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environmental benefits of wood-use for pallets

Get the facts, share the facts with your customers on the environmental benefits of using wood:

  • According to the U.S. Forest Service, there were 119 percent more hardwood trees in 2007 than in 1953, with the growth-to-removal ratio of 2.00 (two new trees for every one removed). Want more good news? Each year 1.7 billion trees are planted in the United States - more than five trees for every man, woman and child in America - an average of 4.8 million seedlings each day. (From the U.S. Forest Service.)
  • U.S. industry harvests just 42% of the annual growth in hardwood timber that is biologically available to harvest. This is like using 42% of the interest/dividends you receive on your investments in any given year, without touching the principal. In fact, every year more trees die and rot in the woods than are removed by the industry.
  • Wood continues to outpace the demand for other materials in the pallet market. According to the most recent pallet user survey conducted by Modern Materials Handling, wood continues to dominate with 95 percent of respondents reporting that they use wooden pallets at their facility. Since their previous survey, 32 percent of respondents say they have acquired more used wooden pallets, and that same number has plans to acquire more used wooden pallets for their operation. Only 17 percent report an expectation of using fewer used wooden pallets in the next two years.
  • According to the European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers (FEFPEB) there are more than three billion wood pallets in circulation within the European Union, 1 billion units of lightweight packaging and several billion units of industrial wood packaging every year - and many more being used internationally. Alongside boxes, crates and other packaging, these are essential to the smooth movement of goods around the world. It is truly packaging from nature.
  • Fifty-three percent of the water supply of the 48 contiguous states originates in forests. Keeping forests healthy reduces infrastructure costs to cities and towns. (USDA Forest Service Technical Report PNW-GTR-795)
  • Today, the United States has 20 percent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day celebration more than 40 years ago. One-third of the United States is forested -- that is 751 million acres. (Fun Facts from the American Forest & Paper Association)
  • Just like the pallet industry, forest management and ownership can also be a family business. In fact, more than 56 percent of U.S. forests are privately owned. Many of these are family-owned forests; they are applying sound forest management practices to provide value to this and future generations. (American Forest & Paper Association Fun Facts)
  • The economic value of forests is far-reaching. Visitor spending alone on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service contributed more than $13 billion to the economy in 2012, and the forest products industry employs some 900,000 people. National forests and grasslands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $27 billion per year. (U.S. Forest Service news release, March 21, 2013)
  • There are more than 1.8 billion pallets in service in the United States each day. Ninety-three percent of these pallets are made from wood. This figure does not include the many more millions of pallets used to ship goods internationally. More than $400 billion worth of American trade is exported annually on wood pallets and containers worldwide.
  • Wood is the only 100% renewable, recyclable and reusable product available. The most commonly used alternative pallets are made from oil and gas, which are limited fossil fuels. aluating the potential impacts associated with identified inputs and releases; 

We have a great environmental message with emerging tools that will drive the point home to a variety of audiences, and new collaborative opportunities to leverage the power of this industry and our messaging. Nature’s Packaging… two words tell our story.

Photo above (top right): Urban Coffee Farm courtesy of HASSELL; Photography Bonnie Savage.