Near Zero Waste, Near Zero Cost
August 2015 issue of Pet Product News - With a 25-year history of repurposing natural fiber, Healthy Pet is no stranger to sustainable initiatives. Aware of the positive impact even the smallest programs can have on employee satisfaction, process efficiency and the financial health of the company, the Ferndale, Wash., company is looking to identify and develop new opportunities that capitalize on existing resources and have low barriers to entry.
The most recent example of Healthy Pet’s ingenuity is the introduction of its Zero Waste Program on Earth Day. The company leveraged the expertise of Sustainable Connections in Bellingham, Wash., and the Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition in Longmont, Colo., to explore how a zero-waste program could be implemented companywide in a timely and cost-efficient manner. As a result, they created a program in just a few months that took less than $1,000 to launch and will save the company potentially $10,000 a year with no impact to its manufacturing processes.
At the core of Healthy Pet’s Zero Waste Program is the company’s determination to fully utilize all free recycling avenues: near zero waste at near zero cost. The program identified multiple waste streams that are now diverted from landfills, including compostable materials, metal recycling, broken pallets, cardboard boxes and more. With all of this material being redirected, the company is well on its way to emptying its trash dumpsters twice a year instead of twice a month.
“We believe sustainability is an economic decision that benefits all aspects of our business,” said Karl Thomas, director of Healthy Pet. “It also allows us to have a positive impact on the environment, improve the bottom line and align our values more closely with those of our employees.”
By Sarah Julian, this article originally appeared in the August 2015 issue of Pet Product News