 pallets.
“We want to make life easier for our merchants to work with us to reduce waste,” commented Graeme Barton, National Sales Manager Packed Cement, CEMEX. “We’d like to make pallet recovery part of the standard delivery process, as many pallets still end up in landfills. It is increasingly costly to dispose of pallet waste and there is far greater value to be gained by recycling and reuse. Rising timber costs, combined with pallet shortages, means there is a heightened need to conserve and maintain pallets throughout the supply chain. Recovery is considerably more cost-effective than buying new replacements.
“Pallets are a standard format in transporting building products and contribute a significant financial and environmental cost which needs to be captured by the user. We saw a similar situation with supermarkets and plastic bags, but we’d rather not wait for legislation to enforce this, we’d really like to make a difference now with preventative action. The pallet recovery service is regenerative by design and aims to support the key principles of the circular economy to benefit business, society, and the environment. If we all pull together it will have a significant impact across the whole supply chain.”
CEMEX UK initially announced its pallet recovery program in 2008. At that time, the company reported shipping 250,000 pallets annually to over 600 customer locations. In 2009, it reported having achieved a 20% pallet return rate. We have reached out to CEMEX for additional details and will update this article accordingly.