The supply chain circular economy pioneer going beyond net-zero

November 26th, 2021


  • CHEP has been running a sharing and reuse business since the 1940s.

  • The company is carbon neutral across its operations and has set ambitious targets for a regenerative business model by 2025. 

  • CHEP replaces every tree used for wooden pallets with two new trees planted through certified afforestation and reforestation projects.

Established by the Australian Government in 1946, CHEP is a true pioneer of circular business models. In 1958, Brambles acquired CHEP after seeing the inherent value in this circular asset leasing approach. Today, the company provides the world's largest pool of reusable pallets and containers.    

After decades of helping companies improve their supply chain sustainability through their share and reuse model, CHEP's 2025 sustainability targets go beyond achieving net-zero emissions to building a regenerative supply chain future. To achieve this, CHEP has set ambitious environmental and social sustainability targets including 100 per cent renewable energy, 30 per cent recycled plastics across its inventory and greater than 40 per cent of women in management roles by 2025.   

Here, CHEP Sustainability Programmes Manager, Dean Parsons shares the circular model and the company's big plans for the future.   


"CHEP's share and reuse model was founded as a means to make Australian supply chains more efficient. While the fundamentals of its circular business model have remained unchanged over the years, the introduction of sustainable materials sourcing, new equipment formats, zero waste commitments and technology has brought insights, innovation and efficiencies that play an increasingly significant role today. 

In essence, CHEP hires out its equipment to trading partners to help them move their goods between the different supply chain stages. These platforms cycle through supply chains from growers, manufacturers and distributors to retailers, often touching several points as they journey through the supply chain. From the materials-sourcing stage to the 'in use' phase and zero waste commitments at end-of-life (EOL), CHEP epitomises a circular model's economic and sustainability advantages."


"CHEP's platforms form the invisible backbone of global supply chains, primarily serving the fast-moving consumer goods, fresh produce, beverage, retail, automotive and general manufacturing industries. This enables CHEP to serve customers while minimising the impact on the environment and improving the efficiency and safety of supply chains. The world's largest brands trust CHEP to help them transport life's essentials more efficiently, safely and sustainably."

We are working towards supporting a world where goods move in a circular and regenerative way.


"During the COVID-19 Pandemic, CHEP's circular business model has been more important than ever before, helping to keep supply chains moving. CHEP's business model aligns with the principles of the circular economy — designing out waste, keeping materials and products in use and regenerating natural resources — and its platforms are a fundamental part of the Australian, and much of the world's, supply chain infrastructure.  

CHEP employs the following circular business strategies to enhance value for customers right across the supply chain: 

  • Product as a Service (PaaS) 

  • Recovery and recycling at EOL 

  • Product life extension  

  • Sharing platforms 

  • Circular supply chains  

The physical platforms are complemented by well-established systems, including network and logistics capability at scale that connects trading partners to ensure the continuous flow of goods within the supply chain.  

One example is myCHEP, the customer-facing portal that captures and records high-volume transactions between trading partners from either a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. Other examples include Demand Planning, Service Centre optimisation, and its Logistics Command and Control Centres. 

CHEP also continually invests in service centres, equipment and its people to meet the growing needs of the network and the demand for more circular solutions.  

In Australia, three new state-of-the-art pallet reconditioning service centres have been recently commissioned in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, with another underway in Adelaide. This is in addition to the recent build of four new wash centres. These sites are all strategically located near customers and major arterial networks. They are designed with sustainable infrastructure, powered by renewable electricity, supporting the 100 per cent carbon neutral status across CHEP's operations. Standard features include: solar PV installations, renewable electricity contracts, LED lighting, water treatment and reticulation systems and multiple waste and recycling services.  

Each year, CHEP holds a  'Sustainability Day' to encourage employees to get involved. Through an annual awards programme, the company also showcases the progress made on best practice sustainable innovations across the business. This is in addition to regular communication and training on circular principles, starting with the new-employee induction program. For customer teams, training includes the 'Zero Waste World' customer-facing program which focuses on ways to help customers reduce their supply chain waste and inefficiencies.  

CHEP leverages peer-reviewed Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies to understand the environmental impact of its platforms versus single-use, one-way alternatives. This quantifies the environmental advantages for customers, including the significant savings in carbon emissions, waste to landfill and water use.  

CHEP's best practice collaboration with customers and consumers is highlighted through case studies, social media, industry working groups and provision of it's unique Sustainability Certificate, which demonstrates the environmental savings in carbon emissions, waste and water of its circular platforms over single-use alternatives.  

This certificate is a great way to establish and report both baseline and year-on-year improvements in company and regulatory reporting obligations such as the annual Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation's (APCO) action plan and report."


"The launch of the 2025 Sustainability Vision, Pioneering Regenerative Supply Chains, including strategy and targets, moved CHEP from 'better' to a 'positive' sustainability approach — meaning we're putting back more than we use. The ambition of regenerating natural systems through a practical business-focused strategy is highly engaging for our people, customers and community. The strategy outlines the following commitments: 

  • Business Positive — through the Zero Waste World (ZWW) Program, CHEP actively collaborates with leading customers to help them identify and eliminate areas of physical and operational waste. CHEP's large logistics network also allows it to seek transport efficiencies for customers across Australia to optimise the movement of platforms across supply chains.  

  • Planet Positive — as a demonstration of early action, CHEP has become carbon neutral across all its operations. This connects to a Forest Positive initiative which will replace every tree used for wooden pallets, then plant an additional tree, with both trees using certified afforestation and reforestation projects. 

  • Communities Positive — CHEP employees globally receive three paid volunteer days each year that they can use to support their community and environment. CHEP's partnership with Landcare is a rewarding opportunity for employees to be part of the Planet Positive strategy as they are involved directly in tree planting campaigns that rehabilitate stressed habitats.  

The strategy connects to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and also includes: 

  • Zero product waste to landfill 

  • Educating over 1 million circular economy change makers

  • And, collaborating with food banks to serve rescued food to 10 million people and educating 1 million people to become circular economy change makers.   

The strategy and business model have been recognised both globally and locally. At the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow, parent company Brambles was awarded the inaugural Terra Carta Seal from HRH, Prince Charles' Sustainable Markets Initiative.  

Locally, CHEP Australia recently received two awards from the Australian Packaging Covenant (APCO) — the Sector Award for the Warehousing and Logistics Industry and the Annual Outstanding Achievement in Leadership award. 

CHEP is proud of creating sustainable circular supply chains in over 60 countries which deliver efficiencies and sustainability benefits across supply chains in many industries. Our aim in the next five years is to be business, communities and planet positive — to give back more than we use and be truly regenerative."

Call To Action

"Businesses can significantly improve their sustainability outcomes, lower emissions and eliminate waste whilst serving their supply chain needs at the same time.  

All functions within a business can focus on sustainability outcomes and through awareness, education and action build a value proposition based on circular principles. Externally, it is important to seek partnerships with those suppliers and customers who share your vision, goals and purpose to drive circular and sustainable outcomes.  

Our purpose is to support our customers to become more circular and sustainable. Companies can benefit from CHEP's global expertise in achieving sustainable outcomes across multiple supply chains and thousands of customers."

To learn more about CHEP's share and reuse model and sustainability initiatives, go to To discuss how CHEP can help implement a circular solution for your business call 13 CHEP (13 2437) or email

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