In 2007, Guitar Center halted the use of wooden pallets when shipping product from its Distribution Center to all 214 Guitar Center Stores, and instead began floor-loading all musical instrument and audio products. This simple change in policy has wide-reaching environmental benefits.
First, it eliminates the need for 211,812 wooden pallets yearly, equaling over 8,000,000 pounds of lumber. Secondly, the elimination of shrink-wrap reduced more than 70 million square feet of plastic from GC's supply chain. That is enough plastic to create a four foot-wide path from New York to Los Angeles.
Finally, this decrease in pallet usage allows GC's trucks to be packed more efficiently, resulting in more product being shipped per truckload and effecting a reduction in outbound truck usage overall. For example, in 2007, GC saw only 4,604 outbound truckloads from the Distribution Center, less than 50% of the 9,471 loads in 2006. This eases road congestion and reduces total miles traveled by more than 2,000,000 miles per year (enough to circle the Earth 83 times or make four round trips to the moon!). In addition, this "green" initiative conserves 383,950 gallons of diesel fuel yearly, thereby significantly reducing GC's emission of Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Bill Deeney EVP, Guitar Center Chief Logistics Officer stated, "Earth Day is the perfect time to take stock of what we are all doing to protect the environment. Guitar Center is committed to optimizing our supply chain and reducing environmental impact. Eliminating over 50% of our outbound transportation has a huge impact on reducing both fuel and packaging. It's a real "win-win" for our customers, employees and the environment."