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‘Green pallets’ stand out for B&Q

‘Green pallets’ stand out for B&Q

The collaboration between Scott Pallets and B&Q that led to the transformational and unique ‘Green Pallet Scheme’ has been recognised by Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Awards, winning the Best Business to Business Partnership at the recent London award ceremony.

The Responsible Business Awards are widely-recognised as being the world’s leading awards for CSR, sustainability, supply-chain and business executives. The judges, who were looking 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, said: “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 stand out.”

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 and at the same time ensuring all possible health and safety issues were addressed.

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.

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 issue.

The Green Pallet Scheme offers returnable pallets in both standard and 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, several B&Q vendors have already joined the Green Pallet Scheme, covering ten product types from three countries, resulting in 250,000 sustainably sourced pallets being recovered (year to date), 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 to B&Q whose parent company Kingfisher has operations across Europe, and it is hoped that there is potential to expand the project further in due course.

Rachel Bradley, Sustainability Manager at B&Q and The Guardian’s Unsung Sustainability Hero for 2016 said: “At B&Q we believe in the strength of partnerships, and we’re so proud of what we’ve achieved with Scott Pallets. 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.”

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