Change the Pallet Publicly Releases Washington Presentation

In this recent press release, Change the Pallet provides information about its presentation to the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer in May 2016, in which it continued its campaign of encouraging public officials and lawmakers to mandate the use of corrugated pallets for environmental reasons. Mr. Pener, executive director of Change the Pallet, is also President of Green Ox Pallet Technology, a corrugated paper pallet provider. The posting of this release at should not in any way be construed as an endorsement of opinions stated below. We do, however, encourage a wider and more diverse conversation about sustainable packaging options, hopefully leading to more informed insights. For this reason, we have chosen to run the Change the Planet announcement. We believe that sustainable packaging best case scenarios can be provided through the use of a variety of materials, depending upon the application and that in many cases, reusable packaging can be a better option.  We also believe that such lobbying efforts would be more credible if they were supported by independent LCA.

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Change the Pallet Publicly Releases White House Presentation

The United States government can lead the national movement to Change the Pallet by directing its suppliers to ship to federal agencies and facilities on environmentally-friendly corrugated pallets rather than wood pallets. In the process, the U.S. can achieve the sustainability requirements required by President Obama’s Executive Order 13693, which obligates U.S. agencies to cut carbon emissions significantly, most notably with regard to the transport of products.

Said Change the Pallet’s executive director, Adam Pener: “It is unfortunate that the government has not leveraged its purchasing power to drive multi-billion-dollar annual cost savings, and to reduce emissions as mandated by Executive Order 13693. As our May, 2016 presentation to the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer demonstrates, the United States Government has an opportunity to save billions of dollars annually, reduce employee injuries, meet its legal requirements under the Executive Order to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 3 emissions, and cut the number of heavy trucks on the road each year.”

In deciding to release the presentation publicly, Mr. Pener noted: “We felt that the Council of Environmental Quality and relevant agencies with which we’ve met, and presented comprehensive business cases, have had adequate time to act. To our knowledge, no such action has been taken, which led us to make a unanimous organizational decision to release our findings to the public. Ultimately, it’s their dollars being wasted, and their environment being needlessly harmed.”

The White House Presentation can be downloaded from the homepage of the non-profit’s website. In addition to demonstrating the national opportunity (p.6), the presentation describes in detail the successful, five-year effort of leading retailer IKEA® to change its global supply chain from wood to paper pallets. Other U.S. retailers have not followed IKEA®’s global precedent. To the contrary, many of the biggest U.S. retailers actually mandate shipments on heavy wood pallets.

As Mr. Pener noted in his presentation to senior White House and EPA officials: “If U.S. retailers can force suppliers to ship on damaging and dangerous wood pallets, the U.S. government has every right to direct suppliers to ship on corrugated pallets. In fact, there’s a strong argument that the government has legal, ethical, financial, and environmental obligations to do so. We hope the release of this important presentation will prove to be the first step in meaningful government action.”

Change the Pallet is a project of The Forward Edge Initiative, an Oregon-based nonprofit. It educates and advocates for a national shift from wood to corrugated pallets, with the goal of protecting American workers, eliminating millions of shipping pounds, reducing carbon emissions massively, and saving consumers and taxpayers billions of dollars. Change the Pallet recently made global news when the World Bank’s prestigious Connect4Climate named it a Knowledgeable Partner and published an article titled Change Pallets for Climate Change.

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