Focus Group Logistics Ltd for the initiative Pallets for Purpose

Established in 2007, Focus Group Logistics have been at the front line of logistics management in the UK, supporting the construction industry with a sustainable end-to-end logistics and distribution fulfilment service. Driven by its commitment to build a better future, the team are constantly looking at ways to innovate and make positive change, reduce landfill and raise the bar in sustainable waste management.

To reuse the hundreds of thousands of waste pallets that arrive at its SmartHub Logistics Distribution Centre each year, Focus Group Logistics developed ‘Pallets for Purpose’ (P4P), an initiative to recycle used pallets that would have otherwise ended up in landfill. Targeting hospitals, care homes, schools, youth centres and its onsite workers, P4P aimed to give back to the community, transforming waste pallets into items of furniture such as benches, picnic tables and planters.

To identify opportunities where P4P could make a difference, the company produced a tailored ‘Social Impact Plan’ as part of the tender stage process of a project, engaging with the local community to understand the needs of the neighborhood. Once the project was awarded, work could begin to produce the specified items.

To implement the scheme, Focus Group Logistics needed to employ a new carpenter to build the furniture, it assigned the site manager responsibility for designing and sourcing material, and enlisted in the help of its warehouse staff to sand, seal, and paint.

Launched in 2020 the project has exceeded the expectations of the team who have gone above and beyond to find time to implement the programme. Feedback has been very positive with staff at the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital for example, expressing their gratitude in having somewhere to sit during breaks from the high dependency ward at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The success of the initiative has fueled a ‘Buddy Bench’ programme for schools, providing a special area made up of picnic tables, benches and planters painted yellow to bring sunshine to anyone feeling lonely that needs someone to talk to.

Other projects have included a garden renovation at the UNITAS Youth Centre in Barnet, where the team created and donated a barista bar with stools, storage boxes and a stage with a cladded backdrop and picnic tables. The team also created vegetable planters supporting the centre’s newly formed gardening group teaching kids how to grow, harvest and cook vegetables.

Going forward the team are installing a community oasis to support the wellbeing of its workforce and clients on site, providing a quiet and peaceful environment to rest and recuperate away from the busy working environment.

Saving unwanted waste pallets that are needlessly thrown away in landfill, P4P has given them a second life whilst generating a truly positive and lasting legacy to the communities it operates in.

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