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Leaders in Sustainability : A Spotlight on 48Forty Solutions

Jessica Bonsall
ESG Director

Interview

Who is 48forty?

Jessica Bonsall is the ESG Director at 48forty Solutions – 48forty is the largest pallet management services company in North America, with a national network of over 258 facilities, including 68 company-owned and operated pallet recycling plants and more than 850 partners. They also operate their own fleet of more than 8,000 trailers and tractors, servicing customers from coast to coast. They provide end-to-end pallet solutions, from supply to retrieval, onsite services, and reverse logistics. 48forty Solutions is truly Pallet Management Made Simple™.

The Backstory Behind Why 48forty Chose Greenly

We sat down with Jessica, the ESG Director at 48forty for a few questions to find out how they came across Greenly and why calculating their carbon footprint is important to them.

Why did you decide to start measuring and reducing your company's carbon footprint?

First off, it was just recognizing that there's a real need to be very transparent about the way we think about our environmental impacts as a company. More and more, the public and investors are asking for companies to be very transparent about this information. So much so that I think it's becoming a license to operate. I'd say in the U.S, we may be a little bit slower to start this journey, but most certainly globally it's becoming a demand and a part of everyone's day-to-day business needs. So for us, it was about taking that first step ahead of the curve and being more proactive than reactive, and giving real transparency to our community.

Why did you choose Greenly?

For two big reasons. First, because Greenly was founded and started in the EU, specifically in France. Having the opportunity to work with a company that's been having to deal with managing carbon data or managing climate data in a highly regulated jurisdiction was important for us. Regulations like that are relatively new in the U.S. and we realize that reporting this type of information can be very impactful when you get into that regulated space. So we wanted to work with a partner that had that experience and understood what it takes to be successful. 

Second, I think the Greenly platform is amazing. The fact that it really digs into infographics and showcases carbon accounting in a way that's very directly relatable and simple rather than overcomplicating things, is incredible. Carbon accounting is really important in our industry and so being able to take it back to just working on reducing our carbon footprint in an effective and efficient way really simplifies the process.

What got you personally interested in fighting climate change?

I am a sustainability practitioner by career. I started off as a fisheries biologist actually, and so I'm just a naturalist as a whole. Additionally, when you see different communities being impacted by climate change and especially by major catastrophic storm events, we need to be thinking about the way we source energy, how we run our homes, and our day-to-day lives in general . Climate change really actually impacts all of us and everything that we do on a day to day basis. So where we have the opportunity to be a part of the solution, even if it's a small piece, I definitely want to dig in and do that.

So in terms of your industry, where do you see the trend going in sustainability and climate change? Do you see it growing? And how do you feel it's really going to evolve in this space?

In our industry specifically, optimizing logistics is key. We do a number of what's called reverse logistics activities which is us managing different elements of our customer's packaging in the supply chain and making those packaging materials reusable for a longer lifespan. So when you think about that, there's not only the product that we manage, which is pallets, but then there's also the transport, getting things to and from. Reducing the carbon emissions of all of these steps is essential for us and the industry

Honestly however, I think there's a broader piece to all of this, and that is fighting climate change. It really, really is impactful to our communities in addition to the global scale of things. There are coastal communities that are getting hammered year after year by major storm events. There are inland communities that are being completely flooded out in ways that they never thought possible. So there is a local tie-in that I think becomes important as a human element that links back into the overall way of thinking about major trends and in the climate space. 

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