Of course, all EnviroStars businesses are success stories!
We have selected some example case studies to show you the possibilities, to provide models and mentors, and to document the real-life, bottom-line business benefits that EnviroStars are experiencing.
The wise stewardship of our natural resources is imperative for the
preservation of wildlife and wild places. It is also good business sense for the well-being of the animals in our care, our staff, volunteers and visitors.
— Dr. Deborah B. Jensen, President and CEO
With a mission to educate the public and inspire its visitors to learn, care and act to preserve wildlife and wild places, Woodland Park Zoo is increasingly incorporating environmentally friendly practices both into the way it conducts its business and into what it passes along to its 1 million-plus visitors each year. By establishing a number of proactive environmental initiatives, the zoo is decreasing its footprint and becoming a regional model for wise stewardship of its resources.
The zoo's programs encompass both eliminating hazardous wastes and reducing resource and energy use across zoo grounds. Staff has replaced the use of lead-based paints with latex paints in animal exhibits, including the use of paints with low VOC. It participates in the city's Graffiti Rangers, recycling paint and reducing wastes from up to 2,200 lbs per month to less than 220 lbs. The zoo Horticulture staff has replaced its chemical-based fungicides with natural methods and strategies to suppress disease while nourishing the plants. It also participates in a techno-trash program, recycling outdated computer components, CDs and DVDs.
In energy reductions, the zoo has reduced water usage by more than 84,000 CCF since 1990 and its new penguin exhibit, scheduled for a 2009 opening, will save 3 million gallons of water a year and use sustainable filtration features. Additionally, the zoo participates in Puget Sound Energy's Resource Conservation Manager program that provides software to track utility use, which will allow the zoo to reduce overall consumption and become a more efficient user.
In resource recycling or reduction, the zoo recycled more than 1.1 million pounds of materials in 2007, ranging from paper, glass and plastic to organics and asphalt – even baling twine from hay bales. Its food concessionaire replaced plastic utensils in its public food areas with compostable corn plastics and it also is part of the City's Food Waste Recycling Program. And the zoo continued with its renowned composting program Zoo Doo, which composts nearly 1 million pounds of herbivore animal wastes, creating a rich product used on zoo grounds and by area gardeners.
The zoo is also actively involved in spreading the word about resource conservation via its many public presentations, classes, Backyard Habitat workshops, and in classrooms around the state. It seeks to decrease its environmental impact even further as zoo staff collaborates with the University of Washington to assess its overall carbon footprint.
Becoming the first college in Washington to have multiple trade training programs earn EnviroStars certification is a natural connection for the instructors at Renton Technical College. Seven programs have been certified to-date: Automotive Technology, ITEC Automotive Technician, Auto Body Repair and Refinishing, Ford ASSET, Major Appliance & Refrigeration Technology, and Dental Assisting. The courses offer practical training, job entry skills and more: a connection between work, health and the environment; something the college has in common with other EnviroStars businesses.
Renton Technical College (RTC) instructors are using EnviroStars to take a fresh look at chemical handling in their courses. The recognition of hazardous materials in RTC shops has taken off since an observant tool room employee began questioning some materials. Some materials are "sneakier, depending on how they're used," John Mundy, Ford ASSET Automotive program instructor, points out. One example is PAG oil (polyalcohol glycol); safe at room temperatures, but refrigerated and pressurized it will blister unprotected skin. Mundy found EnviroStars on-line and teamed with employee Gary Bagnell to promote the program. Previously, RTC staff perspective was their classes had no "environmental waste," not an unusual view in shops using common hazardous products daily. Now the staff are promoting the program to their business partners and colleagues, with the full backing of forward-thinking Dean of Trades $ Industries, Karen Johnson.
The college participates in the Ford ASSET program, which helps train and connect students with sponsoring dealerships. Ford ASSET training includes hazardous materials, handling, disposal, liability and documentation, and EnviroStars technical assistance adds a customized service to the courses. EnviroStars keeps the trainers up on current regulations and inspired them to think ahead to the impact of storm water regulations on their practices. Mundy, Auto body Repair and Refinishing instructor Brad Slayton, and other teachers are looking at all the materials used: changing the lead wheel weights for non-lead, to a new method of floor cleaning to cut soap and water use and save time and money.
Anticipating and solving problems are part of the automotive training. Students cut apart and reassemble vehicles, vans and cars regularly; four donated autos were rebuilt in 2006. A spectacular test of these skills is obvious in the Ford ASSET truck. This project tackled how to mate two working front ends of Ford F350 diesels. Besides the bodywork and welding, students had to solve the steering, electrical and other system challenges to create a 9,900 pound cruiser. (No word on the gas mileage!)
Look under the hood of the RTC automotive instruction and you will find instructors applying their skills to a safer classroom and environment, and graduates prepared with excellent safety habits, problem solving experience and training in chemical handling. All valuable assets as regulations, public demand and the job place require environmentally friendly services. And most grads are walking into lucrative jobs where these skills are highly valued too.
631 Tyler Street Port Townsend, WA 98368
Printery Communications has over 30 years of one-stop expertise in marketing, design, print, copy and mailing solutions for our business neighbors in Jefferson County and beyond.
Printery Communications has earned the highest EnviroStars award - 5 stars - for its pollution prevention efforts and pioneering sustainable business on the Olympic Peninsula.
Printery is also certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). They are the first print media provided to be certified in six Northwest States. FSC is an international network to promote responsible management of the world's forests. To receive FSC certification Printery participates in an annual environmental audit and of purchased paper made from sustainable forests.
In addition Printery uses a digital process which has eliminated all the hazardous waste associated with printing negatives. They also use vegetable based inks and tree free fiber paper whenever possible.
At Printery Communications they recycle and reuse everything they can. Scratch pads and journals are even made from off cuts to sell, and damaged paper is donated to schools.
Printery also has a division called Star Copy Center, which provides Pat and Mike Kenna, founders, are active in the community sharing the successes of Printery Communications with other businesses. Printery participates in career day at the Port Townsend High School and showcases their commitment to sustainable business throughout their offices.
Printery Communications commitment to the community and pollution prevention is a great example of Environmental Stewardship.
For more information on Printery Communications and Star Copy Center, and to view the additional honors they have earned, visit their website at www.printery.com