Mack Molding is only the third manufacturer in Vermont to earn the state’s Environmental Leader designation, a classification that distinguishes exemplary environmental management programs that prevent pollution, comply with regulations, and minimize environmental impacts.
“Mack has developed an environmental management system based on ISO-14001 that systematically and comprehensively tracks and reduces environmental impacts in all business operations,” says Peter Crawford, director, Environmental & Regulatory Assistance Program, Vermont Small Business Development Center. The company has devised numerous initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, including resource conservation, recycling, waste reduction, and environmentally friendly purchasing practices.
For example, Mack has 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 300 average homes with electricity. The next step is to replace lighting fixtures in the offices, parking lots, and on building exteriors with more efficient fluorescent or LED technology.
Mack reuses or recycles plastic resin (920,000 lbs/yr), sheet metal (98,500 lbs/yr) and cardboard/packaging (270,000 lbs/yr). The company recently invested in a new baler and other packaging technology, which significantly improved its cardboard recycling yield.
As neighbors of the Black River, employees at Mack’s Cavendish, Vt., facility pitched in this summer to help the Black River Action Team with its ongoing river clean-up effort, and will also perform periodic water quality testing and habitat assessment. Mack will participate in the current fish stocking program and will work with the Department of Fish & Wildlife to initiate a fish census program.
At its headquarters plant, Mack promoted environmental stewardship by engaging employees in an adopt-a-garden program. The company built 15 4’x8′ raised garden beds and supplied a composter, gardening tools, fencing and easy water access. To further enhance the area, Mack reinvigorated the volleyball court and added picnic tables, barbecue grills, and a driving range for golfers. Fruit-bearing trees were also planted near the gardens, and hiking/snowshoeing trails are being cleared on a neighboring 40-acre parcel of forested land.
Mack has also developed an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy that gives preference to suppliers whose products have environmentally friendly attributes that maximize post-consumer recycled content and minimize toxicity and packaging, with minimal sacrifice to price, quality and delivery requirements.
The Environmental Leader 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. To learn more, visit www.vbep.org.