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FLEXO Magazine : May 2011
FTA TODAY The company ’s efforts are far-reaching within the facility. One hundred percent of Paragon’s 185 tons of yearly solid waste is recycled. The company cut energy use by 70,000 kwh by retrofit- ting its lighting system, and it has used sustainable practices in landscaping to cut water use by 50 percent in 4 years. Paragon’s “Green Team” employee committee meets 2 or 3 times each month to discuss ways to become more sustain- able. The committee introduced the “In Good Company ” initiative to focus on sustainability issues and the company ’s role and commitment to addressing them. Another campaign, “T he Company We Keep,” consists of a wall filled with posters and photographs in the lobby to showcase and celebrate Paragon’s own sustainable achievements and its label customers’ environmental milestones. Paragon partners with other local companies to brainstorm possibilities for promot- ing a mutual sustainability vision. Paragon Label believes that the more it promotes sustain- able practices, the more it will influence its employees, their families and those outside the company. Each year, nearly 30,000 visitors tour the Paragon factory and learn about the company ’s philosophy, which is to become more accountable and dedicated to sustainable practices. Paragon’s wastewa- ter treatment plant, which processes 72,000 gallons of water, is a big hit with the visitors. “Paragon Label’s entry was an excellent demonstration of involving the workforce to implement change through a team approach in recycling efforts and take the stress off of the en- vironment,” says award judge Jay Downey, of InterFlex Group. Award judge David Wallack, of International Paper, agrees. “T heir presentation included a nice mixture of meaty, specific metrics on reducing carbon footprint vs. interesting anecdotal information. ” PRAIRIE STATE GROUP – PROCESS IMPROVEMENT Prairie State Group (PSG) joins Paragon Label as a winner in the Process Improvement category. PSG is a relatively new FTA member, having joined in 2009. It is a custom printer and laminator of flexible packaging and pressure-sensitive label- ing, and it specializes in both narrow and mid web flexible packaging. PSG’s accomplishments in sustainability include numerous initiatives, such as efforts to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and to decrease the use of energy and natural resources. PSG’s remarkable results stem from its Great Ideas for To- day (GIFT) program, an incentive program that garnered 93 new ideas from employees. Several of these ideas have been implemented to reduce PSG’s environmental footprint while saving the company money. A recycling program for ink and solvent drums helped re- duce PSG’s waste stream. Recycling solvent drums preserves the natural resources that are used in creating new ones. PSG also developed a program to reuse dirty press wash, further reducing the amount of virgin solvent used and the number of drums required. Reusing solvents and reducing the amount of hazardous waste generated may enable the company to lower its generator status with its local regulatory agency, as well. By partnering with a company that regrinds waste rolls, PSG further reduced the amount of solid waste going to the landfill by nearly 50 percent and now saves nearly $45,000 per year. Corrugated waste is being recycled, as are end boards and cores. Increasing the efficiency of its pollution-control device allowed PSG to cut natural gas usage 23 percent. And finally, all waste paper, plastic and aluminum cans in the of- fice are recycled. “Prairie State Group shows that environmental stewardship goes hand-in-hand with a well-run, efficient operation,” says awards judge Michael Impastato, of Flint Group. “ T he line between environmental excellence and lean manufacturing www.flexography.org mAY 2011 FLEXO 141 PRAIRIE STATE GROUP POlyCEllO
Sustainable Spring 2011