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FLEXO Magazine : Sustainable Fall 2009
methods into the office. While in the renovation phase, United looked toward its employees for ideas. Much of the focus on sustainability is coming from our younger employees," said Cappas. We opened up the table for suggestions from our team to improve our facility." Using examples from other environmentally-focused com- panies, United Engravers made a blueprint for new renova- tion. The more we change, the more we continue to improve our ozone-friendly practices," said Jim Ellis, production art manager, who was the lead on all restoration and repair proj- ects at United. We incorporated as many practical sustain- able methods in this renovation as possible." For help through the construction process, Ellis turned to S.L.S Plumbing. We were their first account," said Ellis. They are very versatile, and work on all construction projects at United." Together, S.L.S Plumbing and Ellis picked out cabinets that were identified as environmentally friendly. S.L.S Plumb- ing helped with everything from the air conditioning units, to painting to installing cabinets and sinks," said Ellis. There is nothing they don't get involved with." The cabinets are certified through the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association's (KCMA) Environmental Steward- ship Program, or ESP. The KCMA created the ESP in 2006 to reward cabinet manufacturers who demonstrated a commit- ment to the environment. According to www.greencabinetsource.org, manufactur- ers earn points toward the program by using wood from sustainable forestry and selective harvesting programs, us- ing low-formaldehyde emitting products, recycling, conserv- ing energy, educating suppliers, and showing involvement in their community." Certification is awarded based on fulfillment of five catego- ries, including air quality, product resource management, process resource management, environmental stewardship and community relations. In addition, companies must meet standards set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). For product resource management, the website also states that 75 percent of particleboard, medium density fiberboard, and hardboard used in cabinets must contain 100-percent re- cycled or recovered fiber content." Hardwood, softwood and plywood must be purchased through a recognized sustain- able forestry program. By purchasing wood cabinets, United chose a recyclable and biodegradable product that uses less energy to process than plastic or metal. Wood is also a renewable resource, and ESP is the only environmental certification program that concentrates on kitchen and bath cabinets. United also incorporated other sustainable tools, such as recycled material. All of the ceiling tiles were processed with 50-percent recycled material. Half of the carpet base was also developed with recycled material. The renovated sales floor also includes LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. Eventually, the entire building will utilize LED lighting as well. Another energy-saving method used was in the heating and air conditioning units, as both are low-energy and non-Freon. The air conditioning unit is 95 percent ef- ficient, which is the highest efficiency obtainable. Saving water was also a concern. United purchased mo- tion sensor faucets in order to avoid wasting water. According to Moen, the manufacturer of the faucets, the sensor faucets conserve both water and energy. The unique motion sensor reduces the daily gallons of water used by starting and stop- ping the flow of water. Hot water consumption is also limited for energy savings, and prevents the risk of accidental over- flow. This also helps reduce sewage bills. Moen is a partner of several environmental organizations. One organization, WaterSense, promotes water efficiency, and the special label helps consumers identify water-efficient products and pro- grams that meet water efficiency and performance criteria. Air-assist toilets were installed as well. They hold a low amount of water, and also have low-impact flushes to use only what is necessary. The QuantumOne toilets use less than 1 gallon per flush (Gpf), and release built-up water and air to effectively get more flush from less water. BLOWIN' IN THE WIND In an effort to tie in sustainability throughout the manufac- turing facility and all of the offices, United Engravers' next step was looking into renewable energy. We needed to in- corporate sustainability not only into our product, but into our facility," said Cappas. Purchasing wind energy brings United together in its sustainable efforts." As a voluntary certification program, Green-e Energy sets consumer protection and environmental standards in three markets: competitive electricity, renewable energy certificates (RECs) and utility green pricing programs. In September, United enrolled in Green-e Energy's program, purchasing 25 percent wind energy. United will stay invested in green practices, and do what we can to bring the eco-friendly philosophy home," said Cap- pas. We have the option to increase the wind energy usage at United to 100 percent in the future." According to www.green-e.org, Green-e Energy supports new renewable sources; the windmills providing wind energy were constructed after 1997, and they produce little to no greenhouse gas emissions. FORWARD FOCUS United Engravers will continue to focus on sustainable ef- forts to improve the environment and company. The compa- ny will continue to search for additional recycling programs which not only relieve the environment, but relieve extra costs. Less waste and more recycling is even helping United save money. Sustainability helps put a positive impact on our bottom line," said Cappas. With the money we save, we are able to invest back into our company and employees." Overall, United Engravers continues to move forward with an eye out for additional efforts that will benefit both the environment and the company. Following green practices is a procedure that everyone should be talking about. Our customers continue to ask us what we are doing to focus on sustainability---from our products to our facility, they 're inter- ested in improvement," said Cappas. And we're listening." ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rachael Young is account manager for United Engravers Inc. Sustainable FLEXO FALL 2009 www.flexomag.com