November-December 2016

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To enter the program, in early 2016 NWPCA applied to have PDS evaluated by the USDA to determine if PDS met their criteria. It's not enough that PDS pallets are made of a renewable and sustainable material to be eligible for the USDA BioPreferred program. It's the exceptional engineering that goes into the pallets and resulting durability and sustainability that makes PDS pallets stand out. It also means that in order to qualify, PDS-made pallets have been third-party tested at ASTM-certified independent laboratories. In October 2016, the NWPCA received official word from USDA that they had been approved for the program and met their important criteria, allowing use of the biobased label for all PDS licensees. Having a trade association's product become certified through the BioPreferred program is unprecedented. Said Kate Lewis, deputy program manager of USDA, "Group certification is a first for the BioPreferred program. We've been able to verify the Pallet Design System™ meets the strict requirements of the USDA program and allows all of NWPCA's PDS-using membership into the program. Hundreds of companies now qualify for the program and may begin voluntarily labeling their pallets." NWPCA leadership is equally enthusiastic. "Achieving certification for our PDS users presents tremendous opportunities for our industry," said Brent McClendon, president and CEO of NWPCA. "We've long been proud of the environmental attributes and sustainability of wood pallets, and it is a tremendous honor for USDA to recognize the innovative aspects of our Pallet Design System™ and how incorporating durability into wood pallet design reduces our nation's reliance on petroleum. The biobased label is an impactful way to show what our industry is made of and where we are going. We expect PDS users to benefit significantly from this new program." McClendon went on to lay out another important benefit of the USDA program: "In addition to being able to label pallets and proudly promote the environmental aspects of wood pallets, federal law directs that all federal agencies and their contractors purchase biobased products identified by USDA's BioPreferred program." Manufacturers that license PDS are listed in the USDA BioPreferred Catalog to help federal purchasers identify biobased products. The Federal Acquisition Regulation and Presidential Executive Orders direct that all federal agencies purchase biobased products PalletCentral • November-December 2016 21 "We've been able to verify the Pallet Design System™ meets the strict requirements of the USDA program and allows all of NWPCA's PDS-using membership into the program." —K ate Lewis, Deputy Program Manager, USDA, BioPreferred® Program The official USDA Certified Biobased Product label has been specifically designed to empower consumers to readily identify products with verified biobased content. Now, PDS users can proudly use the label: • in a certified product or package; • in product literature, for a certified product or package; • on a website to identify a certified product or package; • in advertisements where it is used next to or on a certified product or package; • on product point-of-sale displays; • in collateral materials; • in catalogs and user manuals; • in electronic media (procurement databases, websites); and, • in promotional and educational outreach materials. Show Them What You're Made Of

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