3 new R's and our quest for Zero Waste
by Toby Barazzuol on Tuesday Dec 8, 2009

the green roof enters the building....

At Eclipse Awards, we create value through a genuine commitment to quality workmanship and quality materials.  As your recognition partner, we will ensure that your awards are made with care and attention to detail.  The craftsmanship that goes into your awards helps emphasize your message of recognition.

However, what you may not realize is that our commitment to the environment is equally important - we also consider the resources that go into them, the materials that are used and unused, how excess materials are reused and recycled, and how we can make your awards even more beautiful by using less. 

As part of our quest for zero waste, how can we create the most value for your recognition awards while using the least amount of resources, and without sacrificing quality or service?

Most people have heard of the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  We’ve explored these as they relate to our business and continue to look for new opportunities to expand on them.  However, we’ve come to realize that there are some other R’s that we feel are also really important.

Rethink & Redesign:  we’ve reviewed virtually every product, process, and system and redesigned it for improved efficiency.  Don’t just look at how to do something more efficiently, but also why are we even doing something at all?  
Example:  we used to make and ship lots of sample awards which consumes a lot resources unnecessarily.  So instead we invested in developing photorealistic images of our products, so that you can see 360 degree views of our awards.  Clients really appreciate this service and physical sample requests have dropped by 90%.

Realize:  our planet’s resources are finite and limited.  The actions of virtually every company consume and convert these resources into other materials, some that are used and valued, and others that are unused or unvalued.  So every time you purchase from a company, ask them what they are doing in terms of minimizing their consumption of resources. 
Example:  as part of this growing awareness, we’re developing and expanding a new line of green awards that are truly beautiful and made from reclaimed wood, glass and aluminum.  Stay tuned for more details to follow... 

  in many cases, waste is simply misplaced resources.  Though we may not be able to use it, there is probably another entity that can.  We've developed relationships with other companies to collaborate and find productive uses for misplaced resources.
Example:  we’ve partnered with The Urban Source and several children’s art programs, and every month we provide them with many of our unused presentation boxes.  We’ve also looked at ways of using other “used” materials in new ways.  One that we’re particularly excited about is etching glass water bottles to be reused as drinking bottles.  This also helps avoid using more plastic bottles.
Etched glass bottles

As our landfills near capacity and as our oceans fill with plastics, businesses will need to evolve to understand and limit the waste they produce, while still creating real value for their clients.  Rest assured knowing that we will be doing our best to redesign and rethink our processes to deliver the highest value to you and your recognition awards program, while also minimizing our environmental impact and contributing to our community.

If you’re interested in learning more about what some companies are doing to minimize their waste, join us this evening for:

“Trash Talk: Collaborations in Business Garbage and Recycling” an event hosted by LoCo BC.

I will be making a short presentation on our experiences at Eclipse Awards and our efforts to create a materials exchange network in the Strathcona Green Zone.

We are all learning as we go and sharing our experiences is how we will move forward together.  What changes have you made to reduce the environmental impacts of your organization?



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