As a sustainable manufacturing company, The Rodon Group understands the importance of holding true to the overriding principle of Earth Day, to leave this world a better place for our children and grandchildren. We celebrated the 43rd anniversary of this event on Monday, April 22. This movement influenced many young business leaders who now see sustainability as the driving force for how they conduct business. In June, many of these companies with the same motivation and inspiration will gather in San Diego at the Sustainable Brands Conference.
Sustainable Brands and the conference have been around since 2004. Companies large and small use this organization to share ideas, successes and failures. According to the SB website, “Sustainable Brands is home for the global community of business innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2004, our goal has been to inspire, engage and equip today's business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a sustainable abundant future. We do so by offering news and views from thought and practice leaders, live and on-line events, peer-to-peer learning groups, a robust resource library, a solutions provider directory and more -- all designed to help brand, sustainability and design innovation professionals, social entrepreneurs and the eco-system of value network partners who support them, discover, co-create and successfully execute on new opportunities to profitably innovate for sustainability.”
At its core, sustainability means taking and using no more than we need and re-using what we don’t. Companies are learning that sustainability is good for customers, the environment and the bottom line. Businesses save and actually earn money from recycling efforts. New energy technologies reduce electricity consumption and costs.
Some of the companies who participate in the Sustainability Conference are leaders in the field of corporate and environmental stewardship. One company, Kohler, launched their sustainability program in 2008. Each line of business has its own sustainability mandate from conserving water to reclaiming and beautifying unusable land.
Many large corporations in this country are putting sustainability and social responsibility front and center in their strategic plans. A growing number of companies are reporting zero-landfill status at their manufacturing plants. Many automobile manufacturers embraced a zero landfill goal ever since Subaru became the first to do so in 2004. Today, GM reports that half of their plants are landfill free with 97% of the waste being recycled or reused and 3% converted into energy. A recent quote from John Bradburn, GM’s manager of waste reduction says it all. “Today’s companies have a responsibility to reduce their environmental footprint, and that includes reducing waste sent to landfills. As an industry, we have to come up with creative uses for waste that lessen our impact on the environment.”
DuPont Building Innovations division achieved zero landfill status in early 2012. The three year project called “Drive to Zero” has reduced landfill waste by 81 million pounds. According to Timothy McCann, president of this division, “The Drive to Zero landfill program is good for our business, good for the environment and highly valued by our customers. Working with our supply chain partners to tackle the zero landfill goal was critical to the success of our business in reducing its environmental footprint. Collaborating with our business partners allowed us to succeed in reaching our ambitious project goal of zero landfill.”
Walmart and Target are both working towards becoming landfill free. Today, Walmart claims that 80% of trash from its U.S. stores is prevented from going to landfills. In 2012 Target sent approximately 33% of its waste to these trash sites.
Our government is closing ranks with these major companies. The Army selected eight installations that will be the focus of a push for zero landfill status by 2020 as a part of their Army Sustainability Campaign Plan. This plan also includes the Energy Initiatives Task Force and reflects the Army’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.
The Rodon Group has been a landfill free facility since 2011. Our partner in this endeavor is Sustainable Waste Solutions. They help area businesses achieve landfill free status through their relationships with trash-to-energy plants and recyclers. Small to medium sized businesses can all become better stewards of the environment by using waste recycling and reuse companies.