At Reece, our passion for continuous improvement and innovation is driving our people to make positive changes to reduce our environmental impact, including reducing waste across our network.
The latest step in this journey led us to think outside of the recyclable box for a simple solution to one of our key delivery components — wooden pallets.
Each year, thousands of pallets carry essential products through our branches and distribution centres. Where previously these had no use after delivery, our Merchandising & Packing team has worked closely with our Supply & Distribution team to ‘close the loop.’
Closing the loop means sending used pallets back to the distribution centre, and ultimately, back to suppliers for reuse. This extends the life span of a pallet from one delivery to as many as it can take, before being retired thoughtfully at the end of its life.
By doing this, we’re reducing our environmental footprint in two ways:
reducing our contribution to landfill by binning less pallets, and;
minimising the need for new pallets, reducing our reliance on new timber.
Senior Packaging Development Technologist at Caroma, Grant Banfield, said “Even a quarter of pallets being returned in the first year will see this initiative eliminate demand for 428 tonnes of fresh wood.”
Merchandising & Packing Lead at Reece Group, Jason Goode, said “Every day, we look at how we can drive continuous improvement in the business. An important part of this is reducing our environmental impact wherever possible. Even small changes such as this can make a huge difference when you consider the scale of our network.”
After a successful trial in Melbourne, all metropolitan branches can now return used pallets on Reece trucks after delivery. Rural and regional branches have also been encouraged to return pallets on supplier trucks, taking this innovation nationwide.