There’s so much to celebrate with the arrival of April. We see the snow begrudgingly surrender to the grass below. The trees are speckled with buds, hinting at future colour. Daylight finally greets us again as we awaken from a peaceful night’s slumber.
It’s no mistake that the month of hope, rebirth and rejuvenation also happens to host Earth Day, a day dedicated to putting environmental concerns on the front page and making people ponder what they can do to help preserve this miraculous blue and green ball we call home. Widely regarded as the largest secular observance in the world, April 22 represents a day of environmental action as we strive to change human behaviour and create unity around making global policy changes that will protect the environment.
With both the Arctic and Antarctica recently experiencing extreme heat events, this year’s Earth Day promises to be more profound than ever. “It’s a day that makes us look within and reconsider everything we do and how we can improve,” says Emma Blanchard, Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Specialist with Bellwyck. “While we’re just one business, any way we can improve our operations environmentally has a positive impact on our customers and the community.”
Sustainable business practices are always an intrinsic part of the way we operate. Last year, we celebrated achieving an EcoVadis Silver Certification for the first time – an accomplishment we’ve just duplicated with another Silver Certification in 2022. Additionally, while last year’s EcoVadis certification just applied to our Finchdene, Toronto, location, this year we’ve expanded our EcoVadis footprint to our Owen Sound location as well. We’re also entering April 2022 as an official member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), and we look forward to working with the SPC and fellow members to drive innovation and actionable improvements in packaging systems.
Emma Blanchard has been instrumental in leading our sustainability initiatives. With us since 2019, Emma is laser-focused on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, specifically related to environmental, social and governance policies, and was instrumental in Bellwyck achieving our EcoVadis Silver Certification in 2021.
Overall, 2021 was a very positive year when looking at the results of our recycling and waste management procedures. “By recycling all our paperboard waste, we were responsible for the preservation of 37,284 trees and the saving of 176,610 cubic feet of landfill space,” Emma enthuses.
Other waste reduction strategies Bellwyck has incorporated into our business practices include recycling our toner cartridges at our Finchdene location, separating our printing plates for metal scrap, properly disposing our e-waste and hazardous waste, sorting of food waste in our lunchroom, holding paperless meetings by utilizing technologies instead, a near-100% paperless payroll system and, whenever possible, to print documents on both sides to reduce paper usage.
“We’ve also put a lot of focus on reducing our energy usage,” Emma adds. “We are very fortunate that our Finchdene location has been designed to allow a lot of natural light, which automatically conserves energy. We also have posters throughout Finchdene that say ‘if it’s bright turn off the lights’ to remind staff that off is better than on. Plus, we’ve retrofitted both our Finchdene and Owen Sound locations for LED lighting.”
Over the past few years, our innovation team has brainstormed a number of enviro-friendly alternatives. “We pioneered an ingenious two-in-one carton with a floating liner that protects the contents inside while reducing unnecessary waste, Emma offers. “We also developed an ingenious click box that self-seals without the use of magnets.
“And we will continue to work with our suppliers and vendor partners to develop tomorrow’s eco-friendly innovations. Any way we can make a difference is a win-win for everyone – most importantly, the environment.”