The collaboration between Scott Pallets and B&Q that led to the transformational and unique ‘Green Pallet Scheme’ has been recognised by the Edie Environment and Energy Awards, winning the Onsite Solutions: Waste and Resource Efficiency Award this week at the NEC in Birmingham.
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 – ensuring B&Q is able to minimise its wood waste in line with its environmental and sustainability objectives.
Laurence Turnbull, Sustainability Specialist at B&Q said: “It is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved, from staff at stores segregating waste, to teams at our distribution centres ensuring green pallets don’t get lost, to our partner Scott Pallets in creating high quality, green coloured pallets in bespoke sizes, right through to customs identifying our green pallets during export back from China to the UK.
“We aim to extend the Green Pallet Scheme further to many more vendors and expect to reduce our timber waste by 50%.
“This sustainability initiative delivers against our three core pillars: better for the environment, better financially and better for people, moving us closer to our One Planet goal.”
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 journey of operational transformation enabled B&Q to better understand its waste streams, and highlighted timber packaging as a significant and difficult problem that had to be dealt with effectively.
Due to the diverse and varied nature of the products being sold in B&Q, and the global nature of its sourcing and supply chain, meant that re-useable transit packaging just did not exist. A large portion of goods were arriving at B&Q on poorer quality, single use, white wood pallets which had to be disposed of after their first trip, and therefore caused a significant waste to landfill issue.
The Green Pallet Scheme offers returnable pallets in bespoke sizes, made only from responsibly sourced timber. Operating globally, the Scheme is for suppliers whose only option previously was single use, white pallets.
Operational since 2015, four suppliers have already joined the Green Pallet Scheme, covering ten product types from three countries, resulting in 100,000 sustainably sourced pallets being repatriated, and at least 5,000 fewer tonnes of virgin wood being used to date. Transport miles have also been reduced across the entire supply chain.
John Dye, Product Development Manager at Scott Pallets, added: “What we have achieved through the Green Pallet Scheme in such a short space of time is hugely encouraging. The delivery and success of this relies on engagement throughout the supply chain and commercial teams; and we hope that by utilising 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 market place to help improve the sustainability credentials of many more businesses.”
The Green Pallet Scheme can be set-up with new and existing suppliers, and it is expected that the wider Kingfisher Group, parent to B&Q, will extend the scheme across its group throughout Europe and beyond.