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Jewson enhances sustainability within the distribution chain by recycling over 13000 pallets each week

Jewson, the UK’s leading supplier of sustainable timber and building materials, has confirmed the overwhelming success of its pioneering initiative to recycle and re-use over 13,000 pallets each week, enabling greatly enhanced sustainability within the distribution chain. Pallets from both the Jewson branch network and those collected from customer’s sites are included within the initiative, most of which would previously have been sent to landfill at a collective supply and disposal cost of around £4 per item, or £52,000 each week!

The service, which initially ran throughout the Jewson branch network, was rolled out in December 2008 and is already generating huge amounts of positive change within the industry.

Simon Wright, Supply Chain and Sustainability Director at Mansell, is supporting the initiative and comments: "What’s striking about this scheme is that it is both environmentally and economically advantageous. Not only does it significantly reduce waste output and the number of pallets in the supply chain, but it minimises the administration time and costs associated with their disposal. The sustainability objectives of the scheme combined with its ability to support our Site Waste Management Plans means that it’s becoming a key component of our overall waste strategy. We’re pleased to be part of the initiative and can see that it is creating a really positive change within the industry."

Under the initiative Jewson now ensures that pallets across its 500 branches, and from its network of delivery sites, are ‘backhauled’ on empty lorry space after delivery. These pallets are taken to one of three Jewson Timber Distribution Centres: Grangemouth, Newport and Hull. From there, the pallets are reintegrated into the supply chain using European Logistics Management, who redistributes them to companies in need of pallets. The initiative reduces the requirement for new pallets, reduces the waste-to-landfill ratio, and has the potential to cut lorry miles by an estimated 135,000 per year.

Rod Leigh, Procurement Manager and the scheme’s creator, says: "The benefits of implementing a system like this work on so many levels. There are the environmental benefits brought about by reusing existing materials, negating the need to produce more of the same; the lorry miles are significantly reduced through the collection of pallets on return journeys; and less material is sent to landfill. From an internal perspective Jewson branches are cleaner and tidier and health and safety risks are reduced. The scheme is a product of everyone working together to generate tangible results."

Jewson is the UK’s leading supplier of timber and building products, with over 500 branches nationwide.

As well as being timber and building suppliers, Jewson also has specialist landscaping, joinery, tool hire, kitchen and bathroom centres, providing the best quality materials and products the builder needs to get the job done fast.

Jewson is part of the Saint-Gobain Building Distribution Group, Europe’s number one building materials distributor, having been acquired by Saint-Gobain in April 2000.

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