Our Sustainability Journey

Scholle IPN's four traits which drive performance and innovationLong has Scholle IPN placed high importance on sustainability – it’s one of the core values we hold as an organization. As we’ve grown on our sustainability journey we’ve come to understand that to have a truly responsible company we need to integrate the principles of sustainability throughout all facets of our organization and to reach all of our stakeholders which include our employees, the communities where we work, our customers, and ultimately, the planet we all call home.

Sustainability is about making the world a better, safer, more enriching place to live, for as many people as you possibly can. In the past decade, Scholle IPN narrowed its focus, honing in on one paramount responsibility: to reduce our impact on the environment through improving our manufacturing processes worldwide.

From 2005 to 2015, we’ve managed to reduce our CO2 emissions by 24% by abiding enthusiastically to Lean Manufacturing practices in all of our facilities. Lean Manufacturing is a method of operations that focuses on making processes as efficient as possible. In order to do that, we’ve made some serious systemic changes. Examples of improvements in energy reduction include changing lighting systems in our facilities by converting to CF light bulbs and adding natural lighting, with some now moving toward even more efficient LED lighting. Our plant in Merced, California is Gold LEED certified and has blazed a trail in energy efficiency for the rest of Scholle IPN locations by installing solar panels in their parking lots. Each year these panels produce over 250,000 kWh of electricity – enough to power 23 homes. Other ways we’ve reduced energy is through improvements to our IT data management systems, and through the purchase of more efficient, less energy-intensive equipment such as motors and compressors.

Scholle IPN Lean Sigma eventsThrough our Kaizen events, we’ve also been able to drastically to reduce waste, cutting down our landfill deposits by 87% since 2011. We’ve accomplished this by thoroughly educating our workforce on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We’ve also significantly lowered our paper usage and installed hand dryers in all hand washing areas and restrooms.

Going forward, our new Sustainable Procurement Policy will play a huge part in helping us reach our Sustainability goals of reduced CO2 emissions and landfill waste. Our procurement teams will be looking at what we purchase strictly through the lens of life cycle costing and holistic sustainability. These are the questions we will be considering when making supply chain decisions:

  • Do we need it?
  • Is it biodegradable, recyclable or reusable?
  • Is it sustainably sourced e.g. Forest Stewardship Council?
  • Does it contain a percentage of recycled material?
  • Is the company we purchase it from ethical?
  • Does it contain hazardous chemicals or products?
  • Is it safe and healthy for our employees and customers to use?
  • Does it use less energy, water and resources?
  • Can we source green electricity or renewable energy (solar, wind, water)?
  • How long is its lifespan?
  • What’s the best, most eco-friendly mode of transportation?

Scholle IPN employees in Vinhedo, BrazilThese are just some of the things Scholle IPN has done over the past decade to improve its sustainability, and continue better understanding what true corporate responsibility means – for us and for the world we live in. Our seminal goal as a company is to identify any opportunities within our supply chain to reduce our carbon emissions and minimize landfill waste, and ultimately, help enrich the communities we’re part of, the countries we serve, and the beautiful planet we call home. That means not just taking care of planet Earth, but looking out for its 7.1 billion citizens too. But more on that next time.

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