University & Sustainability Coalition Tells Corporate America to "Change the Pallet"

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Former Clinton Climate Change Official and Three Army Colonels Add Voices to Growing Campaign

Green Ox Pallet Technology

Green Ox Pallet Technology

The pallet industry is long overdue for sustainability-based disruption. All that is needed is leadership.

General Motors required suppliers to its more than 100 global facilities to ship on corrugated cardboard pallets from 1991 to 2008. This "pallet pull" was effected in a one-page packaging policy. Put simply, if a company wanted to win a General Motors contract it needed to ship on lightweight, recyclable pallets that cut costs, added recycling revenue and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this proven model has sparked action by a unique coalition of leading universities, colleges, climate change organizations, sustainability thought leaders and retired Army Colonels. The coalition, which is led by Oregon-based nonprofit Change the Pallet, wrote to leading U.S. companies such as Apple, Dell, and U.S. Foods to ask that they switch to environmentally-friendly corrugated cardboard pallets:

"… we request that future palletized shipments to campuses and governmental facilities be sent on recyclable corrugated pallets whenever possible. Each pallet received by these facilities and campuses that is easy to handle, easy to recycle, and that requires fewer or no additional unnecessary truck movements for its removal / retrieval is a meaningful improvement."

The "Joint Letter to Suppliers" was reportedly sent to the CEOs and sustainability officers of 38 major suppliers to universities and governments. A complete recipient list is available on the Change the Pallet website. Change the Pallet reports that they have received responses from two companies thus far.

AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability USA joined Change the Pallet and 15 senior university and college officials in signing the letter. AASHE and ICLEI represent hundreds of global member institutions and cities working toward lower carbon footprints via scalable, cost-advantageous technologies.

Mr. Roger Ballentine, who served President Clinton as Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force and Deputy Assistant to the President for Environmental Initiatives, is also a signatory. Mr. Ballentine noted: "Changing the pallet may not be sexy, but not all sustainability innovations and emission-cutting practices are. Hopefully, this letter will lead major U.S. companies to take a closer look and see that reducing pallet weight and waste will save money and help address climate change. When innovation leaders take this step, it will set an example for other companies, as well as universities and other pallet recipients around the world. The pallet industry is long overdue for sustainability-based disruption. All that is needed is leadership."

Expert logistician COL Darrel Larson (ret.), who has taken this idea to the Pentagon and Army Logistics Command, also signed. According to COL Larson: "Our country can save billions of dollars annually by simply swapping out pallets but, today, DOD and DLA (and many leading grocers and retailers) actually prohibit shipments on corrugated pallets. Hopefully this letter will get the attention of the Armed Services Committee."

Green Ox Pallet Technology, LLC is the exclusive global provider of Green Ox pallets. The company was recently featured by leading industry publication Modern Material Handling: http://www.mhnetwork.com/news/we-make-pallets-smarter/ Green Ox's point-of-use delivery model is unique and transformative, giving F500 customers – and their suppliers – the capability to employ a ubiquitous, proven pallet system throughout global supply chains.

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