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Guitar Center Announces ‘Green’ Initiative

As part of its efforts to protect the environment and earth’s resources, leading musical instrument and professional audio retailer Guitar Center has made major changes to its operational procedures that are reportedly already yielding significant results. This ongoing “green” initiative reduces the company’s carbon footprint and conserves fuel and wood resources.

In 2007, Guitar Center halted the use of wooden pallets when shipping product from its distribution center to all 214 Guitar Center stores. Instead, it began floor-loading all musical instrument and audio products, which has wide-reaching environmental benefits.

The new procedure eliminates the need for 211,812 wooden pallets yearly, equaling more than 8 million 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.

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 percent of the 9,471 loads in 2006. This eases road congestion and reduces total miles traveled by more than 2 million 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.

“Earth Day is the perfect time to take stock of what we are all doing to protect the environment,” says GC executive vice president Bill Deeney, the company’s chief logistics officer. “Guitar Center is committed to optimizing our supply chain and reducing environmental impact. Eliminating over 50 percent 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.”

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