By Elaine Munro, Director, Sustainable Operations
After almost 30 years of “healthy products for healthy people,” we feel it’s time for us to step up even more to hel
p create a healthier planet.
When the past three years of hydro and natural gas invoices were reviewed, we discovered that in the previous 12 months our energy consumption was the equivalent of 82 annual energy-use totals for an average Canadian household! This motivated us to make some big changes.
What We’ve Done So Far
- A Culture of Sustainability: in early June we hired a director of Sustainable Operations. Elaine Munro helped with the early phases of our Go Green initiative and agreed to help us take it to the next level. She believes businesses can lead sustainability by applying entrepreneurial resourcefulness to reduce the environmental impact of business. As part of this, we also created a volunteer group of 14 employees (the “Go Green Take Action!” team) to help implement changes in our company.
- The Shrink Wrap Contest: When we launched the GGTA initiative, we wanted to demonstrate how one small change in operations can create a big impact. The change was to begin recycling shrink wrap (diverting it from landfill). We collected all the shrink wrap from the warehouse for one month. It got so big, it needed a name, so we ran a staff contest (a gift basket of eco-friendly products, of course). The winning moniker was “Crinkles” and it was so big in a month that our company President, Norm Danniels, decided to climb it like Everest!
- Retrofitting: We have now completed hydro and natural gas retrofit tendering and, fingers crossed, we will have energy-efficient lighting and warehouse heating installed before the end of 2012. Not only will we reduce our energy consumption by at least 30%, we will also be improving the quality of light and heating for our employees. This year we’ve saved enough energy to run 82,300 square foot homes for almost a year.
- Hybrid Vehicles: We provide $200/month to any employee who purchases or leases a hybrid vehicle.
- Recycling: We use recycled cups for all of our demonstrations and sampling gigs.
- EMFs (electromagnetic fields): We have completed a full EMF audit and installed filters to reduce fragmentations, along with retrofitting each employee work station to minimize computer EMF’s.
We’ve updated our in-house recycling and will monitor the weights of recycled versus landfill output monthly so we can reduce our landfill refuse by 30% over the next 12 months. The spirit of sustainability is now the way we do business. When we combine our efforts just imagine the difference we can make!