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Tracking Your Carbon Footprint

How and Why We’re Tracking Our Carbon Footprint

Karen Weil

It’s important for companies to take responsibility for their impact on the planet. As a leading provider of direct marketing services that include paper-based communications, IWCO Direct continues to seek positive ways to reduce our environmental impact by measuring our carbon footprint and increasing the quantity of materials we recycle.

We take pride in our sustainability efforts and our clients find value in them, too. Many, including leading MSO and insurance companies, have their own sustainability programs and carbon footprint reporting requirements. Providing them with more environmentally friendly product options for their marketing programs and sharing a common spirit of conservation makes us better partners.

What is a Carbon Footprint and How Do We Track Ours?

A carbon footprint measures the environmental impact—including CO2 emissions, consumption of natural resources, and more—of a home, business, or even an entire industry. At IWCO Direct, we utilize this tool to identify our current environmental impact, establish a baseline, and look for trends to help identify areas for improvement. Because we’re responsible for the impact of our work, we’re always searching for opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint and become more environmentally conscious.

IWCO Direct started tracking our carbon footprint in 2015. We use a carbon footprint calculator specifically designed for the printing industry that accounts for scope 1 and 2 emissions. Scope 1 emissions include direct emissions (e.g. natural gas usage, ink and cleaning agent usage, company vehicles, and refrigerant leaks) at each IWCO Direct facility. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions resulting from electricity usage. These are considered indirect emissions because we use the energy to produce products, but do not create electricity.

The Role of the Environmental Council

The IWCO Direct Environmental Council plays a key role in monitoring our carbon footprint, and reviews our tracking reports on a regular basis. Our leadership team supports the Environmental Council by helping to raise awareness of efforts underway across our platform and in our communities. We also work with our supply chain and organizations including World Wildlife Fund, Rainforest Alliance, and Canopy to identify opportunities to improve across all environmental areas while supporting long-term needs and providing an extension of our client’s environmental goals.

Simple Changes, Huge Impact

We are currently in the process of replacing all the production floor lighting from fluorescent bulbs to LEDs in all three of our Chanhassen facilities. To give you a sense of how impactful even a simple change can have on our carbon footprint, switching to LEDs has the potential to reduce our energy consumption for lighting in these buildings by 60%. We hope to expand this project company-wide, since production floor lighting accounts for a large portion of our electrical consumption.

Understanding our carbon footprint allows us to improve sustainability initiatives at IWCO Direct and enables us to find new ways to improve our best practices. This lets us help our internal and external customers create a more environmentally healthy company, industry, community, and planet. We look forward to sharing our progress as we make strides in this important area.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2017/11/10/tracking-our-carbon-footprint/
Karen Weil

Author

Karen Weil

Director of Procurement and graduate of Mankato State University (now Minnesota State University, Mankato). Bringing the “together we can achieve excellence” philosophy to IWCO Direct for more than 10 years and the direct marketing industry for nearly 30. Favorite award or recognition: Raising three terrific boys. Enjoys photography and watching her sons’ sports teams.

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