Guitar Center DC Goes Green

Every day is Earth Day for Guitar Center. The company in the past year has taken a series of initiatives to help protect the environment, including reducing the number of wooden pallets used in its distribution center, as well as eliminating the use of shrink wrap on parcels shipped to its 214 stores.

Westlake Village, CA-based Guitar Center says it now loads its parcels from the floor of its DC, rather than from pallets. The company claims that by eliminating the need for 211,812 wooden pallets yearly, it is saving more than 8 million lbs. of lumber.

In addition it has reduced the amount of plastic shrink wrap it uses by more than 70 million sq. ft. Not only will these measures help protect the environment, they’ve also helped the company lower its operating costs.

Guitar Center says the decrease in pallet usage has enabled it to pack its trucks more efficiently, resulting in fewer outbound trucks, which also means lower carbon emissions. The company claims that in 2007 there were 4,604 outbound truckloads from its DC — less than half of the 9,471 loads in 2006. This was mainly because the company had stopped using pallets and was therefore able to fit more product per truckload. The company says this “green” initiative conserves 383,950 gallons of diesel fuel a year.

“Guitar Center is committed to optimizing our supply chain and reducing environmental impact,” Bill Deeney, executive vice president and chief logistics officer for Guitar Center, said in a release. “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.”

Guitar Center, which also includes the Musician’s Friend Inc. catalog and Website, sells guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. The company also operates more than 100 Music & Arts Center stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students.

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