Brambles achieves zero deforestation commitment

brahmas timber atr trmeThe supply chain solutions company Brambles has achieved its target to source 100% of the wood it uses from sustainably managed forests globally

These forests have to be certified by either the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). These two non-profit organisations only certify forestry operations that follow international best practice in terms of planting new trees to replace those harvested and having a positive impact on the surrounding communities and local wildlife.

This achievement was included on Brambles 2020 Sustainability Goals set in 2015. These goals are based on the company’s Better Business, Better Planet, Better Communities programme and were developed to align with major UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to Fernando Martinez, vice-president, Global Procurement for Brambles, the impact of this milestone is consequential on many levels. “By achieving this global goal, not only do we ensure that we take care of the scarce natural resources of the planet and eliminate deforestation in our supply chain, but we also make the world’s supply chains, our suppliers and our customers, more efficient and competitive thanks to a sustainability-focused programme.”

“When we started the whole project, we had suppliers using their own technology and processes in different manners. The certification process has basically simplified the entire supply chain. We have crushed the wide-spread mantra ‘sustainability comes at a cost’. I hope this sets a precedent for other companies to follow.”

To contribute to a better planet, one of the areas Brambles closely considered was the environmental impact of its own operations. Even though Brambles’ “share and reuse” model for its wooden pallets saves an estimated 1.7 million trees each year, Brambles knew as a company it could go further. The decision was made to address the company’s materials sourcing policy for the new pallets and repair timber it required each year.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), forests are the largest terrestrial store of carbon and deforestation is the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after coal and oil. Certified forests ensure procedures are in line with a recognised management standard that conserves and increases biomass, ensures land restoration and protects soil and water sources. The programmes also have a positive social and economic impact for their local communities in terms of human and workers’ rights.

Named the most sustainable company globally this year by Barron’s Magazine, and awarded an overall A rating from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s ‘Circulytics’ circular economy  assessment tool, even though Brambles has hit its target of 100% certified and sustainable timber sourcing, the company knows there is further work to be done.

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