Brambles is committed to zero environmental harm including eliminating deforestation while protecting, restoring and promoting the sustainable use of forests in its value chain.
Brambles aims for 100% chain of custody certification for all lumber supply by 2020.
100% of washing detergents to contain responsibly sourced palm oil.1
1 Detergents containing responsibly sourced palm oil are used to wash our Reusable Plastic Crates (RPCs) and containers to appropriate hygiene standards.
The secure supply of wood is critical to Brambles. Throughout our global network, CHEP uses timber for the manufacture and repair of pallets used in the circular pooling model. Brambles has implemented a rigorous timber procurement system that includes strong preference for certified source timber and timber carrying chain of custody certification, certification to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard or Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), as well as the conduct of internal due diligence to ensure that our lumber sourcing does not contribute to deforestation. Our pallets are generally made from the parts of a tree that are not suitable for use in high quality products like furniture and flooring.
The natural capital value derived from forests directly supports economic, social and environmental systems. Forests provide a vital environmental service by absorbing carbon dioxide and helping to regulate global climate patterns. They also provide shelter and food for communities and species and protect soil from erosion. Consequently, deforestation is recognised as a critical and immediate sustainability challenge. Forests and the land resource occupied by forests is under increasing pressure from the forestry and agricultural industries and urban development. Forest products and cleared forests provide the building blocks for many products that feed into complex global commodity supply chains, making traceability and accountability for deforestation difficult. Forests are the largest terrestrial store of carbon and deforestation is the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after coal and oil. Deforestation contributes 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions each year.2
Forestry management is a material issue for Brambles because our pallet pooling model is directly linked to a sustainable and healthy forest resource. Brambles’ target of having 100% of its purchased timber covered by chain of custody certification is a clear commitment that complete traceability of timber supply is critical to our business, to society and to addressing climate change.
The features of sustainable forest management are responsible harvesting, reforestation and biodiversity preservation, while protecting natural forests and the supply of resources into the future. Sustainable forestry will also avoid timber harvesting associated with unethical practices towards human rights and labour standards as well as environment management.
Brambles works closely with milling and pallet manufacturing suppliers to ensure all timber undergoes Brambles’ due diligence process. This occurs in the following order of preference:
- Chain of Custody certification that is Certification to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard or Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
- Source certification by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard or Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
- CHEP due diligence policy
For further information on responsible sourcing of forest resources see http://www.chep.com/About_CHEP/Suppliers/Sustainability/
More information on how Brambles protects human rights in our business and the supply chain is detailed in our Zero Harm Charter3 and Code of Conduct.4 Our progress against the Ten Principals of the UN Global Compact is available on our website.5
Brambles and many of our customers made the We Mean Business (WMB) deforestation commitment in 2015. This highlights the importance of global partnerships (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 17) in addressing sustainable forestry management and the shared challenges in addressing commodity linked deforestation in supply chains.
Brambles’ commitment to 100% chain of custody for all timber procurement by 2020 aligns with and will assist our customers as they work towards fulfilling the WMB commitment.
A sustainable supply of resources underpins long term business value. Brambles long ago recognised the commercial value of sustainable forestry for our stakeholders. In 2015 Brambles achieved 97% certified sourcing and attained coverage under chain of custody certification for 43% of the total volume of pooled pallet timber purchased. In the same period, Brambles committed to removing commodity driven deforestation from all supply chains by 2020 through the Carbon Disclosure Project Forests and the We Mean Business (WMB) programs.
Brambles is committed to zero environmental harm including taking action on climate change and addressing its impacts through our value chain.
- Brambles commits to achieving a 20% reduction in carbon emissions per unit delivered by 2020.
- Year on year improvement in carbon emission intensity for transport emissions (CO2/kilometre).
- Year on year improvement in energy provided from renewable sources.
Carbon emissions generated throughout Brambles’ supply chain contribute to climate change. Taking action on climate change and addressing its impacts through our value chain is a business priority. Brambles will continue to work within its direct business as well as with material suppliers and collaborate with customers to reduce the carbon intensity of our activities.
Climate change has direct and indirect negative consequences on financial, human and natural capital and is an issue that highlights the complex interdependency of these systems. Evidence suggests the impacts of climate change on business and society is already occurring, with the global average air temperature increasing by around 0.85 degrees Celsius since 1880.1 It is believed that if climate change is not adequately addressed, it will damage cities and infrastructure, disrupt global supply chains and exacerbate issues of food security and water availability.2 Climate change will cause market uncertainty, increase the costs of doing business and affect global prosperity. Addressing climate change requires significant reductions in carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels as well as implementing adaptation strategies.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has provided an upper limit of 2 degrees Celsius or less increase to average global air temperatures in order to avoid the most significant impacts of climate change.
Brambles directly and indirectly operates approximately 850 service centre facilities globally. In 2015 facilities owned and leased by Brambles emitted approximately 53kT CO2-e, and outsourced facilities emitted approximately 110kT CO2-e. Improving energy efficiency and renewable energy contributions at our facilities will reduce the emissions intensity of our operations and help us to achieve our target of a 20% reduction in carbon emissions per unit delivered by 2020. This represents the largest direct opportunity for Brambles to address climate change.
Our efforts to reduce carbon emissions from our facilities complements our Better Planet commitments to Zero Deforestation and our Better Communities programs, specifically our reforestation projects.
By reducing carbon emissions in our facilities through energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, Brambles can offer customers a leaner, more cost-effective service and reduce the carbon intensity of their value chains. This complements our customers’ sustainability strategies and assists them to prepare for any voluntary environmental compliance and regional or national regulatory changes.
Brambles works across its businesses and with key customers to reduce the carbon intensity of the pallet pooling model. Between 2010 and 2015, Brambles’ sustainability strategy helped to achieve our target of 20% carbon emissions reduction. This result includes a combined 13% reduction in 2015. For customers, our multimodal and collaborative transport programs saved approximately 35,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by removing 42,000,000 kilometres in trips. CHEP Europe offers customers a Carbon Neutral pallet option for customers looking at reducing carbon in their supply chain. Extension of this program will follow regional demand.
Brambles is committed to zero environmental harm by eliminating product waste to landfill and pursuing continuous improvement in our circular business model.
- Brambles commits to achieving zero wood waste and plastic waste to landfill by 2020.
- By 2020, 100% of sites with washing facilities will have water recycling equipment1.
1 Brambles affiliate IFCO have been implementing water recycling technology at large service centres to reduce fresh water reuse by reusing wash water. We aim to progressively roll out the water recycling technology at material locations.
Brambles recognises the true value of the natural capital contained in our products and the importance of our circular business model for a sustainable economy.
We provide sustainable consumption solutions for customers through our pooling model, whereby we maintain ownership and responsibility for our pallets, RPCs (reusable plastic crates) and containers throughout their life cycle. This pooling model eliminates the need for customers to purchase and manage their equipment, which reduces waste impacts from their supply chains.
Our objective of zero environmental harm and target of zero wood and plastic waste to landfill for pooled equipment by 2020 improves the environmental benefits of our pooling model. Pallets are biodegradable and plastic and steel is recoverable for perpetual recycling.
The Global Footprint Network reports that humanity’s ecological footprint2 would require 1.6 Planets to meet humanity’s demands on nature.3 It is forecast that by 2050 global resource use will have tripled;4 while, some resources are expected to last no longer than 20 years. This trend is driven by the take, make and dispose linear business model which overlooks the true value of stocks of natural capital that provide the raw materials for the production and consumption economy. Addressing unsustainable production and consumption patterns requires a rapid move from the linear model to a circular and sharing model. In a circular economy, goods are designed to be long lasting, easy to repair and reuse, easy to disassemble and easy to remake into items that are as good as, if not better than, their original products.
4 EY: Are you ready for the circular economy? The necessity of an integrated approach.
Our strategy to achieve zero wood and plastic waste by 2020 requires waste timber and plastic classified in end-of-life condition to be fully recovered for another industrial process. This may occur by reusing plastic from RPCs to make new RPCs or by supplying degraded pallet timber for garden mulch or bioenergy.
Ernst and Young’s report Are you ready for the Circular Economy – The necessity of an integrated approach identifies five circular business models for organisations to adopt to prepare for resource constraints, higher consumer expectations and greater supply chain transparency. The Brambles circular business model includes all five best practice circular business models.
Circular Business Model
Brambles Business Model
Circular input models: Circular input models are designed for the creation of materials and resources suited to the circular economy such as biodegradable and recyclable materials.
Brambles has a zero timber and plastic waste to landfill commitment. Wooden pallets are biodegradable and plastic and steel recoverable for perpetual recycling. Brambles also has an active program of recovering materials from pallets, RPCs and containers for reuse in product repair or recycling.
Waste value models: Innovative recycling and upcycling play a crucial role in this model. The embedded value of waste is recovered at the end of a product life cycle to feed into another cycle.
Brambles has an active program of recovering materials from pallets, RPCs and containers for reuse in product repair or recycling.
Lifespan Models: The lifespan of products is extended to maintain or improve the value of the product that would otherwise be lost. It is achieved by repairing, upgrading, remanufacturing or remarketing the product.
Brambles’ services centres recover, grade, repair and redeploy all returnable assets to ensure material life is maximised and product quality is maintained. Brambles has used environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) to establish the environmental advantage of reusable pallets and RPCs over one way or single use alternatives.
Platform models: Products and services can be used more efficiently, when goods that are (temporarily) not being used, are made available to others. This can be done by offering platforms for collaboration among product users, either individuals or organisations.
The Brambles pool of products underpins a sharing business model. This is achieved by constantly recovering and redeploying pallets, RPCs and containers to fulfil new demand. This maximises the utility of the asset and reduces the need to constantly produce replacement products.
Product as a service model: Instead of selling its product, the business continues to own it. The product is made available to one or more users, either through a lease contract or a rental fee. With this model, product longevity, reusability and sharing become more attractive to the business.
Brambles maintains ownership and responsibility for the product over its entire lifecycle. This maximises product usability amongst multiple customers as well as ensuring product materials are continually recovered for reuse, repair or recycling.
The Brambles business model represents global best practice for sustainable production and consumption as recognised by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation (EMF) in 2015. EMF rated one of Brambles European pallets as having a ‘Circular Economy Index’ of 0.87 where a score of 1 is perfectly circular, putting Brambles in the exclusive Circular Economy 100 (CE100).
Customers benefit by consuming Brambles’ logistics networking services and sharing our assets, not physical packaging products. Our circular pooling model eliminates the financial and environmental costs for customers of purchasing and disposing of one-way platforms such as single use pallets or cardboard boxes. This addresses the environmental impacts of product waste at end of life and improves the sustainability of our customers’ supply chains.
The alternative to pooling – one-way platforms – transfers platform ownership to the customer as well as the direct financial purchase and disposal costs and indirect reputational risks including the environmental life cycle impacts associated with single use packaging. The risk is increasingly important as timber products including pulp and paper packaging, such as cardboard, will be placed under greater scrutiny as consumer expectations for transparency rise, government regulation tightens and the global community focuses on commodity driven deforestation and climate change.
Our pooling and sharing models operate on the principles of recover, reuse, repair, redeploy, reduce and recycle. This continuously improves our business performance by maximising product utility while reducing raw material consumption as well as waste and recycling costs.
Sustainability Review assurance by a third party provider confirmed that the Brambles’ Group achieved a total recycling rate of 66% in FY15:
- Zero wood waste to landfill at 75% of sites, which comprised 92% of production globally.
- Customers use of pooled pallets saved at least 1.38 million trees and least 11,000 Mega Litres of water.
- Customers use of RPCs rather than cardboard boxes saved at least 325,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2-e) and more than 39,000 tonnes of waste.