An Excerpt from Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World
A Word from our Partner
Achieving Sustainable Transportation
"Greening" Corporate Energy Use
Corporate United Adds Coffee Offering
Corporate United's Green Suppliers
Ed Benevides, Genworth Financial
Networking & Events
Mid-Atlantic Member Meeting on Green Procurement
Member Commentary on Synergy 2008
Instead of focusing on the contract features of only one Corporate United supplier, we decided to take advantage of the sustainability-focused Q2 issue to highlight the sustainability initiatives of our suppliers.
InterCall, a division of West Corporation, specializes in conference communications. The company hosts GreenConferencing.com, a resource that provides education on using conferencing and other practices to reduce carbon emissions and operate businesses in a more sustainable fashion. InterCall’s primary products – audio, video and web conferencing and collaboration services – enable employees to work from anywhere and stay connected to co-workers, customers, vendors and partners who are critical to business without driving or flying to an on-site meeting. In addition, InterCall is a Platinum sponsor of Climate Action, a program that promotes sustainable business practices to corporations and governments worldwide through the distribution of educational materials, events and public media.
Filtered Water and Coffee
Spectrum’s filtered water coolers can help companies reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 98% as compared to purchasing plastic water bottles. Americans consumed an average of 167 bottles of water in 2007, 90% of which ended up as garbage or litter. Spectrum has water coolers that cut energy usage 65% compared to regular water coolers. While Spectrum does not manufacture products, the company buys as many recyclable, post-consumer waste and biodegradable products as possible, including cups, silverware, coffee jackets, straws, plates and bowls. The company also takes a stand on reducing the negative effects of transportation; instead of using a dedicated network of coffee delivery vehicles to deliver their product, they use carriers such as FedEx, UPS and DHL that already travel to member locations every day.
Flowers and Gifts
As an internet and telephone marketer of flowers and specialty gifts, FTD has a unique opportunity to implement sustainability initiatives. The company has a selection of eco-friendly bouquets, oak tree seedlings, organic gift baskets and items knit from organically-grown cotton as part of their “Go Green Living” movement. FTD’s “Go Green Living” floral arrangements present the following explanation: “Set to standards in which the growers are held to environmentally and socially responsible practices, these flowers may not be certified organic, but environmental concerns as well as community involvement, fair wages and working conditions are considered and cared for.”
As a distributor of industrial supplies, Fastenal has made changes to affect core elements of their business. In the accounting department, the company is conserving paper by eliminating nearly all paper invoices in favor of electronic invoices and replacing paper faxes with e-faxes. In terms of direct energy consumption, Fastenal changed their delivery trucks from semi trucks to sprinters (large delivery vans), which use not only diesel, but less fuel in general. The company also installed energy-efficient lighting in the distribution centers. Fastenal’s manufacturing facilities recycle coolant and scrap metal.
Konica Minolta, North America’s leading office imaging company, promotes sustainable development and profitable growth by integrating environmental, economic and social perspectives into its business strategies. The company employs induction heating fusion technology to reduce energy consumption in their devices; the 2006 bizhub C550 model with the IH fusion technology achieves a 41% reduction in energy consumption over the 2005 model without. Konica Minolta also collect and recycle printer cartridges and the leftover toner found within. To affect every level of operation, Konica Minolta has implemented a Green Procurement Policy and a Design for Environment approach to take into account the various environmental aspects of their products.
Office Moves and Household Goods Management
Mayflower / United
United Van Lines is committed to environmental improvement issues now and in the future. At its headquarters in Fenton, Missouri, United’s 1,450 employees participate in and comply with several green initiatives. To save resources, the company uses fluorescent overhead timed lighting and prohibits truck-washing on site. Along with recycling two million pounds of used paper in fifteen years, United prints on recycled paper and uses soy ink instead of oil-based ink. United provides environmental information and guidance to all of its agency locations and has a safety department that produces quarterly environmental advisory bulletins for all United agents. United Van Lines is a member of the ATA Environmental Advisory Group.
OfficeMax, one of the largest office products distributors in North America, is committed to supplying their products and services in a manner that is sensitive to environmental issues. The company stocks over 1,700 recycled-content products and has an assortment of energy efficient products. OfficeMax also offers ink and toner cartridge recycling, rechargeable batteries and cell phones and electronics recycling to its contract customers. From 2005 to 2006, the company reduced its CO2 emissions by 32,000 metric tons, and it is continuing to implement initiatives to further reduce emissions. OfficeMax has an impressive Paper Procurement Policy in place that complies with their Environmental Policy and emphasizes the importance of responsible resource management.
Medco, Corporate United’s pharmacy benefits provider, is committed to safety, the protection of employees and environmental responsibility throughout the organization. Medco has a successful Work@Home program with over 1,900 participating employees decreasing travel emissions. The Client Solution Center links clients to Medco representatives through technology such as video feeds, thereby reducing the need for on-site travel. Encouraging three-month supply mail-orders for maintenance medications eliminates monthly trips to a retail pharmacy. On an operation level, the company uses florescent lighting and all Medco sites recycle paper, cardboard, aluminum and glass, among other items. Encouraging electronic documentation instead of using hard copy is one of Medco’s biggest green initiatives. The company employs online reporting, bill pay and resource manuals for pharmacy and call centers, and it scans and stores documents electronically whenever possible.
Cintas provides eco-friendly solutions for all of your promotional needs. By ordering their green products, your organization can show its employees and community its dedication to the cause. Green products include: ballpoint pens that are 82% biodegradable, 100% organic cotton t-shirts and tote bags, business portfolios made from 51% recycled fabric and biodegradable cycling water bottles.
Corporate United’s relocation services supplier, Weichert Relocation Resources has pursued environmentally-friendly alternatives to everyday tasks and products and their offices around the world. In a paper-intensive industry, Weichert combats paper waste by relying on electronic documents and processing for things like payroll, marketing materials, policy documents and document storage. The company conducts virtual training whenever possible to avoid green house gas emissions caused by car and air travel; they recently held a major re-accreditation program with more than 600 web-attendees nationwide. To help spread their initiatives across the company, Weichert launched an internal communication policy to raise awareness about how to be environmentally-friendly, both at work and at home.
CentiMark, Corporate United’s roofing provider provides a product that reflects the company’s concern about the environmental impact of its materials and systems. By using reflective roof material, CentiMark tries to reduce the urban heat island effect. The company reduces landfill waste through effective and economic recycling of roofing materials. With a broader scope than simply using environmentally-responsible materials, CentiMark also utilizes environmentally-sound business practices. The company uses locally harvested materials (within 500 miles), instituted a nationwide recycling program for asphalt, polyisocyanurate insulations and expanded and extruded polystyrene insulations. Additionally, all of CentiMark’s 65 office locations in the US and Canada recycle office supplies such as toner, paper products, glass and aluminum.
Although providing a safe working environment for their customers is Choctaw-Kaul’s primary objective, the company also strives to provide environmentally-friendly products that are reusable and recyclable. Choctaw-Kaul knits durable hand and arm protection that can be washed and reused. During the manufacturing process, the company reclaims yarn from defective products by unwinding the item and reusing the yarn to create a product without defect, thereby avoiding waste. Choctaw has also started selling items that are landfill-friendly; they now offer non-PVC-based earplugs since PVC items emit gases in landfills. Additionally, Choctaw helps its customers implement a reuse program by identifying the company’s reusable products, finding reputable launderers for the company to employ, and facilitating the redistribution of the cleaned uniforms, gloves, aprons and rags.
Volt Services Group, a full-service staffing solutions provider, is joining its “Green” customers and business partners in the global effort to reduce their environmental impact, and has been since the 1990s. The company formed an Environmental Initiatives Committee to help increase awareness among employees, customers and vendors, implementing environmentally friendly initiatives and serving as a brainstorming forum to improve Volt’s environmental footprint. Under this program, Volt has, among other things, reduced the number of plastic and Styrofoam cups and bottled water purchased for break rooms, distributed “Go Green” mugs to the entire staff, implemented recycling programs for paper, aluminum cans, toner cartridges, etc. and equipped 80% of enclosed offices, meeting rooms and break rooms with motion sensor lighting.
Uniforms and Mats
Cintas works hard to protect the environment and conserve natural resources at their facilities across North America. Through a commitment to strict compliance and innovative technologies, the company seeks to ensure that it meets or exceeds regulatory standards set for the laundry facilities. Through new innovations like heated air recycling and laundry water recycling, Cintas significantly reduces the negative environmental impact of laundering. Similarly, the company recently introduced “wrinkle-free,” fade-resistant shirts that require no machine drying. Through its internal Environmental Auditing Program, each Cintas rental location is audited each year to ensure compliance with applicable regulations. Cintas is also a Charter Member of the Laundry Environmental Stewardship Program, a voluntary program initiated to improve the environmental performance in the laundry industry.