Woodfold's Environmental Journey
As a 100% employee-owned company we look at our efforts to minimize our environmental impact as a journey with no end. It will take a relentless pursuit to truly have zero waste and impact on the environment.
It is important to understand that as our world population has tripled in the last 60 years, all of our natural systems have experienced a measurable impact; from the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we use.
The textbook definition of sustainability is meeting the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs. Having been in business for over 50 years, sustainability is something Woodfold has earned each and every day. We have also grown to understand that true business sustainability considers the relationships between environment, community and people.
Over the years Woodfold has gained greater understanding of potential impacts from the entire life of our product. Along the way we have responded by implementing various changes to reduce our environmental impact. The following initiatives highlight our environmental journey:
- 1993 We converted from a solvent-based to a water-based coating which reduced our VOC's and HAP emissions by 80%.
- 1994 We conducted a Plant-wide energy audit and then implemented the following:
- Converted all our production facility lighting to metal halide lighting that consumes 50% less energy.
- Upgraded our air handling system which improved air quality and reduced our system's electrical consumption by 52%.
- 1997 We consolidated our work week from 5 days to 4 days reducing employee vehicle emissions from commuting by 20%.
- Since 1999 we have been recognized by Washington County for our recycling program.
- 2006 We replaced 60% of our metal halide lighting with T5 and T8 lighting which operate at 50% less electricity. We also incorporated motion sensors in areas of low traffic.
- 2007 We improved the insulation on our steam heating system and have seen a 21% reduction in Natural Gas use.
- 2007 We looked deeper into our recycling efforts and found more resources for recycling which brought the amount we recycle up to 75%.
- 2007 We hosted an event which provided a case study illustrating the benefits from combining an environmental focus with the traditional Lean Manufacturing (continuous improvement) focus. Read about it here
- 2008 We calculated our Climate Registry Scope 1 and 2 carbon footprint providing us a clearer understanding of where we need to focus our efforts to further reduce our carbon emissions.
- 2008 We partnered with a team from Oregon State University to evaluate our processes looking for opportunities to improve energy efficiencies in order to further reduce our carbon foot print.
- 2008 We achieved our Forest Stewardship Council COC certification allowing us to manufacture and sell FSC certified wood products.
- 2008 We enrolled in the Call 2 Recycle program providing an outlet to recycle rechargeable batteries.
- 2009 We received two environmental awards: "Innovation in Sustainability Award" from the Portland Business Journal and "Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award" from EPA’s SBO/SBEAP.
- 2009 Conducted plant-wide employee training to identify and reduce environmental waste (materials, water, energy, emissions, liquid & solid waste) as part of our greater continuous improvement journey.
- 2009 We established a Green Purchasing Guide to help employees with purchasing authority to maximize the opportunities during the purchasing process that benefit both our company’s efficiency and the environment.
- 2010 We worked on improving our environmental impact from our marketing activities, including:
- We've reduced our travel by increasing the use of phone and web conferencing.
- We offset all carbon emissions from our air travel with the purchase of carbon offsets, learn more at OneEnergy Renewables.
- We've reduced printed literature distributed by 40% through encouraging customers to use our digital copies and by updating our customer list.
- Reduced our trade show crate from 1,800 lbs to 218 lbs which reduces materials and energy required.
- 2010 We targeted our junk mail and removed our name from mailing lists for trade publications and catalogs that we didn't want, which reduced the use of natural resources and the associated waste stream.
- 2010 We established an Energy Management System and reduced our electricity use by 15% and our natural gas use by 20%.
- 2011 We started measuring our energy intensity and set new energy management goals to further reduce our electricity and natural gas use by another 8%.
- 2011 Began greening our cleaning supplies and bathrooms, using Green Seal Certified cleaning products, switching to foam soap dispensers in the bathrooms which reduces the amount of soap used by 75% and switching to higher recycle content paper towels and toilet paper.
- In an effort to be transparent regarding our environmental journey we've made available charts showing our progress in reducing our electricity consumption, natural gas consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste recycling.
Our community involvement has partially been nurtured from being located in a downtown district of a small rural community. Being a good neighbor is an integral part of our company's philosophy. As an active member of our community the following are some activities our company is involved in:
- Organizer for local Relay for Life
- Host Blood Drives
- Support Habitat for Humanity
- Support local youth educational & sports activities
- Support to local Senior Center
- Chamber of Commerce
- City boards/committees
- Local charitable contributions
- Free office space for our local Historical Building Committee
- Free gardening space for a local charter school
We recognize that there is much more to do and many challenges that lay ahead. Through the strength of our employees we are committed to continuing this journey towards zero environmental impact.