Supply Chain Sustainability

At Conner, we understand that supply chain sustainability is important to our customers, partners, and suppliers.  While in years past manufacturers haven’t always prioritized environmentalism over product output and profit margins, today’s manufacturing industry is always looking for ways to create and maintain more environmentally friendly processes.  Many are looking toward supply chain sustainability to minimize their carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

We are committed to helping manufacturers improve their supply chain sustainability and believe that we can help mitigate the environmental impact of supply chains through the use of lumber, over other materials, in pallets, crates, and other transportation materials.  More than that, we are committed as a company to doing all we can to minimize our own impact in the manufacturing of industrial lumber products and transportation packaging.

supply chain sustainability

How Can Using Wood Improve Supply Chain Sustainability?

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95% of all pallets in the US are recycled multiple times before being turned into other materials.
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5 Million new trees are planted in the United States each day.
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New tree growth exceeds the number of trees harvest in U. S. forests by 33%.

Can Lumber Use Improve Supply Chain Sustainability?

supply chain sustainability

With the wide variety of materials available for transportation packaging, it may come as a surprise that lumber and wood packaging provide the most supply chain sustainability of any material currently on the market.  Lumber is one of the most effective and naturally occurring “carbon sponges” available – a term coined by environmentalists to define organic and inorganic carbon-capturing technologies.

When trees engage in photosynthesis, they take the CO2 from the atmosphere, separate the two compounds, and release oxygen back out into the atmosphere. The carbon is stored in the tree and used as a fuel for growth.  What most people fail to recognize, however, is that the carbon continues to be stored in a tree’s lumber after the tree is harvested.  Because of this carbon-capturing function, lumber products are considered carbon-negative materials and help build more supply chain sustainability into your processes.

The same can’t be said for alternative transportation packaging materials, such as plastic or steel.  The processes used to create these inorganic materials are considered to be the opposite of supply chain sustainability.  Using fossil fuels, plastic manufacturers isolate certain polymers in the oil and refine them to create plastic. This process is lengthy and causes mass amounts of carbon emissions from plastic manufacturing centers, and actually damages your supply chain sustainability.

When lumber products are used in the supply chain, businesses can rest easy knowing that they are reducing the carbon footprint of their company.

Responsible Harvesting

At Conner, we understand that the responsible harvesting of our natural resources is one of the most contentious issues we face today. To justify the use of lumber products and increase supply chain sustainability, we must give more than we take. In the United States, lumber companies are planting 33% more trees than they are harvesting every year.  According to Treehugger, there are 380% more trees in American forests than there were a hundred years ago.

As an industry, we understand more about the harvesting cycles of trees now than ever before. Rather than slashing old-growth forests that create unique and irreplaceable ecosystems, the lumber industry has transitioned to a much more responsible harvesting process. Harvesting softwood lumber in cycles, rather than all at once, allows patches of trees to mature 20-30 years before they’re ready for harvest.  The industrial lumber industry not only increases supply chain sustainability, but it also supports American forests.

supply chain sustainability
supply chain sustainability

How Are Lumber Products Recycled?

One of the biggest opposing arguments against the use of lumber products in the supply chain is the thought that many of these products’ life spans are short and that the products inevitably end up in a landfill.  This is simply inaccurate.  Let’s take a look at pallets, for example.

Wood pallets can be reused many times. If a wooden pallet sustains damage, it can be repaired and used again. When wood pallets can no longer be repaired, they can be ground up into mulch or pet bedding, or even used as firewood or turned into pellets. Wood pallets generally have a pretty long life, 3-5 years on average.  According to a study done by Virginia Tech, at least 95% of wood pallets are recycled.

When it comes to supply chain sustainability, there’s nothing more efficient than wood products.

Our Initiatives to Support Supply Chain Sustainability

While our core business of producing industrial lumber and transportation packaging goes a long way toward supporting supply chain sustainability for our manufacturing customers, we don’t stop there.  We’ve always had an eye on making green decisions for our company and customizing supply chain sustainability solutions for our customers, but we’ve recently made tremendous progress toward reducing our own waste and helping our customers do the same.

Improved Supply Chain Sustainability Through Reduced Production Waste

supply chain sustainability

We recognized that there were opportunities to use what was previously considered “scrap” or “drop” lumber and create alternative sizes that can still be used to service Conner customers and improve supply chain sustainability.  So we developed a Cull Recovery Program for our plants.

This program is not only a cost savings overall, but by using as much of each stick of lumber as possible, we are able to maximize our raw product and reduce waste at each of our manufacturing facilities.  Through this new program, we were able to reduce lumber waste by over 220% in the first 8 months.

Not only does this program benefit Conner, but it also improves supply chain sustainability overall.

Build Your Supply Chain Sustainability One Lumber Product at a Time

As a manufacturer, we know that supply chain sustainability is becoming more and more important to you.  We know that you care about the environment and that your customers demand certain environmental standards from you.  We’re here to help.

We design custom green programs to help our customers meet their own carbon footprint and supply chain sustainability needs.  Not only do we design transportation packaging that reduces your inbound waste, but we also offer pallet lumber and pallet cut stock to repair your damaged pallets.  We can offer our partners wood waste removal, reverse logistics, and even environmental scorecard analysis if you need to really nail down your supply chain sustainability.

Conner is truly your partner in building a sustainable supply chain.

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supply chain sustainability