Statement from the Global Wood Packaging Forum
The Global Wood Packaging Forum (GWPF) congratulates the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) and the Pallet Foundation on its Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for United States Wooden Pallets. This document, certified by UL (formerly Underwriter Laboratories) and produced in conjunction with Forest Products Lab, the research wing of the U.S. Forest Service, is the first of its kind for a product in the distribution packaging space. This declaration speaks to the quantitative impact that wooden pallets have on the environment beyond their reusable, recyclable and biodegradable qualities.
“We are proud of the results of this EPD. When considering its life cycle, wooden pallets can have a potential net carbon positive impact,” commented Brent McClendon, President and CEO of the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association. “Through the unique properties of wood, carbon offsets may be achieved by the reuse of pallet materials and substituting wood fuel from pallet waste (e.g., unusable pallets) for natural gas.”
EPDs provide consumers and professionals with transparent and product-specific environmental information through an independent validation from a third-party organization. A critical component of the wooden pallet EPD study is a life cycle assessment (LCA), measuring the impacts of a wooden pallet’s product stages of gathering, transporting and manufacturing raw materials, the use and repair of the pallet, as well as its end of life usage.
“The industry has been promoting for years the environmental benefits of wood and now thanks to the work of the NWPCA these claims have third-party verification,” said John Dye, President of TIMCON, the UK Timber Packaging and Pallet Confederation.
“This EPD sets that standard that all competing platforms to wood packaging must follow,” said Scott Geffros, General Manager of the Canadian Wood Pallet and Container Association. “It supports what we have long known about the sustainability of wood and wood packaging. The Canadian industry applauds the work of the NWPCA and The Pallet Foundation in making the EPD possible.”
As part of this process, a Product Category Rule (PCR) with UL was also developed. “UL applauds the efforts of NWPCA and the Pallet Foundation to develop a PCR and now issue an EPD for wooden pallets to better understand the environmental impact they have,” said Alberto Uggetti, vice president and general manager of UL’s environment and sustainability division. “The reusable nature of wooden pallets makes them a more circular, sustainable form of reusable packaging, and with this EPD, manufacturers will be able to communicate the impacts of their products with more transparency and confidence.”
Today, wood remains a fundamental and sustainable part of the supply chain from manufacturer to distribution center, and finally retail store. Wood pallets are moving goods billions of times a day globally; every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The full wooden pallet EPD, including its methodology and data, and the corresponding LCA, can be found here.
The Global Wood Packaging Forum is a collaboration of associated wood packaging organizations and representatives from around the world that meets to discuss global issues that affect the industry.
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