Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Awards have recognized the collaboration between Scott Pallets and B&Q that led to the transformational and unique ‘Green Pallet Scheme.’ As a result, the pair shared the Best Business to Business Partnership Award at the recent London award ceremony.
The Responsible Business Awards are widely acknowledged as being the world’s leading awards for CSR, sustainability, supply chain and business executives. The judges looked for the best sustainability/corporate responsibility partnership between two companies to show a clear commitment to a long-term, mutually-beneficial collaboration that can demonstrate real commercial benefits and social/ environmental/governance gains. As they noted, “B&Q has made a sustainable business out of green pallets, creating the right partnership leading to impact. This is a sound business model that is readily scalable and that uses the power of partnerships to succeed. The winner was a clear standout.”
Scott Pallets and B&Q devised the ground-breaking Green Pallet Scheme as an important and innovative step on B&Q’s ‘One Planet Home’ journey to cut its carbon footprint by 90%. This path of operational transformation enabled B&Q to understand better its waste streams and highlighted timber packaging as a significant and arduous problem that had to be dealt with efficiently. At the same time, it had to address all possible health and safety issues.
The Green Pallet Scheme is a logistics project designed and implemented to address the waste and sustainability issues associated with single use white wood pallets. It ensures that B&Q can minimize its wood waste in line with its environmental and sustainability objectives.
Due to the diverse and varied nature of the products sold at B&Q, as well as the global nature of its sourcing and supply chain, it meant that reuseable transit packaging just did not exist. A large portion of goods was arriving at B&Q on poorer quality, single use, white wood pallets and therefore caused a significant waste issue.
The Green Pallet Scheme offers returnable pallets in both standard and bespoke sizes, made only from responsibly sourced timber. Operating globally, the scheme supports suppliers whose only previous option was single use, white pallets.
Several B&Q vendors have already joined the Green Pallet Scheme, which has been operational since 2015. The program covers ten product types from three countries. So far, 250,000 sustainably sourced pallets have been recovered, year to date, and virgin wood consumption has been reduced at least 5,000 metric tons during the same period. The initiative has also reduced transport miles across the entire supply chain.
“What we have achieved through the Green Pallet Scheme in such a short space of time is hugely encouraging,” added John Dye, Product Development Manager at Scott Pallets. “The delivery and success of this rely on engagement throughout the supply chain and commercial teams. We hope that by utilizing our knowledge and experience here, along with specialist pallet design capabilities, this is a model of excellence that can be rolled out to the wider global marketplace to help improve the sustainability credentials of many more businesses.”
The Green Pallet Scheme has the potential for expansion. It can be set up with new and existing suppliers to B&Q. Kingfisher, its parent company, has operations across Europe, so there is potential to expand the project further in due course.
“At B&Q we believe in the strength of partnerships, and we’re so proud of what we’ve achieved with Scott Pallets,” stated Rachel Bradley, Sustainability Manager at B&Q and The Guardian’s Unsung Sustainability Hero for 2016. “These green pallets represent a commitment to making sustainable decisions in as many parts of our supply chain as we can, and we’re looking forward to taking this ground-breaking project even further within our business.”