A transformational, net carbon zero deposit-based pallet re-use scheme for the UK construction sector

Everyone needs to play their part to reduce waste in the construction industry supply chain

why loop?

THE PROBLEM WITH SINGLE USE PALLETS

Every year more than 18 million pallets are manufactured and distributed throughout the UK construction industry, but less than 10% are reused. This is in stark contrast to the FMCG retail sector, where pallet reuse is typically around 98%. To create construction industry pallets, an estimated 6,000 acres of forestry are harvested every year, with a further 236,000 acres grown to cater for future demand.

REMOVING NEEDLESS WASTE

Currently the vast majority of pallets circulating in the UK construction sector are cost engineered for single use – working on the assumption that they’ll probably be scrapped or skipped once they reach their final destination. This practice is clearly unsustainable. Across business there is a general consensus that linear ways of working are broken, and that waste is a design flaw.

DIFFERENT BY DESIGN

The Pallet LOOP delivers an alternative approach to single use pallets that’s better for business and better for the planet. Our simple, carbon net zero, deposit-based scheme challenges existing ‘unsustainable’ supply chain practices; promotes a culture of re-use; and provides the UK construction sector with a greener, leaner, most cost effective way to transport building materials that can positively impact on people, planet and profitability.

RECOVER

REPAIR

RE-USE

A TRUSTED PALLET PARTNER

 

The Pallet LOOP has a dedicated recovery infrastructure and a comprehensive network of collection hubs in place – enabled through its partnership with the Scott Group.

With world-class pallet manufacturing facilities, the Scott Group is the perfect partner for
The Pallet LOOP – providing the production capabilities and expertise needed to help us deliver a circular economy pallet re-use scheme for the UK construction industry.

Why Now?

waste

The construction industry is the UK’s largest user of natural resources and produces around 100 million tonnes of waste each year. Turning pallets into a valuable returnable asset that we loop back into the supply chain we’re helping the sector reduce the amount of waste created and save significant sums on disposal costs (an estimated £153m).

Legislation

All construction businesses have a duty to ensure any waste they produce is handled safely and responsibly. The Pallet LOOP takes one aspect of that work away – transforming the humble pallet from an item that’s normally skipped into a valuable returnable item that can be used again and again.

The Political Landscape

Construction is at the heart of the Government’s plans to revive the economy post-COVID. As the nation strives to build back better, our green pallets will help the UK work towards its ambition of net zero emissions by 2050.

Customer expectations

The Pallet LOOP provides an easy way for construction companies to improve their sustainability track record and stand up to the scrutiny of customers, who are more discerning and environmentally savvy than ever before.

&

blazing a trail

Embracing The Pallet LOOP is a great way for the UK construction sector to demonstrate that it is world-leading; committed to innovation; and dedicated to working in the smartest, most sustainable way possible.

CORPORATE REPUTATION

Acting sustainably is now intrinsic to business and fundamental to a company’s corporate reputation. Users of The Pallet LOOP can proudly state they’re doing their bit – eliminating avoidable pallet waste and saving trees.

TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE

Small changes can make a big difference. Uniting the construction sector around a sustainable pallet solution, we’re cutting waste and reducing the consumption of trees – helping to protect the planet for future generations.

Don’t just take our word for it!

“As COP26 takes place, and BAM is focused on building a sustainable tomorrow, we need to explore every practical avenue that helps us reduce our CO2 emissions and achieve net zero. “The best change is one that others can support and adopt. This has much greater impact, so we are proud to champion this initiative which has great potential across our sector. It fits very well alongside our drive to become more circular, drive out waste, and reuse resources.”

Julia Messenger, Sustainability Manager, BAM

“Savvy organisations will be already re-orientating their existing sustainability strategy towards one of circular implementation with trusted trading partners of a similar persuasion, and not waiting to act until new legislation or spikes in commodity prices hit home.”
Mickey Howard, Professor of Sustainable Supply Chain Management at University of Exeter Business School

At the moment, the pallets used by the construction industry are the equivalent of single-use plastics in the hospitality sector. It really isn’t acceptable that so many are used just once and then discarded each year. LOOP’s innovation to introduce a higher spec pallet that can be reused and recycled multiple times is a brilliant idea that we support 100%”

Graham Edgell, Director of Sustainability and Procurement,
Morgan Sindall Group

“Savvy organisations will be already re-orientating their existing sustainability strategy towards one of circular implementation with trusted trading partners of a similar persuasion, and not waiting to act until new legislation or spikes in commodity prices hit home.”
Mickey Howard, Professor of Sustainable Supply Chain Management at University of Exeter Business School

Kier recognises that the current use of single trip pallets is unsustainable. These pallets consume a significant quantity of home-grown softwood timber resource (around 17%), which could be better utilised in other long-term carbon storage solutions such as the construction of buildings, and they also account for a significant percentage of our construction waste stream (up to 10% by volume) which is a significant cost to the business. We therefore would fully endorse a deposit-based supply chain solution that would enable the recovery, repair, and reuse of pallets in the UK construction sector

Jo Gilroy Head of Sustainability, Kier

“The Pallet Loop™ represents the type of sustainability disruptor that is urgently needed to create a more circular construction industry. It will have benefits to those handling pallets with regard to safety; for site managers dealing with logistics and space issues; right through to the forests that don’t need to be felled as a result.”

Eithne George, Programme Director, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

“The procedure developed by Virginia Tech (for The Pallet Loop) is the first testing procedure that can evaluate the ability of pallets to survive the hazards of block grab lift handling. Our results show that the LOOP pallet has at least a 1.5 ton load capacity based on the test developed.”

Professor Laszlo Horvath, Director, Centre for Packaging and Unit Load Design, Virginia Tech

“ISG recognises that the current widespread use of single trip pallets is unsustainable. We therefore would fully endorse a deposit-based supply chain solution, such as The Pallet Loop™, that enables the recovery, repair and reuse of pallets in the UK construction sector.”

Peter Kelly, Head of Sustainability, ISG

Industry support & commitment to change

To galvanise support for The Pallet LOOP, we have created a charter for construction industry players to sign to make clear their commitment to considering a more sustainable solution for the movement of building materials. By signing The Pallet LOOP charter, signatories acknowledged, individually and collectively, that now is the time for change and agreed to:

A comprehensive evaluation of how The Pallet LOOP could be integrated into their business

Champion the adoption of a circular economy pallet solutions

Cooperate with other industry stakeholders to accelerate sector wide implementation.

Charter signatories include:

If your business is ready for change, and you’d like to sign our charter, it’s not too late. Download a copy here

NUMBERS THAT STACK UP

As sustainability continues to rise up the corporate agenda, it’s essential that companies understand, measure and report on their environmental impact. We’ve conducted our own impact assessment to show what The Pallet LOOP can deliver in terms of numbers and a lower carbon footprint. Read our full impact assessment here:

GREENER BY DESIGN

By developing a range of distinctive green pallets that can be used again and again, we’ve found a way to design pallet waste out of the construction industry supply chain.

The result will be a seismic shift in the sustainability of the sector. For every 1000 LOOP pallet trips made, we’ve calculated that 60 trees will have been saved from felling – that’s the equivalent of 18m3 of timber (enough to build a three-bedroom timber framed house).

STRONGER BY DESIGN

There are currently more than 2500 different pallet specifications in use across the UK construction industry. This can create problems when stacking pallets on vehicles or on site.

To simplify this situation, we’ve come up with eight durable designs that are all standard in size – meaning our pallets are easier to handle and stack. Our pallets are also more than 100% stronger than standard pallets – a fact that’s been independently validated by Virginia Tech. Find out more.

LEANER BY DESIGN

The environmental and safety benefits associated with The Pallet LOOP are undeniable, but our approach is also much more cost effective – offering builders, merchants, construction companies and house builders the chance to save thousands of pounds on waste disposal costs every year.

On average you can fit 30 pallets in a standard 12-yard skip – meaning it costs around £10 to dispose of each pallet. With the deposit on each LOOP pallet fully refundable, that’s a potential waste cost saving of nearly £10,000 for every 1000 green pallets you put back into The Pallet LOOP.

JOIN THE LOOP

YOU’LL BE IN GREAT COMPANY

Throughout the construction industry, building material manufacturers, merchants, construction companies and house builders are signing up to The Pallet LOOP – recognising that this new way of working provides a more sustainable approach to palletised distribution. Get in the LOOP! You’ll be in great company.