The Standard Register Company established a formal sustainability program in 2007, focused on reducing the company's environmental impact. Although the company has monitored its progress internally, it was not aware of the overall impact until this year when it participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Standard Register scored 91 out of 100 possible points, among the top 5% of 1,100 companies participating in the study. The average score for participating companies was 48.
Standard Register participated in the CDP study at the request of Bank of America, one of its largest customers, which requests that all its major suppliers measure and report on greenhouse gas emissions. The CDP is an independent not-for-profit organization holding the largest database of primary corporate climate change information in the world. According to the CDP website, thousands of organizations from across the world's major economies measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, water use and climate strategies through CDP.
"Although Standard Register's green initiatives have been a part of our business model for some time and we've demonstrated a long-term commitment to sustainability, we had never measured and reported our carbon emissions in a rigorous, standardized way," says Steve McDonell, vice president of engineering. "We have found that good sustainability practices are also good for business, reducing manufacturing costs, reducing energy consumption and improving safety performance."
McDonell said Standard Register's sustainability program operates with one project engineer dedicated solely to advancing the company's environmental objectives. Each of Standard Register's 100 facilities in the U.S. has an assigned "green team" member to orchestrate the sustainability program. The company's program approaches environmental issues along three fronts: certification, waste reduction and energy management. "Our approach is to identify all areas of our company that have environmental impact, establish a baseline, develop standardized processes to minimize wastes and train local teams to implement," he says.
Standard Register has moved from acid-based paper to alkaline, petroleum-based inks to soy, alcohol-based fountain solutions to synthetic and implemented a computer-to-plate technology in its printing business. It has an extensive recycling program and every facility monitors its trash, waste and hazardous waste practices. An internal mailbox for "green" suggestions has been set up to facilitate sharing of information to develop best practices, and an internal newsletter, The Green Scene, keeps all employees up to date on the company's sustainability efforts.
Standard Register engaged with Delta Institute of Chicago and Roadmap Green of Des Plaines, to catalog the greenhouse gas emissions from its production, warehouse, distribution and sales facilities nationwide. McDonell says the company is using the results of the CDP study as a blueprint to enhance its environmental programs. "Our program will continue focusing on zero hazardous waste, lower waste to landfill, taking advantage of waste-to-energy options when viable, energy reduction and increased community involvement," he adds.