WS Packaging won the award for environmental innovation in part for its efforts at its Algoma, WI, USA, facility to keep about 115 tons of waste material per month from the local landfill. The company has partnered with a state firm that turns the waste material into industrial pellets that can be mixed with coal and bio-fuels to heat buildings and generate electricity.
“A main goal of our company-wide sustainability program is to provide products that are environmentally sound throughout their lifecycles,” says Terry Moede, environmental director, WS Packaging. “We’re also committed to becoming a better steward in protecting our environment, which involves conserving energy and natural resources. Taking the waste from one process and turning it into a resource for another is an operational goal we’re achieving every day.”
Since being implemented in mid-October 2008, WS Packaging has kept more than 800 tons of waste from the local landfill.
“Waste conversion programs require additional operational and transportation costs,” Moede says. “But WS Packaging is committed to implementing long-term solutions that balance its environmental goals with its economic health.”
WS Packaging has a Corporate Sustainability Committee to further commit each of its 17 facilities to good environmental stewardship. The Algoma facility has served as a blueprint to be followed by each WS Packaging facility across the United States.
To this end, the company has implemented Lean Manufacturing initiatives to cut waste throughout the manufacturing process, switched to energy-efficient lighting, and curtailed paper for internal order processing. It also uses returnable shipping containers whenever possible, among other efforts.
WS Packaging Group, headquartered in Green Bay, WI, has more than 40 years of experience and is one of the largest printing and label converting operations in North America.