Mack is committed to the concept of sustainable manufacturing, where managing environmental, health and safety matters are an integral part of the business. Our Environmental Policy is based on compliance, risk reduction and prevention, resource management, and communication. We also subscribe to an Environmental Purchasing Policy that gives preference to suppliers whose products have environmentally friendly attributes.
To reinforce these policies, Mack has developed an environmental management system that systematically and comprehensively tracks and reduces environmental impacts in all business operations. Vermont has rewarded these efforts by designating Mack an Environmental Leader, only the third manufacturer in the state to earn this privilege.
Vermont Environmental Leader
Environmental Leader is a Vermont classification that distinguishes exemplary environmental management programs that prevent pollution, comply with regulations, and minimize environmental impacts. The designation is awarded through the Vermont Business Environmental Partnership, a voluntary, environmental assistance and business recognition program offered by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation and Small Business Development Center.
Mack has devised numerous initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, including resource conservation, recycling, waste reduction, and environmentally friendly purchasing practices. For example, the Northern Division:
- replaced 2,100 lighting fixtures in its three Vermont plants with energy-efficient fluorescent technology that is estimated to save 1.75 million kWh/yr, enough energy to provide electricity to 300 average homes
- reuses or recycles 935,000 lbs/yr of plastic resin; 669,000 lbs/yr of sheet metal; and 275,200 lbs/yr of cardboard/packaging
- assists with annual Black River spring clean-up activities, as well as periodic water quality testing, habitat assessment, and fish stocking programs
- developed a Community Garden area for employees with raised gardens, volleyball court, picnic tables, barbecue grills, and a small driving range. Fruit-bearing trees have been planted, and hiking/snowshoeing trails have been blazed on a neighboring 40-acre parcel of forested land.
To improve efficiency and further limit cardboard waste, Mack has installed right-sized packaging-on-demand systems that can be programmed to make a single box to precise fit. Rather than purchasing pre-made packaging that consumes racking and requires continuous material handling, Mack can now build boxes from a continuous sheet of corrugated that is accordion-folded onto a pallet next to the machine. Any off-fall from the system is 100% recycled.
Mack continues to focus on exploring alternative measures to increase waste stream recycling programs and green alternative purchasing where applicable. In fact, in 2015 the Company recycled more than $300,000 in scrap, a 12 percent increase over the prior year. Additionally, Mack’s E. Arlington facility focused on reducing paper and ink cartridge usage in 2015, switching to a more up-to-date ink jet printer and reducing paper use by five percent. Further paper reduction occurred as a result of the human resources department’s efforts to transition the employee handbook and other documents to electronic formats.
The E. Arlington plant also put a strong focus on reducing energy consumption, invested in a variable frequency drive for one of its presses, convert exterior floodlights to LEDs, as well as converting fluorescent lighting to LEDs. These efforts includes the Company’s Pownal warehouse, where motion sensors were installed to control lighting and T5 lights were installed. The IT team has also brought a focus to energy efficiency, replacing 25 LCD monitors with more energy-efficient LED monitors in 2015. Power reduction was a focus at the Cavendish plant as well, which saw a 12% drop, or 527,000 kWh, by utilizing smart meters and evaluation by Efficiency VT. The Cavendish facility also continues to reduce No. 4 heating oil usage by replacing windows. Since 2010, 105 windows have been replaced along with seven overhead or entry doors that have been replaced with thermal doors. In addition, 35 windows have been removed, all ultimately reducing heating oil usage from more than 80,000 gallons per year to 34,000 gallons per year since 2006.
Mack also stepped up its efforts to recycle food storage and computer packaging waste in 2015, installing 10 green waste bins in conference rooms and cafeteria that ultimately go into a zero sort recycling system. The Company also built bat boxes to help in the fight against white nose disease, which it hopes to install at its facilities in the spring of 2016. At the HQ facility in Arlington the Company worked to improve air quality in its outdoor picnic area by moving smoking areas away to designated spaces that would limit exposure to non-smokers. Additionally, a horseshoe pit was added to the HQ’s recreational area, at the trailhead of its trail system, to encourage use of this outdoor rec area and green space.
ISO 14001 Certification
ISO 14001 is the internationally recognized standard for environmental management systems. Mack’s Northern Division is currently pursuing the certification, while its Southern Division has maintained certification since 2007. Beyond developing a comprehensive environmental plan, the Southern Division has also implemented:
- Pellet Loss Prevention Plan
- Additional procedures/work instructions
- Environmental Policy Manual
- Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan
- Hazardous Waste/Non-hazardous Waste Plan amendments
- Environmental, Health and Safety incident reporting system.
Each facility (Inman, S.C., and Statesville, N.C.) employs a full-time environmental/health/safety manager and conducts two environmental reviews annually to measure environmental performance against stated objectives. Below are the environmental performance results reported for January-June 2014.
Environmental Performance, July – December 2015
|Inman, South Carolina||Statesville, North Carolina|
|Hazardous waste disposal||67,460 lbs||545 lbs|
|Cardboard/paper recycled||189,530 lbs||89,300lbs|
|Scrap metal recycled||25,558 lbs||25,961 lbs|
|Plastic parts recycled||468,559 lbs
|Oil/water disposal||10,523 gals||0 gals (evaporate off)
|Non-hazardous waste disposal||54,580 lbs||0 lbs|
|Non-hazardous sludge disposal||113,620 lbs||0 lbs
In recognition of the Inman plant’s recycling efforts, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling awarded Mack its Smart Business Recycling Program award for recycling more than 840 tons of material during fiscal year 2013.