People, Pallets, and Planet: C&S Wholesale Grocers and The Fund Celebrate 10 Years of Partnership and Sustainability Leadership

The largest food wholesaler in the country marks a milestone by investing in working forests to offset forest footprint of 20,000 wood pallets.

The decade-long partnership between C&S Wholesale Grocers and The Conservation Fund achieves a positive impact for employees, communities, and wildlife. Photo courtesy C&S Wholesale Grocers.

This year, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. and The Conservation Fund celebrate a decade-long partnership to address climate change and habitat loss by protecting and restoring America’s forests.

To commemorate a decade of partnership, C&S is furthering its commitment to forests and sustainability by donating to The Conservation Fund’s Working Forest Fund® to protect working forest in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. This donation will offset the forest footprint of approximately 20,000 wood pallets used to transport and store the food and goods C&S distributes to its customers.

An estimated 45 million acres of working forest are at risk of development and fragmentation over the next 15 years. With support from partners including C&S, The Conservation Fund is protecting some of the most at-risk and ecologically significant forestlands by providing bridge capital to purchase threatened forestland. With the grant from C&S, the Fund can begin to implement sustainable forest management practices that ensure a steady supply of sustainably harvested fiber, while raising the remaining funds necessary for the forests’ permanent protection.

“C&S Wholesale Grocers is a proven leader in innovation and sustainability,” said The Conservation Fund’s President and CEO, Larry Selzer. “Our nation’s conservation challenges can only be solved by bringing leading companies and environmental groups together. We are honored to have been a partner for the past decade with C&S Wholesale Grocers to conserve our natural resources and build stronger communities—now and in the future.”

According to the National Wood Pallet and Container Association, there are more than 1.8 billion pallets in service in the United States each day, and millions more are used to ship goods internationally. The United Nations Economic and Social Council reports that 742 million wooden pallets were made from U.S forests in 2011. In addition to providing wood for the creation of pallets every year, America’s working forests provide timber for construction and pulp for paper and packaging. Forests support millions of jobs within a $112 billion forest products industry. Protecting forests can have a direct, positive impact on industry supply chains that rely on a steady supply of responsibly managed timber to meet corporate goals for sustainable sourcing.

C&S has also worked with The Conservation Fund each year to measure the carbon footprint of its corporate headquarters buildings, several of its distribution centers, and the estimated round-trip commute of its employees. The Conservation Fund plants native trees in wildlife refuges across the country to offset the carbon emissions. Over time, these trees will trap carbon dioxide, filter pollutants from waterways, and provide habitat for a variety of wildlife species.

Since 2005, C&S has contributed to the planting of nearly 100,000 trees across more than 250 acres in six national wildlife refuges in states where the company has operations and employees, including California, Louisiana, and Texas. These trees will trap an estimated 75,000 tons of carbon emissions as they mature. Donations have also contributed toward the protection and sustainable management of redwood forests in Northern California.