First-ever analysis documents harmful environmental impact of pooled multi-use wood pallets, including ozone layer depletion and contribution to global warming
Orlando, Fla. – August 4, 2008 – A comprehensive, independent study comparing the environmental impacts of iGPS’ all-plastic pallet and the typical pooled multi-use wood pallet has unequivocally documented that iGPS’ pallet is far superior. In every measured dimension—including global warming, ozone layer depletion and acidification—iGPS’ plastic pallet was shown to have a significantly lower environmental impact.
“This independent life cycle analysis confirms without qualification that we have developed the environmentally superior product we set out to create,” said iGPS Chief Executive Officer Bob Moore. “Not only is our 100% recyclable plastic pallet lighter, stronger and safer than the typical pooled multi-use wood pallet, but even using the most conservative assumptions, it’s also far greener. The facts speak for themselves.”
The analysis, conducted by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a global leader in environmental consulting services, is the first study to measure the total life cycle impact of both iGPS’ plastic pallet and the typical multi-use wood pallet.
The study, utilizing internationally recognized methodology, measured environmental impacts, taking into account pallet durability and useful life, material composition, trip distances and weight. The ranges of environmental impact differences between iGPS’ pallet and the typical multi-use wood pallet, using conservative and more realistic assumptions for the impact categories studied, were —
- Abiotic depletion: iGPS’ pallet had 25% – 35% less impact
- Global warming: iGPS’ pallet had 65% – 70% less impact
- Ozone Layer Depletion: iGPS’ pallet had 91% – 92% less impact
- Photochemical oxidation: iGPS’ pallet had 60% – 65% less impact
- Acidification: iGPS’ pallet had 60% – 65% less impact
- Eutrophication: iGPS’ pallet had 75% – 80% less impact
- Aquatic ecotoxicity: iGPS’ pallet had 50% to 55% less impact
- Terrestrial ecotoxicity: iGPS’ pallet had 90% to 92% less impact
“This study sets the record straight with respect to the claim that the pooled multi-use wood pallet is the most environmentally friendly pallet solution,” Moore said. “The dramatically smaller environmental footprint of the iGPS pallet establishes it as the true benchmark of sustainability for pallet systems. We are proud to offer the world’s supply chain a lighter, stronger, safer and greener platform, and we look forward to the day when our forests will no longer be sacrificed unnecessarily for wood pallets.”
A summary report of the ERM life cycle analysis can be viewed at www.igps.net, where visitors can also calculate the greenhouse gas emission reductions and fuel savings made possible by converting to iGPS’ lighter, plastic pallets.
iGPS is the world’s first company to provide manufacturers and retailers with an all-plastic pallet pool with embedded RFID-tags. iGPS’s state-of-the-art pallets are 30% lighter than wood, which saves on transport costs, are easier to handle and eliminate protruding nails and splinters that cause workplace injuries and damaged equipment. In addition, embedded RFID tags enable shippers and receivers to track and trace shipments in real time. Launched in March 2006, the company is led by pallet and supply chain veterans with decades of experience. iGPS (www.igps.net) is headquartered in Orlando, FL., with offices in Dallas, New York and Bentonville, Arkansas.
Pegasus Capital Advisors, a private equity fund manager with offices in New York and Cos Cob, CT, retains a majority interest in iGPS. Founded in 1995, Pegasus provides capital to middle market companies across a wide range of industries, with particular focus on businesses that make a meaningful contribution to society by positively affecting the environment, contributing to sustainability and enabling healthy living. www.pcalp.com
Glossary of life cycle analysis measures:
Abiotic depletion is related to the extraction of scarce minerals and fossil fuels and is arrived at by comparing amounts extracted to remaining reserves.
Acidification is the reaction of acidic gases such as sulphur dioxide that react with water in the atmosphere to form “acid rain” which can cause ecosystem impairment.
Aquatic ecotoxicity is the impact of manmade and natural materials and activities on aquatic organisms, from the subcellular, through individual organisms, to communities and ecosystems.
Eutrophication is the increase in chemical nutrients — typically compounds containing nitrogen or phosphorus — in an ecosystem. It may occur on land or in water. The impact may include excessive plant growth and decay, resulting in a lack of oxygen, impaired water quality and increased stress on fish and other animal populations.
Global warming potential (GWP) is the ratio of heat trapped by one unit mass of the greenhouse gas to that of one unit mass of CO2 over a specified time period. This trapping of heat has been implicated in climate change.
Ozone depletion potential (ODP) is the relative value that indicates the potential of a substance to destroy ozone gas as compared with the potential of chlorofluorocarbon-11 (CFC-11) and has been connected with the destruction of stratospheric ozone, increasing the amount of harmful UV light hitting the earth’s surface.
Photochemical ozone creation (summer smog) is due to nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds combining in the presence of sunlight to form low-level ozone. At low level, it is implicated in impacts such as crop damage and increased incidence of asthma.
Terrestrial ecotoxicity is the impact of manmade and natural materials and activities on terrestrial organisms, from the subcellular, through individual organisms, to communities and ecosystems.