Haverford College First U.S. College or University to Change the Pallet

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Taking an innovative approach to reduce carbon emissions and save money

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Change the Pallet

There is simply no reason for deliveries to campuses, hospitals and government facilities to be on 50-pound wood pallets when lightweight, sturdy, sterile, and fully-recyclable options are available.

Haverford College has sent a letter asking its suppliers to deliver to its campus on lightweight, recyclable corrugated shipping pallets. Their decision comes as many cities, states, and public institutions seek innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint in the wake of President Trump's decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. Haverford's initiative is expected to save money and reduce carbon emissions associated with the delivery of products ranging from office supplies to food and beverage. It is the first U.S. university or college to Change the Pallet.

Haverford's decision comes after a two-year evaluation and open stakeholder dialogue. As noted by Haverford's Vice President & Chief of Staff, Jesse Lytle: "The Haverford community holds deep commitments to environmental responsibility that drive not just our educational model but also our business practices. By including our student sustainability leaders, faculty, and staff in the deliberation process, we attained broad support to act first in a national effort to reduce CO2e via the modernization of product transport. We hope our decision here in Pennsylvania will inspire others around the country or the world to take similar action."

Haverford's initiative comes one year after Change the Pallet wrote to the Presidents of more than 300 leading U.S. colleges and universities. The letter, which has created dialogues on campuses as diverse as the Universities of Oregon and Alabama, calls on colleges to use their buying power to encourage or require suppliers to ship to campuses on corrugated pallets to further reduce emissions and waste. To receive a copy of any of those letters, please contact us at info@changethepallet.org.

As Change the Pallet Executive Director Adam Pener said, "Haverford is setting an historic precedent and we hope their message rings loud and clear: there is simply no reason for deliveries to campuses, hospitals and government facilities to be on 50-pound wood pallets when lightweight, sturdy, sterile, and fully-recyclable options are available."

Effectively, Haverford's message to companies like Office Depot, Staples, Sysco, U.S. Foods and others that service universities and colleges is: if you want our business, you need to deliver products in a sustainable manner that is good for our campus, our students, and the environment.

Added Pener: "Haverford is widely known for sending principled, honorable citizens into the world – women and men that bring great value to their communities and our country. The Haverford community has reason to be proud of the global leadership demonstrated by the college's decision to Change the Pallet. Watch this space – Haverford is the first, but it certainly won't be the last to take this meaningful step to reducing carbon emissions and waste."

Change the Pallet is a project of The Forward Edge Initiative, an Oregon-based nonprofit. They educate and advocate for a national shift from wood to corrugated pallets, with the goal of protecting American workers, eliminating shipping pounds, reducing carbon emissions massively, and saving consumers and taxpayers billions of dollars. Change the Pallet is honored to be recognized as a "Knowledgeable Partner" of the prestigious Connect4Climate, and was recently featured in an ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability article.

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Adam Pener
@changethepallet
since: 06/2015
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