The decision follows the launch of Aggregate Industries’ sustainability strategy – Building Progress for a Sustainable Future - which sets out the business’ vision to become the UK leader of innovative and sustainable building solutions and its ambition to embed sustainability in the future of construction. This includes a focus on the circular economy, as the business pledges to increase use of recycled materials from 1.5m to 3m tonnes, reduce waste to landfill to zero and embed a circularity collaboration action network.
Every year more than 18 million pallets are manufactured and distributed within the construction industry. The majority of these pallets are used just once and then disposed of, accounting for around 10% of the UK construction waste stream. According to The Pallet LOOP, removal of this waste stream will achieve an average 40% less CO2 emissions and up to a 75% reduction in timber usage.
By committing to The Pallet LOOP Charter, Aggregate Industries will go through an eight-step evaluation process – assessing its current pallet use and what that means for CO2 emissions and pallet wastage. Later this year, the business will begin to use the 100% FSC-certified green pallets, which have been designed to be more durable. The Pallet LOOP operates a deposit-based scheme whereby building materials suppliers pay an initial deposit per pallet, which passes from manufacturer to merchant to builder as it travels through the supply chain. Once the pallet has reached the end-user, it is collected, repaired and reintroduced to the supply chain and the deposit returned.
Kirstin McCarthy, Sustainability Director at Aggregate Industries, said: “At Aggregate Industries, we are continuously seeking to adopt new and innovative ways to make our business and the industry more sustainable. The Pallet LOOP perfectly mirrors our own ambitions, and by signing up to the Charter we are able to both evaluate our current pallet usage and the associated CO2 emissions, as well as move towards the adoption of a more sustainable supply chain.
“We look forward to working with The Pallet LOOP on their eight-step process and promoting their scheme to our merchants and end-users. After all, a sustainable future must be an industry-wide effort.”
Phil Dent, CEO of The Pallet LOOP, adds: “We’re delighted that Aggregate Industries has signed The Pallet LOOP Charter, further cementing its position as a UK leader in sustainable building solutions. Pallet use in the UK construction industry currently consumes around 6,000 acres of forestry each year. With only 10% of the resulting pallets reused, that’s a truly shocking statistic. Comparatively, pallet reuse in the FMCG retail sector is typically around 98% - suggesting that much more can be done by the construction sector to reduce its reliance on single-use pallets.
“Our easy-to-use deposit-based scheme challenges existing unsustainable supply chain practices. Promoting a culture of reuse, it provides the UK construction sector with a greener and more cost-effective way to transport building materials, that positively impacts people, the planet and profitability. We look forward to working with the team at Aggregate Industries to make the company’s use of pallets circular in line with its wider sustainability goals.”