More Than Just Talk, We've Taken Action.
Here are some of the changes we’ve made. Some of these might seem trivial but remember, everything you do counts. We are just getting started!
In Our Manufacturing Facilities
- Green Cut-off Recovery - We have made a large investment in equipment to grind all green cut-offs from our green chain in White Pigeon and Menomonie. This provides more green fuel for our boilers and increases the amount of kiln dried sawdust we can sell to the open market for new forms of energy products like pellet fuel.
- A walking trail through natural areas of our facility provide habitat for wildlife and respite for our employees.Reduce Mowing - We have reduced the areas we mow at our facilities by creating designated wildlife areas. In White Pigeon, we have a designated walking trail for employees with six bluebird houses built by employees along the trail.
- Recycling - We are sending all metal banding to a scrap yard for recycling. We are recycling aluminum, plastic and cardboard in all of our plants.
- Reduce Power Used for Lighting - We have nearly completed extensive lighting upgrades in our facilities from old metal halide lights to new highly efficient fluorescent fixtures. These new light fixtures use only 230 watts vs the 460 watts the old fixtures required. Plus, while we were at it, we repositioned all lighting to better suit our present day needs. This allowed us to reduced the number of fixtures in some cases by almost half, further reducing our power consumption. Finally, we 'rezoned' some buildings so we can turn off lighting in the areas that are not in use at the time.
- Reduce Diesel Usage - Our diesel forklifts are using 2% biodiesel fuel. Our forklift drivers have made a commitment to turn their vehicles off when idle for a minute or more to save gas and keep our warehouse air cleaner. With more than 30 forklifts in operation, this makes a difference! We are constantly looking for ways to reduce lumber handling or the number of forklifts in production through lean manufacturing practices.
- Conservation - Our three boilers used to fuel our kilns all run on wood waste from our millwork activities – using virtually no fossil-fuels. We have implemented new boiler operation standards to conserve water and minimize the chemicals required to treat our water. We have minimized landscape sprinkler usage and lawn chemicals around our corporate office.
In Our Offices
- Saving Paper - We’ve installed a “laserfiche” system to dramatically reduce paper use in our offices. Documents are electronically viewed and stored. Not only does it save paper, it reduces mis-filings and improves communication between locations. It’s weird not walking to the file cabinet, but a cool way to save trees!
We are e-mailing invoices to our customers instead of mailing wherever possible to save paper and fossil-fuel usage in the mailing process.
- Reduce Chemical Use - We have converted our cleaning supply inventory over to Seventh Generation environmentally friendly products. We now use only chlorine-free recycled copy paper.
- Recycling - We are recycling flourescent bulbs and batteries (White Pigeon location). We are accepting employee's personal fixtures and batteries from home as well. We have hired a company called Shred-It to collect all of our recyclable paper and shred it on site. We were shredding ourselves which was time consuming and costly. We have increased the amount we recycle while reducing the time and hassle involved which makes for another win-win for the company and the environment. Last year alone Shred-It customers saved over nine million trees! We are recycling all plastic, aluminum, glass and white office paper.
- Reduced Power Usage - We’ve installed programmable digital thermostats in all of our offices and we have made an effort to maintain more conservative temperatures and dress accordingly to save energy. If we don’t need lights on during the day, we keep them off! We’ve replaced old light bulbs with CFL’s everywhere possible.
- Reducing Waste - We have reduced the use of trash bags in our offices by 75% by simply taking “wet waste” to the kitchen. We have eliminated the use of styrofoam cups.
- Environmental Committee - Our Environmental Committee meets once a month to review progress on initiatives and discuss ways to improve our business practices to reduce our environmental impact.
- E-Newsletter - As communication and education are essential to inspiration, we have established both THIS WEB PAGE and an E-Newsletter as a way of keeping everyone in our company informed of what’s happening.
- Tree Farming - We have made a long term commitment to tree farming. This is very exciting stuff! We have purchased our first tract of land and planted approximately 18,500 seedlings. Tree farming is great because the land we are buying will be protected from future development. Plus, there are always areas on each property unsuitable for tree planting but perfect for wildlife habitat restoration. We will be posting our progress on this web site as our journey in tree farming continues.