This guest post is part of a series from the Sustainability Sponsors of the 2019 WBENC National Conference & Business Fair. Each year, WBENC makes strides toward hosting events that more closely follow the precepts of sustainability by reducing our paper output and being more efficient in our energy consumption. Companies that share our mission of sustainability frequently invest in our network by becoming Sustainability Sponsors for our events, encouraging recycling and offering re-usable containers for water and coffee to reduce waste.
Today, hear from WBENC-Certified WBE and Sustainability Sponsor Bay Corrugated Container, Inc. on how they go above and beyond to practice sustainability in their business. They also share some everyday tips on how you can reduce your footprint at home and in the office.
While the scope of sustainability may be broad, at a basic level it is the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level. Legislation in the United States seeks to protect the environment and prohibit adverse actions. There are conservation programs in place to assist in preserving fragile land from erosion.United States policy includes the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, and the Lacey Act. These are all environmental sustainability laws with the goal of protecting our resources. All of these policies affect Bay Corrugated Container, Inc. as a manufacturer who uses forestry products, especially the revisions regarding timber, made to the Lacey Act in 2008.
“Sustainability should be a principle that everyone is mindful of every day.”
Bay Corrugated Container, Inc. is Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified. What does this mean? At least two-thirds of our paper purchases come from certified sources and none of what we buy comes from controversial sources, such as illegal logging operations. One-hundred percent of our purchases are certified by SFI and/or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). We are in the process of obtaining our FSC Chain of Custody certification, which is a more stringent plan. The FSC program tracks the sustainability claim from the source to the end user and in some cases identifies the percentage of FSC certified material in the product.
Bay Corrugated Container, Inc. elected to be the WBE Sustainability Sponsor because we feel sustainability is imperative. Sustainability isn’t just a political catch phrase. Sustainability should be a principle that everyone is mindful of every day. While federal, state, and local laws require us to dispose of certain materials in an environmentally friendly manner, we do a little bit more to help. We have an extensive recycling program in place that guides our employees in properly disposing of raw materials, office paper, spent plastic and metal banding strap, plastic beverage bottles, various metals, toner and ink cartridges, technology (hardware), and more. Additionally, much of our raw material purchases are of 100% recycled content.
The workplace is an environment where waste can be controlled with the right plan in place. Being sustainable at work comes down to people. Society as a whole ought to make an effort to develop daily habits to support a strong ecosystem, leading to great impacts. These efforts may be as simple as putting plastics, metals, glass, and paper into recycling receptacles. Once employees understand what is expected of them in the workplace, the effort becomes second nature.
We certainly don’t want our resources to run out or become scarce since we need those resources in our daily lives. We tend to take for granted clean water, fuel for our vehicles and homes, lumber to build things, and something as ordinary as a box to transport goods in. We, as the human race, need to understand how essential it is to be sustainable. The scope of sustainability is enormous, but there are small feats that we can make into habits to support a strong ecosystem.
Some helpful tips to help you become more eco-friendly at home and at the office:
- Setup recycling stations that are easily accessible to everyone. Make sure they are clearly labelled.
- Find out when there are community recycling days and make an effort to participate. There are items like refrigerants, electronics, tires, and paint that cannot be sent to the landfill.
- Try to eliminate “throw-away” products like water bottles by using a multi-use bottle.
- Turn lights off in rooms you’re not in. Automatic switches can be installed to turn lights off when there’s no activity in the room.
- Print less. You’ll save paper and ink, therefore save money!
- Carpool! It’ll save you and your colleagues’ cash. Not to mention the wear on your vehicle.
- Save water by taking shorter showers.
- Use cold water for laundry to reduce the energy used to heat the water.
- Avoid plastic grocery bags. Use cloth bags when shopping.
- Dress for the weather. Avoid turning up the heat or cranking down the air conditioning to save energy.
- Compost food waste to help decrease greenhouse gases.
The Bay Corrugated Container, Inc. team is excited to see you at the WBENC National Conference & Business Fair in Baltimore! Please visit us at booth 3300!