ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability USA Lays Down a Marker for City Leadership with Nonprofit Change the Pallet

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Recently published ICLEI article states cardboard shipping pallets could play a major role in helping cities meet their carbon reduction targets.

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Change the Pallet

We look forward to seeing ICLEI’s initiative lead to city-driven change to our country’s antiquated, costly, and highly destructive product transit system

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability USA published an article late last week, titled "Change the Pallet: Procurement Specs Reduce Emission," which calls on cities and local governments to leverage procurement dollars to mandate that shipments to public facilities be made on lightweight, 100% recyclable corrugated shipping pallets. Such mandates are indicated based on the proven reductions to: (i) carbon emissions; (ii) trucks on the road; and (iii) pallet-related injuries.

The article was co-authored by Change the Pallet – in partnership with sustainability expert, Mr. Roger Ballentine. Mr. Ballentine served President Clinton as Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force and Deputy Assistant to the President for Environmental Initiatives. He now advises many Fortune 500 affairs on cutting-edge sustainability actions.

ICLEI is a membership association for local governments worldwide that share a commitment to accelerate game-changing sustainability and carbon-reduction programs. They are the first major environmental policy organization in the world to put its name behind the Change the Pallet “bid spec” movement, which is significant because of ICLEI’s leadership in working with cities worldwide to reach their carbon-reduction targets. Put simply: when ICLEI talks, local governments listen. Since publication of the article, Change the Pallet has been asked by several cities to provide sample policies for evaluation.

The average wood shipping pallet weighs between 50 and 70 pounds and has limited size options, making it difficult to maximize truck-bed volume. Conversely, corrugated pallets weigh about 10 pounds and can be cost-effectively customized to maximize space on a truck, thereby reducing fuel and trucks on the road.

“There are reasons why our packages don’t come to us in wood crates anymore,” says Adam Pener, Executive Director at Change the Pallet. “And just as there are more efficient and environmentally-friendly alternatives to the wood crate, so too are there alternatives for the billions of wood pallets currently in circulation in the United States. We look forward to seeing ICLEI’s initiative lead to city-driven change to our country’s antiquated, costly, and highly destructive product transit system.”

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 made global news last year when the World Bank's prestigious Connect4Climate named them a “Knowledgeable Partner,” and published an article titled "Change Pallets for Climate Change."

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Adam Pener
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