Efficient use of resources in the production and transportation of our products is both good for the environment and good for our business. Whether it’s monitoring the efficiency of our factory lighting, reprocessing returned products, or reducing truck idle time at our shipping docks, we actively seek out opportunities to minimize the cost and environmental impact of our operations.
Durable Goods: Closed Loop Manufacturing
BISSELL has implemented a closed loop manufacturing process that allows new vacuums and deep cleaning machines to be manufactured using recycled content. This ‘cradle to cradle’ closed loop recycling process for returned products sorts, cleans and reprocesses materials for use in new products. In 2009, 4.2 million pounds of plastic were reprocessed.
Cleaning Formulas: Bottle Manufacturing
BISSELL has been practicing recycling in its blowmolded bottle operations for over 40 years. We make our bottles from new resin and two types of recycled content: plastic resin that’s trimmed off bottles during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer content) and post-consumer recycled resin.
In 2009, using 30 percent post-consumer recycled content in our formula bottles enabled us to save 1 million pounds of high-density polyethylene. This is up dramatically from 176,000 pounds in 2005 and equates to a 470 percent increase in recycled content used. That's a lot of old milk jugs!
Opened in 2009 at our corporate headquarters in Grand Rapids, MI, USA, BISSELL’s Innovation Center (BIC) is representative of the operational efficiencies that can be realized through sustainable business practices. Instead of building a new addition, we converted unused factory space into offices to accommodate growth. Development of this space allowed us to take advantage of some of the latest innovations in efficient energy use and sustainable building design. Energy efficient lighting, daylight harvesting, high efficiency hot water boilers running on resets, under floor air distribution system, and energy recovery systems are examples of the building’s ‘smart’ capabilities. Add low flow plumbing fixtures, GREENGUARD certified interior finish materials and rainwater collection basins used to irrigate landscaping, and the BIC is not only a living, breathing testament to sustainability, but also a cool place to work!
Throughout our corporate headquarters, our ForEverGreen team has developed practices for all employees to support our sustainability goals. Our Information Technology department teams with CompRenew Environmental to assist in the proper disposal and recycling of associates’ old computers and other electronics. The cafeteria uses 100 percent compostable, plant-based plates and utensils, and even discounts coffee prices for those associates who choose to bring in their own reusable mug. Additionally, all metal, plastic and glass from the cafeteria is recycled. We’ve also eliminated trash bins in work stations and added dedicated recycling and composting areas, centrally located within teaming environments. Since launching our waste reduction, compost and recycling programs in August of 2009, we’ve eliminated more than 1,700 cubic meters of waste that would have otherwise gone to landfills.