CHEP: Shared and reusable assets are key to circular economy, sustainability

In the work to create a circular economy – with zero waste and zero emissions between grower, producer, manufacturer and retailer – shared and reusable assets are making a measurable difference. Data shared yesterday at the Sustainable Brands 2017 conference by Brambles, CHEP’s parent company, demonstrates the possibilities.

According to that data, Brambles – through the operation of CHEP and IFCO shared and reusable platforms and containers – prevents 2.3 million tonnes of climate-change-inducing CO2 from being discharged into the atmosphere, eliminates 1.3 million tonnes of solid waste and saves nearly 1.4 million trees each year.

“We know 90% of efficiency and sustainability opportunities come through the supply chain,” said Juan Jose Freijo, Global Director of Sustainability, Brambles. “While there are barriers to scaling up globally and we have a long way to go in creating a truly circular economy powered by a circular supply chain, this data shows the vision is achievable and the strategy is working.”

CHEP: Shared and reusable assets are key to circular economy, sustainability

As part of the Circularity as the Leading Design Principle of Our Time session, Freijo discussed that to achieve circularity, companies must extend the concept of design beyond the product, to that product’s global supply chain. CHEP is one of the few companies that operates a truly circular, sustainable supply chain model on a global basis. The company’s commitment to standardization and efficiently-run collection networks power the circular supply chain.

CHEP’s partnership with the J.M. Smucker Company was highlighted in the company’s 2016 corporate responsibility report. The report states, “We partner with CHEP…through their business model of shared (pooled) pallets, which brings both operational efficiencies and environmental benefits. … our commitment to reusable wooden pallets reduced nearly 2.5 million pounds of solid waste and eliminated approximately 840 tonnes of CO2e. These savings are equivalent to 80,000 trees planted and grown for 10 years…”

CHEP was also identified by Kroger as critical to reducing waste in the company’s supply chain. The grocery retailer highlighted CHEP in its 2016 Sustainability Report. Kroger’s sustainability report states, “Kroger partners with CHEP and IFCO, which both contribute to global sustainability through their ‘shared’ business models of pooled pallets, bulk containers and reusable plastic containers (RPCs). These packaging solutions bring both operational efficiencies and environmental benefits. Compared with one-way packaging, reusable platforms and containers offer a lower carbon footprint, reduced water consumption and less waste.”

In February 2017, CHEP participated in Connecting the Dots: Sustainability Through a Circular Economy at the Wharton School’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL). CHEP teamed up with IGEL, PepsiCo, Meijer, Amcor and Nielsen to discuss how supply chain collaboration and innovation are helping to create a circular economy that will move us more towards zero waste and zero emissions.

Brambles is committed to the vision of a circular economy that generates zero waste and zero emissions. The company’s reusable assets require less timber, energy and water than one-way platforms and containers. Their operation also emits less CO2 and generates less waste.

“Brambles, CHEP and IFCO collaborate with our customers and the entire consumer products value chain to preserve our natural resources for future generations, and our shared and reusable business model is an important strategy for achieving the goal of a circular economy that represents the best hope for a brighter future,” concluded CHEP: Shared and reusable assets are key to circular economy, sustainabilityFreijo.