by Austin Johnson
August 04, 2015
Recycling across the United States has increased considerably over the last few decades. In 2013, Americans recycled over 87 million tons of municipal solid waste, significantly more than the 14.5 million tons recycled in 1980. Furthermore, the recycling rate has increased from 9.6 percent to 34.3 percent over that same period. Although these numbers are encouraging, Americans are still generating approximately 254 million tons of trash per year. Tap has taken the initiative to improve these numbers and better today’s environment by implementing their own sustainability program. Tap’s production team uses a lean manufacturing approach for all operations – a process that focuses on minimizing waste through careful planning, constant monitoring, and effective management. Tap’s sustainability efforts include an FSC® certification by the Rainforest Alliance, an exemplary recycling program, and an HP Indigo 30000, an industry-renowned digital printing press that eliminates the need for printing plates and chemicals and produces minimal waste compared to traditional offset presses.
Studies have shown that 71 percent of US consumers consider the environment when shopping, and 87 percent of global consumers are “very likely” to consider a company’s social and environmental commitment before making any shopping decisions. Recognizing their responsibility to conduct business in the most sustainable way possible, Tap sought recognition from the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC), the most widely-acclaimed forest certification status in the world. The FSC is the gold standard for forest certification with over 380 million acres of forest certified worldwide, including more than 150 million acres in the US and Canada.
Thanks to a determined management team and dedicated employees, Tap became FSC-Certified on January 30, 2009, by the Rainforest Alliance, one of FSC’s accredited certifiers. The Rainforest Alliance and FSC promote “environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests.” Certified companies are required to meet an exhaustive list of FSC standards – one that includes 10 principles and 57 criteria. Tap currently possesses FSC’s Chain-of-Custody certification, which verifies that FSC- material is kept separate from non-certified material throughout the entire supply chain. This ensures customers that products with this label come from responsibly managed sources. Tap is proud to have achieved such a prominent certification status and they look to become more involved with both the FSC and the Rainforest Alliance in the near future.
Studies have shown that 55 percent of global consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services from environmentally-committed companies. Tap recognized this recent consumer trend long before many of its competitors, as their recycling program has existed for several decades. Their program emphasizes that waste and energy reduction is the key to a better and healthier environment.
Tap currently collaborates with River Valley Paper Company, an Akron-based company that takes an “A.I.M.” approach to recycling – analyzing waste generation, implementing mutually agreed upon changes, and managing those changes to maximize revenue and value. In 2014, Tap recycled nearly 1,000 tons of paper – saving over 12,000 trees, 399,000 gallons of water, 2.9 million kilowatts of electricity, 42,500 pounds of air pollutants, and 2300 cubic yards of landfill. Tap’s energy conservation efforts last year were enough to heat 709 homes for 6 months. With state of the art equipment and a devoted workforce, Tap is always looking for additional ways to minimize waste and reduce energy consumption.
One of Tap’s biggest additions to their sustainability program is the HP Indigo 30000, an elite digital printing press they acquired in 2014. Because it requires no printing plates and minimal set-up, and boasts very limited waste, this powerful machine saves up to 200,000 square feet of plate material and 250 tons of paperboard waste per year. In addition to the substantial amount of material the printer saves, it is also capable of printing recycled paperboard. The press also significantly improves supply chain efficiencies, as it is able to reduce inventories, thus leading to the elimination of obsolete stock. The possibilities with this game-changing technology are endless and Tap plans on utilizing its capabilities to the fullest in the quest of a greener planet.
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