ENGLEWOOD, Colo., July 1, 2004 – As one of North America’s leading providers of visual communications, Cenveo recognizes that its operations have an impact upon the environments where it does business. To ensure that its presence is a positive one, the company is pursuing several initiatives that combine sound business practice with environmental responsibility.
According to Keith Pratt, vice president of corporate purchasing and supply chain, Cenveo’s commitment to environmental sustainability is integral to a corporate culture that places a high priority on protecting its employees and the communities where Cenveo does business. As a result, the company is evaluating its environmental options in a systematic way, determined to reduce the impact of its processes on air quality, the waste stream, and the power grid.
Given that commercial printing is one of the heaviest industrial consumers of paper and energy, Cenveo’s attention to environmental issues represents “a continuation of the company’s core values,” according to Pratt. “We believe in showing respect for our employees, the communities where we do business, and the environment.”
Some Cenveo facilities are ahead of the environmental curve. The company’s flagship in this regard is Cenveo Anderson Lithograph in Los Angeles. The high-end commercial printer has established an outstanding record of environmental stewardship. Initiatives include an onsite power system that supplies all electrical needs; and a totally enclosed facility that results in nearly zero emissions released into the ambient air from the printing process. The facility has also initiated a large-scale campaign to educate the marketplace about environmental sustainability.
As a management approach, “environmental sustainability” means developing strategies that both sustain the environment and produce profits for the company. Environmentally sustainable activities do not deplete environmental resources faster than they can be regenerated or threaten the viability of ecological systems.
According to Rebecca Dake, marketing director for Cenveo Anderson Lithograph, many of the policies and procedures in place in Los Angeles initially were designed by the company to comply with—and then exceed—regulatory requirements. At present, she says, Cenveo is testing a variety of environmental programs at the facility before deploying them in all of its 80-plus facilities in 31 states and provinces. The programs include the measurement of greenhouse gases and Chain-of-Custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a not-for-profit organization that has developed a system for identifying and labeling products from well-managed forests. Chain-of-Custody certificates ensure that processing operations can track the path of certified products bearing the FSC logo through production.
Cenveo, which plans to roll out a full-scale environmental initiative across all of its installations, also is conducting a comprehensive internal hazard assessment, analysis, and evaluation program to ensure environmental compliance. The data being measured include all inputs, outputs, and processes from each operation. When these baseline measurements are in place, Cenveo hopes to be able to determine how and where it can make quantifiable reductions in critical areas of environmental concern. The internal audit is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
Cenveo’s commitment to environmental sustainability has prompted the company to become a member of The Business Roundtable’s Climate RESOLVE (Responsible Environmental Steps, Opportunities to Lead by Voluntary Efforts) initiative. In keeping with the provisions of 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the members of Climate RESOLVE—primarily Fortune 500 companies—are committed to monitoring climate change and promoting environmental best practices. They have pledged collectively to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent by 2012.
As a leading paper converter, Cenveo recently was invited to join the year-old Paper Working Group (PWG) of Metafore, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the world’s forests by developing non-regulatory environmental solutions in cooperation with business, social, and environmental leaders.
The members of PWG, which collectively spend hundreds of millions of dollars on paper and paperboard annually, are committed to developing a consistent and affordable supply of paper manufactured to reduce environmental impacts and waste. Besides Cenveo, founding members of PWG include HP; Kinko’s; McDonald’s; Nike; Norm Thompson Outfitters; Staples; Starbucks; Time Inc.; and Toyota Motor Sales USA.
According to Pratt, PWG is working to establish guidelines for paper buyers as a part of an internal business “report card” designed to track their purchases. Cenveo will use the results of its PWG evaluation to develop an internal paper report card of its own.
A particular challenge for printers, Pratt acknowledges, is persuading customers to make the “right” paper choices. Dake observes that printers often are not free to choose the paper they use. Instead, they must work with stocks specified by their customers, who may incorrectly associate recycled or environmentally preferable papers with higher prices and inferior quality. Dake notes that it can be especially tough for printers to convince designers that they need not trade quality for environmental responsibility. Ongoing efforts, both say, must focus on educating the marketplace.
Cenveo’s Commercial segment also believes that the time is right and the priority is high for environmental sustainability. David Sineway, general manager of Cenveo’s facility in Jacksonville, Fla., and Duane Bennett, vice president and general manager of the company’s Dallas facility, describe ways in which their plants are achieving measurable improvement in waste reduction while simultaneously fulfilling a corporate philosophy that places workers at the center of the process.
Bennett describes a policy of mutual respect and employee empowerment that routinely solicits and acts on input from workers across all functions and shifts. According to Bennett, a top-down policy of goal sharing means that the results of environmental initiatives are announced in a company newsletter and discussed in quarterly town hall meetings with all employees.
Both the Jacksonville and Dallas facilities have set up Waste Committees to identify, monitor, and resolve internal problems. On a broader scale, representatives of 40 facilities in the U.S. and Canada participate in monthly continuous-improvement conference calls to share best practices and benchmark progress toward waste reduction goals. A Cenveo best practices team also meets monthly to share ideas.
According to Sineway and Bennett, the key to successful cost and waste reduction lies in fostering a culture of shared responsibility for problems and their solutions. For example, says Sineway, “just by making people aware of the need to monitor and reduce waste, we have seen the percentage of our paper waste decrease by one roll per shift on one of our web presses.”
Pratt says that Cenveo will evaluate environmental best practices and develop a plan that it can roll out to all of its installations. Moreover, he says that Cenveo’s customers are “absolutely in support” of the company’s environmental priorities as it works toward making sustainability an integral aspect of its service mix. “We still are trying to learn as much as we can,” Pratt says. “We want to do it right.”
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