Sustainability is not just the catchword of the moment. It's about making sound and forward-looking business decisions today that provide tangible benefits and also set a solid foundation for a better tomorrow.
At GCI, sustainability has been a priority, in one way or another, since the very origin of our company. It made sense from the outset to recycle as much paperboard as possible, for plain economic reasons. It makes sense now to purchase our electrical power from a 100% renewable source (i.e. wind power). We firmly believe that our strides in achieving sustainability put us on a firmer footing for the future, and assist us in being excellent business partners, as well as positive contributors to the community as a whole.
Our achievements in constantly moving towards greater sustainability include:
- Obtaining all of our electrical energy through wind power. That's right: every carton manufactured at General Converting is made with 100% renewable and pollution-free energy. (Since our plant is located in Illinois, which uses coal fired power plants, this achievement by the company results in the reduction of 1,468,000 pounds of coal being burned per year.)
- Utilizing reusable plastic pallets in all plant operations.
- Joining in reusable plastic pallet exchange programs with key customers.
- Over 45% of raw paperboard material purchases are 100% recycled (Clay-Coated News Back - CCNB).
- Recycling over 99% of paperboard waste into bails which are used to make new paperboard.
- Utilizing soy-based inks which have a 40% fewer VOC's than conventional inks and are comprised of 100% natural and renewable oils.
- Recycling all core plugs and cores from incoming raw material and paperboard rolls.
- Utilizing ethanol instead of alcohol in printing to reduce VOC's and to use a renewable resource.
- Installed a new lighting system that uses motion sensors with T8 and T5 bulbs to reduce energy consumption. This upgrade resulted in a reduction of 281,826 kilowatts per year. That is equivalent to 205,733 pounds of coal that would otherwise be burned.
- Pursing LEED certification to a platinum level.
We know that these and other moves we are making towards sustainability are helping to ensure a healthier future for our company, our business partners and our community. It's a never-ending process and one to which we are dedicated.
For even more on GCI's ongoing pursuit of higher standards of sustainability, click here to see an article that appeared in Package Design Magazine.