From sustainability milestones to climate neutrality

IPP Pooling, the European pallet pooling company, has achieved a 2nd Lean & Green Star, with CO2 emissions per transported ton of 13,41 kg CO2 ton within the European scope. We spoke with Mark Hulland, European Pooling Director of IPP, to learn about the company’s sustainability journey and the measures that were taken to achieve this milestone. We also got a glimpse of what the future holds for IPP Pooling on their way to climate neutrality and learned about how the Lean & Green community can help IPP in achieving this.


IPPs Lean & Green journey

In 2017, IPP Spain became a participant at Lean & Green Spain. Inspired by this, the business units of IPP Pooling in Benelux, Germany France and the UK considered joining the national Lean & Green programs. However, as there are no such programs in France and the UK, the company decided to participate on a European level. IPP became a part of the international Lean & Green community. Together with a project team, Mark started by analyzing IPPs data from 2017 to 2021 to identify IPPs carbon footprint. ‘I was looking for what the data was telling us about a) what we could celebrate and b) what we could improve,’ he says.  To Marks surprise, he gained unexpected new insights into IPPs operations.


Data digging leads to suprising insights

Step-by-step, Mark and his team are able to complete the picture of IPPs transportation, mapping out their lanes from 2017 to the beginning of 2021. By looking at the data, they discover that 99% of IPPs transportation is achieved with the use of diesel trucks. Also, 60 hauliers are responsible for 80% of their lanes driving across six countries. He also finds that their hauliers were naturally driving efficiently over the years. “We were not even doing anything special. But at the end of the day, the more fuel our hauliers use, the more money we spend. So, we naturally had an interest in making it more efficient. Additionally, increasing load size and decreasing km is in IPP pooling’s DNA,” Mark notes. While such efficiency measures are often rooted in financial reasoning, they are also considered successful carbon reduction measures. But Mark wants to take further steps to make IPPs transportation more sustainable. With the newly gained insights, he wants to understand where they can make real change. “Participating in Lean & Green has helped us identify areas where we can make a significant impact.”, he explains.


Sustainability through collaborative planning

IPP’s circular business model revolves around their reusable product-as-a-service: pallets. For example, IPP  have placed dedicated transport planners into a customer location to manage the entire chain of pallet delivery and collection. The planners fill up customers’ vehicles that would have otherwise gone empty, bringing them to a location where the pallets are sorted or repaired ready for re-use. This way, the vehicles are going in a circle, always with an IPP pallet.

Inspired by this circularity, IPP collaborated with their clients in sales and operations planning to improve forecasting and plan transport lanes and pallet purchases effectively. Through mutual collaboration, they can limit the distance travelled and minimize additional costs. This provides added value for clients by avoiding over-ordering and getting preferential treatment on transport lanes. By having IPP planners involved in the process, clients also benefit from reduced costs in case of any issues. Furthermore, this collaborative planning approach also provides a job for someone at IPP. Overall, IPP’s circular business model showcases their commitment to sustainability and collaboration for mutual benefit.


‘We never talked about what the impact of IPP driving a lane makes to the planet. Just because we are doing something the cheap way it does not mean we are doing it the right way.’

| Mark Hulland


IPP’s commitment to sustainability and efficiency

IPP’s future plans and projects revolve around their commitment to sustainability and efficiency. Participating in Lean & Green significantly contributed to a shift in perspective at IPP, focusing on making an impact on CO2 emissions and finding a more effective way of doing things. They prioritize filling transport journeys and improving volumes to reduce CO2 impact rather than offsetting the emissions. IPP also aims to find more collaboration opportunities with clients to further their sustainability efforts.

In the nearer future, IPPs goal is to achieve their 3rd Lean & Green Star. Their ultimate goal is to become climate neutral. To get there, their next big project is to improve their digitalization and IT infrastructure. That way, execution and admin work is reduced so they can focus their teams on real changes to reduce kilometres and pallet losses. IPP is also looking into third-party solutions linked to alternative fuels and vehicles to reduce kilometres even further.

IPP Pooling’s achievement of a second Lean & Green Star is a significant milestone in the company’s journey towards sustainable logistics. By analyzing their data and taking measures to collaborate with clients, they have been able to reduce their carbon emissions and identify areas where they can improve. IPP Pooling is committed to continuing this journey till they are carbon neutral.


How you can help IPP Pooling achieve its sustainability goals

IPP Pooling is committed to sustainability, and they are always looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. If you want to help IPP Pooling achieve their goals, there are a few things you can do.

  • If you work in retail and have empty transport capacity, let IPP Pooling know. They can identify if this empty capacity can be used to make collections of IPP pallets, reducing the need for additional transport trips.
  • If you are a leader in bigger trailers or alternative fuels/electric vehicles, IPP Pooling would love to hear from you. By sharing your insights, you can help them explore new ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

Together, we can all work towards a more sustainable future.

IPP Pooling

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