EPAL Board meeting and General Assembly on 29/30 June 2023 in Amsterdam

EPAL Board meeting and General Assembly on 29/30 June 2023 in Amsterdam

On 30 June 2023, EPAL's annual general assembly took place in Amsterdam. The day before, 29 June 2023, the EPAL Board had already analysed the first half of 2023 and planned EPAL's activities for the second half of 2023. Both meetings focused on EPAL's strategy and development, taking into account the current market situation and the requirements of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), as well as the upcoming market launch of the digital EPAL Europallet with QR code.

EPAL is the undisputed market leader in Europe in the field of open pallet exchange and is constantly working on the further development of the EPAL pallet pool. The focus is on EPAL's Technical Regulations, which, together with EPAL's comprehensive quality assurance, ensure the high and internationally uniform quality of EPAL pallets.
In addition to standardizing the dimensions and quality of EPAL pallets, it is equally important to ensure the sustainability of the production of EPAL pallets and, in this context, the protection of forests and the environment. The EPAL Board has therefore decided on several additions to the EPAL Technical Regulations, which include the exclusive use of wood from sustainable and legal forest management and extend EPAL's quality assurance to these important topics.

Dirk Hoferer, President of EPAL:
„EPAL Euro pallets meet all requirements for the sustainability of logistics and packaging. Made from the renewable resource wood, used for many years with reuse and exchange in the open EPAL pallet pool and, at the end of its life cycle, complete recycling with the use of the wood chips thus obtained for other products such as chipboard or for the generation of renewable energy. This sustainability of the use and exchange of EPAL pallets is guaranteed by EPAL's pool organization and quality assurance, and therefore in the future we will make the sustainability of the wood material the subject of EPAL's quality assurance, in addition to quality."

One of the most important issues for industry and trade at the moment is the European Commission's proposal for the future Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), which aims to improve the reuse and recycling of packaging. EPAL pallets fall within the scope of this new regulation as transport packaging. The EU Commission's proposal has been the subject of very controversial discussion since its publication on 30.11.2022, so that it is currently not foreseeable when and with what content the PPWR will be adopted. However, the EPAL Board agrees that the EU Commission's objectives are right and important and are therefore supported by EPAL. The EPAL Board has therefore decided that, regardless of the outcome of the ongoing legislative process, EPAL will already start to further develop the open EPAL pallet pool in accordance with the requirements of the PPWR.

Jarek Maciążek, President of EPAL:
„The open EPAL pallet pool already meets most of the requirements of the EU Commission's proposal for a Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation. The reuse and recycling of packaging, as envisaged by the European Commission, has been one of the central components of the EPAL open pallet pool for decades. Therefore, it is not surprising that the definition of open loop systems in the PPWR describes almost exactly how the open EPAL pallet pool works. But the EPAL pallet pool, which is already very sustainable, can also be further improved. In doing so, we would like to implement the good ideas of the PPWR and make the exchange of EPAL pallets even easier and more transparent. More use of exchangeable EPAL pallets means more sustainability and climate protection in goods and transport logistics.“

Another important topic of the meetings in Amsterdam was the upcoming market launch of EPAL Euro pallets with QR code. After several years of IT and printing technology development, it is now possible to mark EPAL Euro pallets with an individual QR code on the right-hand corner blocks at the customer's request.

Michael Brandt, Head of EPAL's Innovation Lab:
„Many companies from industry, trade and logistics are looking for ways to digitalize and optimize their logistics processes in order to make them more effective and reduce costs. The digital EPAL europallet with QR code will be part of these digital logistics processes in the future. In addition to track & trace and automated booking of goods and pallets, the EPAL Euro Pallet with QR code will also facilitate the digitization of pallet inventories and pallet exchanges.“

Since 2019, EPAL has used the claim "THE PALLET SYSTEM". The board of EPAL has now decided to change the claim. From now on, the new claim "THE OPEN PALLET POOL" communicates the special advantages that open pallet exchange offers users from industry and trade.

Bernd Dörre, CEO of EPAL:
„With the new claim "THE OPEN PALLET POOL", we want to convey the uniqueness of EPAL even better – the reuse and exchange of EPAL pallets in an open exchange pool that is freely accessible to all users from industry and trade. EPAL is not only the largest open pallet exchange pool in the world, but also unique in every respect with its close network of suppliers and users as well as the international organization of service and independent quality assurance. We would like to show this singularity of EPAL compared to other suppliers – regardless of whether they are closed pools or other pallet suppliers – with the new claim "THE OPEN PALLET POOL". There is no other pallet pool like the open EPAL pallet pool.“

With the meeting in Amsterdam, the board and representatives from more than 20 European countries accepted an invitation from EPAL Nederland.
The EPAL General Assembly 2024 will take place in Rome on 28.06.2024 at the invitation of EPAL Italia. The next EPAL Board meeting will be held as a video conference on 28.09.2023 before the last EPAL Board meeting of 2023 will take place on 21.11.2023 at EPAL's headquarters in Düsseldorf.