Company Sustainability: Global Goals, Local Action!
Seminar Summary & Highlights
As part of PEP’s 2021 Industrial Reverse Trade Show, PEP hosted an annual seminar free and open to the public on December 2, 2021.
Manufacturers and their vendors are facing pressure from corporate leaders, customers, and the public to improve their sustainability measurements. Many of our local companies are meeting these challenges with innovation and modern technology. At this seminar, the speakers and panelists shared best practices, solutions, and innovative thinking to address these concerns.
Steve Stewart at SCS Engineers and PEP Secretary/Treasurer, welcomed attendees to PEP’s Education Seminar. He announced the new PEP Recycling Task Force was established this summer to help industry address the recent loss of most single-stream opportunities and other recycling services that had been limited or suspended. The committee created the PEP Recycling Resource List which can be found on the PEP website at this link.
Business is leading the way in climate protections
Mike Wilson, BASF, showed a BASF video explaining the company’s vision and goals for sustainability. Mike chose this video to show attendees because it represents a typical vision for any company that is actively addressing sustainability issues.
Company Sustainability through Materials Management
Traci Onstad Bills, Project Director, Sustainable Materials Management at SCS Engineers, provided an overview of what sustainability means for business, overcoming challenges, the benefits of a more sustainable operation and best practices, including how to get started. She also explained the “Triple Bottom Line” for business sustainability which evaluates decisions based on social, environmental, and financial impacts.
Traci explained the overall driver for sustainability is to save money but many other important drivers include demonstrating corporate social responsibility, building business reputation, increasing employee satisfaction, managing risk and regulatory compliance. Our regional businesses may have more specific drivers such as EU Initiatives, responsible steel standards, LEED Accreditation, climate inventory reporting, carbon-neutral requirements, zero waste goals and corporate pressure.
Best practices of a sustainable operation include creating a sustainability action plan. Some items on your action plan might include: checking your HVAC system, upgrade lighting, improving fleet energy efficiency, reducing water waste, practicing sustainable landscaping and diverting waste.
Traci discussed several case studies highlighting companies with sustainability initiatives that are providing intention, purpose for their employees and more efficient operations. You can download Traci’s Sustainability Keynote Presentation.
Local Initiatives fulfilling Global Climate Protection Goals
Steve Stewart at SCS Engineers and PEP Secretary/Treasurer, moderated a panel discussion in which panelists shared and answered questions on how they are working towards meeting corporate and global sustainability goals at the local facility level.
- Gretchen Barrera, Environmental Section Manager, Alabama State Port Authority
- Jason Brasfield, Environmental Manager, Airbus
- Robert Pinckard, Team Manager – Environmental, AM/NS Calvert
- Mike Wilson, TES Manager, BASF McIntosh Site