KAB Recognizes Other Emerging Businesses in Sustainability Part 4

By Cindy Pantea

summit of sustainability logoIn this post, Keep Akron Beautiful-Greenprint for Akron recognizes the sustainable practices of two more Summit County businesses who applied for the 2012 Summit of Sustainability Awards. Read about Goodwill Industries of Akron and SGS Tool of Munroe Falls and get inspired…

Goodwill Industries of Akron (nonprofit): For 85 years Goodwill has been a community source for those who wish to reuse, repurpose and recycle. Meanwhile, at Goodwill Industries of Akron in particular, they’ve continued to evolve through the years by seeking out more sustainable options for their business. In doing so their efforts have:

  • Used energy-efficiency grant matching funds and rebates to help retrofit their existing building saving $40,000 in light energy the first full year and increasing their HVAC efficiency rating from 60% to a 92% (based on 2010-2011 numbers).
  • Recycled approximately 7,600,000 pounds of material not sold in stores through its salvage programs (based on year-end 2011 numbers).
  • Recycled 535,753 pounds of computer equipment not sold in stores through the Dell Reconnect program (based on year-end 2011 numbers).
  • Resold, reused or recycled over 95% of all donations (based on year-end 2011 numbers).
  • Educated their Facilities Department employees on sustainability and as a result they continue to research best cleaner choices and have succeeded in cutting down their lighting usage simply by switching their cleaning function from night to daylight hours – these efforts saved $10,000 within the last year.
  • Encouraged paper and plastic recycling and energy efficiency (light usage) within the office.
  • Reduced paper waste by regularly updating mailing lists.
  • Reduced greenhouse gases and fuel consumption by keeping donations local, having local one distribution center, and having most stores be conveniently located on a bus line for customers.
  • Given back to the community – for every $1.00 that is spent in a Goodwill Store, $0.88 goes back into the community, helping people find jobs. In 2011, this amount of money helped to train over 7,263 people for the workplace and helped to place 517 people in jobs. This is Goodwill’s true mission, and the retail stores are just one way to fund it.

SGS Tool Company (small business): This Munroe Falls business is and has been committed to lessening their impact on the environment. Here’s how:

  • In conjunction with FirstEnergy, replaced existing light fixtures with new energy efficient fixtures at two facilities in 2012.
  • In 2012, they exchanged plastic packing material for paper at both the world headquarters in Munroe Falls, OH and the manufacturing site in the U.K.
  • Worked with River Valley Paper Company to begin recycling cardboard in June 2011 and by December 2011, they went from recycling less than 500 lbs. to nearly 2,500 lbs. – they’ve now successfully implemented a cardboard recycling program at all six facilities in 2012.
  • Worked with the Summit Akron Solid Waste Management Authority, SGA locations recycled over 22,000 lbs. of paper in 2011.
  • They’ve continued to recycle toner through Staples and electronics and batteries through Itran.
  • Used top-of-the-line filter systems, centrigugal systems and Transor systems to reduce both old oil disposal costs and filter cartridge disposal.
  • Given back to the community – SGS Associates and family members annually volunteer at Munroe Falls Metro Park in April in honor of Earth Day.

Thank you to both Goodwill of Akron and SGS Tool for looking to the future and continually researching and implementing new sustainable business practices.

How does your business sustainability measure up? Will you be ready for the 2013 Summit of Sustainability Awards? Learn more about business sustainability by visiting The Summit of Sustainability YouTube Channel.

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