At PalletOne we don’t just talk about sustainable practices–we incorporate them into every aspect of our operations. Our plant in Livermore Falls, Maine, is a great example of how one company can make a significant difference in optimizing the use of raw materials and minimizing its environmental impact.
Responsible Lumber Harvesting
The logs we use come from over 7.5 million acres of forest land that surround the Livermore Falls location. We practice responsible purchasing: over 90 percent of the timber we buy comes from land certified as sustainably managed by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) or the American Tree Farm System (ATFS)
Livermore Falls is the first pallet manufacturing company in the New England area to offer FSC Chain of Custody Certified Products (FSC® C112029). Third party auditors have verified that our COC-certified products are actually sourced from forests that meet the FSC’s high standards.
By adhering to the certification standards for FSC COC products, PalletOne has committed to purchasing from forest land owners and logging contractors that:
Other pallet operations use only the heart of the log when purchasing cants; the heart is the lowest quality wood in the log. In contrast, our Livermore Falls plant uses 100 percent of every log.
With PalletOne’s state-of-the-art scaling system we can sort logs into 22 different categories based on size and quality. That helps us to determine the best possible application for every log and enables us to select the most appropriate size for the manufacture of every pallet. It’s at this stage we identify any visible defects and cut the logs to eliminate them.
No part of the log goes to waste. Whatever we don’t use for pallets is earmarked for other industries: bark for landscaping, wood chips for paper, firewood for home heating, sawdust for animal bedding and biomass (sawdust and bark) for co-generation plants producing green electricity. We also use the sawdust as fuel for our own boilers so that we heat our facility with green energy.
Our plant is a just-in-time operation, capable of producing over 10,000 pallets per day. By making only the specific pallets our customers require, we eliminate the wasteful use of resources.
PalletOne relies on computer-controlled sawmill operations to maximize efficiency and minimize energy use. Our sawmill operates as a continuous breakdown system; each bolt passes through a series of sawing stations until it reaches the desired lumber size. With statistical process control systems we ensure production of quality products with minimum waste.
We inspect for quality many times during this process. Wood that does not meet PalletOne’s exacting specifications because of defects is salvaged and re-manufactured through a computer optimization process. This further reduces waste and increases the yield from each log.
The Right Pallet Design
Operating in a sustainable manner means producing the right product for a particular need. Over-designed pallets may use a variety or quality of wood better suited to a more demanding application. Under-designed pallets might not stand up to the required loads, resulting in breakage and waste of lumber and of product.
PalletOne avoids both extremes through the use of proprietary CAD programs and unit load design software. To make sure we are using resources most effectively, we evaluate pallet designs and loading to ensure the best fit for every customer’s unique requirements.
Extending The Life Cycle
Our pallets are designed for easy repair, so they can be used again and again instead of ending up in a landfill. We will repurchase pallets that have reached the end of their useful life, and “upcycle” them to use for recycled pallets, biofuels, mulch and other earth-friendly products.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.