Waste management is important to us. With the latest initiative to put waste where it belongs in order to minimize our impact on the environment, Spec has conducted informative sessions on waste management for its employees, and has also set up resources and processes to see this initiative through from beginning to end. As a result, Spec reduced the overall garbage going to the compactor in the first half of 2018 by 58% compared to the same time last year!
Putting Waste In Its Place
Every Fabric Waste Counts
Q1 has been busy for Spec Green Team! The new arrangements with our waste management company allow Spec to supply 2-3 metric tons of fabric cut-off waste per month to a facility that uses these materials as fuel to generate electricity. We have also found a few local schools that use our excess fabric rolls in their arts programs. Finally, the cardboard cores from spent fabric rolls are collected and returned to our fabric suppliers for re-use.
New environment-friendly initiative from Spec's metal shop
Spec™ has initiated an exciting new service to launder and reuse the cleaning rags in the metal shop. Our metal shop welds hundreds of chair frames and table bases every day, and each one of them needs to be free of excess oils and dirt before entering the paint line. Instead of simply disposing of these rags, the new initiative will eliminate approximately 2 metric tons of waste per year that would otherwise go to landfill.
Spec Planting Trees to Offset Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Over the next five years Spec Furniture® will be planting enough trees to completely offset the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions generated from its annual electricity consumption. The initiative comes as a result of an ongoing commitment by Spec Furniture and its people to improve everyone’s health and wellbeing. Spec™ has a track record of minimizing the use of energy by upgrading to energy efficient equipment, switching to eco-friendly and recyclable materials, redesigning packaging to further reduce environmental impact or finding sustainable recycling solutions for materials remaining after a job completion. In 2017, Spec Furniture has pledged to plant 225 white pine trees, offsetting the equivalent of approximately 29 tons of carbon dioxide (C02). The company sees this act as an ongoing project, with goals of planting different wood species across North America each year to offset gas emissions generated from other energy sources as well.
Select Spec products are now level® 3 Certified
Spec™ is proud to announce that a selection of seating products (Dignity, Gravity, Midway, Snowflake, Snowball and Traffic), and all tables and Credenzas&Lectures finished in Veneer/Hardwood Edges/Steel Base are now level® 3 certified.
Spec Finds A Sustainable Offcut Fabric Recycling Solution
Spec's Packaging Further Reduces Environmental Impact
Ensuring our products arrive in one piece without breaking the bank is a delicate balance. Challenged with a task to use less packaging and reduce freight cost, in November 2015 Spec redesigned its boxes for our stacking chairs. We were previously using skids to prevent boxes from getting damaged. While clearly ensuring the product is handled appropriately, this method prevented us from maximizing the space on our trailers.
So we started thinking inside the box. We eliminated the skid, elevated each chair off the ground, and separated the chairs from each other. This way if the box is dropped the weight of all the chairs is not on the bottom chair's legs. If dropped, the weight of all the chairs is directed to the underside of each chair instead of the legs. This new design has reduced our shipping costs dramatically by reducing the cubic feet required, and therefore the number of trucks needed to transport product. Our environmental impact has been significantly reduced. We’ve seen a reduction in shipping claims, which means more product is arriving at their destinations in factory condition, and Spec™ manufacturing team is focused on meeting new customer orders instead of remaking damaged product. All the packaging used is made from a high percentage of recycled materials (mostly cardboard) and is 100% recyclable.
Our Products Are Now level2® Certified
We are happy to say that all Spec™ products have recently achieved level® 2 certification. This means that specifying Spec’s products now makes it easier to achieve the new LEED pilot credit 80.
Spec™ has changed all metal wash to a phosphate-free based chemical. This initiative has reduced our natural gas consumption on the paint-line by one-third, as well as eliminating discharge of hazardous waste products into the environments.
Energy Reducing Initiatives
Looking to reduce our energy consumption, Spec™ has replaced our 60 HP Air Compressor with a 30HP Air Compressor. This initiative has reduced our electricity consumption for generating compressed by air by 50%, and has reduced overall electricity consumption for the entire operation by 6%!