Think Economically and Environmentally

Home Depot

Advanced Manufacturing

If we’ve been doing things the same way we were 5 years ago, chances are there’s a better way.”

--Pete Cleveland, The Home Depot
In early 1995, Home Depot began requiring its vendors to ship products to their stores on slipsheets instead of wood pallets. Some vendors are exempt from the requirement because their products are too heavy, awkward, or are hand-loaded (e.g., doors and windows). Before Home Depot adopted its slipsheet policy, more than 40 percent of incoming shipments came on wood pallets. Lee Bandlow, logistics manager overseeing the slip sheet program, estimates that about 55 percent of Home Depot shipments can be slip-sheeted.

Home Depot now enjoys multiple economic and environmental benefits while its vendors benefit from the long-term economic savings that result from using slipsheets to unitize their loads and from the reduced freight costs of pallet-free shipping.

One year after implementing its pallet-free program, Home Depot estimated that its supply chain, including participating vendors, saved more than $2 million from its use. In addition, Home Depot’s pallet expense is down $660,000 and it has eliminated more than 1.8 million pallets from entering its stores. In total, some 15 million board-feet of lumber were saved from entering the waste stream. Additionally there are reduced air emissions from greater transport efficiency as slip sheets take up less space in trucks than bulky wood pallets.

Pallet-Free Program Savings to Home Depot

Environmental Impact

Payback Analysis

The savings on reduced pallet purchases paid for the new equipment needed to handle slipsheeted products in less than three months.

Information from the California Integrated Waste Management Board.