July-August 2023

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PalletCentral • July-August 2023 31 We closely monitor developments in this area. While specific sectors have taken an aggressive stance on carbon credits, these industries possess straightforward dynamics and longer-term product ownership. e supply chain, particularly the role of wooden pallets with their extensive recycling network – in the carbon equation remains a complex puzzle with elusive solutions. Rather than attempting to influence an uncertain system with unpredictable outcomes, NWPCA staff members have chosen to focus on initiatives that position the industry in the best possible manner. We continue to observe ongoing developments, and if a clear path emerges where we can make a meaningful impact, we will actively engage. We extend our gratitude for your support. e extensive research, data collection, and engagement of external experts necessitate financial resources. e development of the EPD would not have been possible without the generous support of the Pallet Foundation, as well as valuable partnerships with the Softwood Export Council and the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Lab. Brad Gething, PhD, NWPCA Vice President of Science & Technology, is the staff lead on many research projects including landfill avoidance, pallet market surveys, the environmental product declaration and life cycle assessment. He may be reached at bgething@ or phone: 703.519.6104. pallets are annually ground into mulch, the EPD assumes that all the carbon in the mulch decomposes into CO2 and returns to the atmosphere. However, several studies have indicated that, depending on various factors, a portion of the carbon is sequestered in the soil. We hope to incorporate this estimation into future versions of the EPD to reduce the overall carbon impact calculation. Furthermore, emerging research suggests that when wood is buried, such as in landfills, most of its carbon is sequestered in the ground. We proudly celebrate a 95% recycle rate and strive to continue this positive trend. e recycling of wood fiber is driven by its inherent value. erefore, for the small fraction of wood pallets that do end up in landfills, their impact may prove beneficial from a carbon perspective because sequestration may occur through this path as well. ese are just two examples, highlighting how evolving scientific understanding can be implemented in future iterations of the EPD, effectively reducing the overall carbon impact associated with wood pallets. Now, let's address the topic of carbon credits.

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