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Improving supply chain sustainability with recycling

5 ways to improve supply chain sustainability

Developing a sustainable supply chain has become a priority for many businesses when it comes to fulfilling environmental responsibility. Sourcing, packaging and transporting goods all have a significant impact on the environment. Making green, eco-conscious changes to the supply chain will help to reuse resources, reduce waste and lower carbon emissions.

At Exporta, we know how important making sustainable choices and being environmentally conscious is. We’re dedicated to improving supply chain sustainability through our business practices and green product development. Here are 5 ways we can work together to improve supply chain sustainability:

1. Partner with ethical suppliers

To source products and materials responsibly, you should understand how your suppliers’ operations and processes affect the environment. Sourcing materials from suppliers who share the same environmental values as your company will help to build a responsible supplier network, meet government regulations, and appeal to consumers. It’s crucial that you trust the partners you work with, to ensure sustainable practices across the entire supply chain.

Exporta is committed to promoting sustainability from within our offices right through to the products we provide our customers. Just one of the ways we do this is through our Plant a Tree initiative. When a customer opens up a new Business Plus account, we plant a tree in partnership with The Heart of England Forest and Trees for Life, to support the preservation and revitalisation of forests in the UK.

2. Use sustainable materials

Using sustainable materials can help to reduce waste and reuse resources that would otherwise end up in landfills. Using materials that require less energy to create will help to minimise its environmental impact. For example, creating virgin plastics for plastic pallets uses crude oil that releases harmful chemicals into the environment.

To overcome this, 98% of Exporta’s plastic pallets are made from recycled plastic and 100% of them can be recycled again at the end of their useful life. Unlike wooden pallets (which typically end up in landfills) plastic pallets that have reached the end of their lifecycle are ground down into plastic granules, which are moulded into new plastic pallets. We also work with a local recycling partner to collect and recycle all of the plastic pallets sold by Exporta, to undergo the recycling process.

3. Efficiently transport goods

Maximising the space and load weight in your pallets and shipping containers means you can make fewer trips to transport goods from warehouse to destination. Fewer journeys make the most efficient use of containers and pallets, to reduce carbon emissions released into the environment per trip. By using local suppliers and manufacturers, you can potentially consolidate transportation and therefore make fewer, more fuel-efficient journeys.

Using plastic pallets is ideal for air freight shipping. They’re lightweight meaning they use far less fuel when being transported which helps to reduce fuel costs. This not only saves your business money when shipping goods but can help to reduce emissions.

4. Achieve sustainable certifications

Government and regulatory bodies require businesses to meet criteria in order to demonstrate how they adhere to sustainable practices. ISO 14001 is just one example of a regulatory standard that businesses committed to environmental sustainability strive to achieve.

 Exporta has successfully achieved ISO 14001 accreditation. This means you can be confident that you’re working with a supplier who practices environmental care as part of our everyday work. Our headquarters use solar panels, a recycling system throughout the building and a working environment that encourages responsible environmental behaviour.

5. Adopt the circular supply chain

Adopting the circular supply chain model will help you develop a more sustainable supply chain. The circular supply chain is about reducing waste materials, reusing resources, and recycling them into new products. Materials are sent to the manufacturer, products are distributed to the final destination, which instead of becoming waste after reaching the end of the product’s usable life, are then recycled and reused, which sets the circular supply chain round again. 

At Exporta, we want to be transparent with our customers and show the impact that our products have on the environment. When shopping for plastic pallets with Exporta, customers can look for our eco grading system, which shows how our pallets have been reused and recycled:

  • Eco - The plastic pallet can be recycled at the end of its life
  • Eco Plus - The pallet is made from recycled material and can be recycled after use
  • Eco Max - As well as being made from recycled material and recyclable, the pallet can also be repaired rather than disposed of.


As the leading supplier of plastic pallets in the UK, Exporta is committed to improving supply chain sustainability. Find out more about how we develop a green supply chain through our business practices and sustainable product development.

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Kayleigh Walters
13/10/2021

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