Pioneering Circular Pallets for Global Health
Published on 2023-11-20 09:22:04Sustainability

Pioneering Circular Pallets for Global Health


In the current landscape where global supply chains play a pivotal role, IDA Foundation is taking steps to minimise its environmental impact while continuing its crucial mission of providing medicines and supplies to global health partners in low- and middle-income countries. A noteworthy initiative is the collaboration with CocoPallet, a startup aiming to disrupt supply chains by replacing traditional wooden pallets with an innovative, circular alternative.

Global Supply Chains and Sustainability

As IDA's supply chains span the globe, delivering essential health goods from suppliers to health organisations in Africa, Asia, and beyond, the environmental impact of these transports is not overlooked. Through its ISO14001-certified Environmental Management System, IDA acknowledges the critical need to reduce the environmental footprint of every link in the chain. Wooden pallets, conventionally chosen for decades, pose significant environmental drawbacks, involving deforestation and single-use disposal after just one shipment.

The Eco-Friendly Innovation of CocoPallet

CocoPallet is challenging this status quo by utilising a readily available waste resource: coconut husks. By transforming discarded husks into 100% biodegradable pallets, CocoPallet not only creates sustainable alternatives but also contributes to reducing CO2 emissions. The innovative approach aligns with Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG12), emphasizing responsible consumption and production—a priority in IDA Foundation's sustainability strategy. 

In addition to lowering the carbon footprint, CocoPallet's pallets feature an innovative nestable design, deviating from the traditional stackable approach. This design saves an impressive 70% of space in shipping containers, making them more practical in handling.

Coconut husks

IDA's Trials with CocoPallet

The collaboration between IDA and CocoPallet holds great potential to revolutionise the shipment of essential medical supplies globally. Currently undergoing trials with shipments to IDA's global hub in Dubai, the objective is to assess the suitability of CocoPallets for IDA's shipments, including rigorous testing of loading heavy-weight boxes, handling with forklifts, and stacking goods on CocoPallets.

Wendy Eggen, CEO of IDA Foundation, expressed the importance of these trials, stating, "It’s clear that both CocoPallet and IDA Foundation have an aligned ambition to accelerate towards more sustainable supply chains. These trials are vital to see how we can potentially work with such circular alternatives in our shipments, which can truly inspire positive change."

Michiel Vos, Founder of CocoPallet, emphasises the environmental advantages of adopting their pallet solution, stating, "The use of CocoPallets instead of traditional wooden export pallets not only reduces dependence on precious forest resources but also significantly lowers the CO2 impact and costs within the supply chain. It's a strategic shift that aligns with our shared commitment to sustainable practices in global logistics."

Together, IDA Foundation and CocoPallet are sending a clear message that the future of global supply chains must be characterised by eco-friendly practices, operational efficiency, and environmental responsibility. This collaboration marks a significant step towards a sustainable and resilient future for global health logistics.